Thursday, 30 May 2013
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Released: February 21st 2012
Pages: 320 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion. But danger is never far behind.
Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago―surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.
The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous―and in a world where young woman only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion… by any means necessary.
Wither was one of my favourite dystopian books of 2012 - with an enthralling plot, amazing world building and relatable characters, I couldn't help but fall in love with it. The end of Wither left me on a torturous cliffhanger, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of Fever.
In Wither, Rhine was captured by Gatherers and sold along with two other girls to become the wives of the rich architect, Linden Ashby. At the beginning of Fever, Rhine and her lover, Gabriel, have escaped from the restricting mansion and are out from under the evil eye of Housemaster Vaughn, the terrifying father and scientist of Linden. During their search to find Rhine's lost twin brother, they stumble into an intoxicating carnival, and they begin to realise that maybe they're not out of the woods just yet.
Immediately the reader is swept back up into the Chemical Garden world, and although I couldn't remember exact details from Wither, it all quickly came back to me. As usual, DeStefano's writing was rich and thick, and the descriptions were gorgeous, especially when describing the carnival. The author is amazing at building this world up around the reader until it feels like you are actually there - sometimes I thought I could feel the soft silks on me, smell the dizzying perfume of Madame and the musty tents; DeStefano transports the reader into the character's minds and world, making you become attached to everything about it. It's pretty magical, I must admit.
It was pretty obvious that between Wither and Fever, Rhine had somehow become more mature - and I actually liked it. Unlike a lot of heroines, Rhine has never been the whiny type, even though her situation gets pretty dire at times. She is strong-headed, intelligent, and pretty fierce when it comes to protecting those she loves. It was nice to see that despite the increase in maturity, her character and personality were still consistent.
In Wither, I fell head over heels in love with Gabriel, Rhine's love interest. Unfortunately, as the reader got to know him better in Fever, I started to like him less. That's not to say that I don't like his character - he is a perfect match for Rhine, and he is nice enough - but nothing special. He didn't wow me, and even though I'm on Team Gabriel, I was actually waiting to see if we'd glimpse Linden - am I switching sides? I'm hoping that in the next book, Sever, Gabriel will become the character he was in the first instalment.
I thought a lot of the new secondary characters were amazing. Silas intrigued me, and I hope we see more of him - there was something quite mysterious about him and I just want to break through his shell! Maddie was another favourite of mine - a deformed, silent child, but with the intelligence of a fully-grown woman. I loved her, and again, I hope we see more of her (I also liked the fact that her best friend was called Nina). Housemaster Vaughn kept up appearances, and he is probably one of the scariest villains I have ever read about. He gives me the chills - he's so evil, yet he believes he is doing the right thing. Somehow, I think those characters who believe that have righteousness on their side are the most terrifying of all. I'd say I want to see more of him, but I don't - however, I think he'll be back in Sever most definitely.
Part of me really wants to give Fever a five-star rating, but there was just something missing. It was addictive, creative, and well-written, but I think it slightly suffered from that second-book syndrome - as in, it was a bit of a filler. The characters went a bit full-circle, and I thought that the climax to the novel was a bit too fast-paced - I couldn't keep up! It wasn't at all disappointing, but I think it was a bit of a filler.
Overall, despite the slight SBS, Fever was a great novel, and DeStefano has retained her reputation as an amazing writer. With another crazy cliffhanger, I am ready and waiting to get my hands on Sever and finally find out whether Rhine will get her happily ever after or not.