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 women 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.
In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.
Publishes in US: Feb 21 2012
2nd in Chemical Garden series, Wither (my review here) is 1st, the 3rd out in 2013
I was quickly reminded how much I love the characters, Destefano's writing style, and the chilling world that she has created. I've been eagerly awaiting this book, and it didn't disappoint, and I am just as on the edge of my seat for the 3rd one as I was for this one.
If anyone thought that Rhine's freedom would be easy, they will be deeply disappointed. But I loved following their journey, even during the hard parts, because I love Rhine's undying spirit, her loyalty to finding her brother, and how much she is a fighter.
It was emotional as she realized how much she really missed her sister wives, and even how Linden stayed in her heart. Her feelings for Gabriel are still there, but they still really don't get a chance to bloom because of all of their difficulties. I think, like Rhine, I really appreciate the freedom of choice here--I don't think they are in love, but I'm glad they're able to support each other, see if love blooms. I think that her feelings for Linden grew more than she wanted to admit, and I kinda wish that her and Linden had a chance to figure it out without the weird love triangle (was square I guess with Jenna, and I don't even know what you call it if you figure in Rose...) but I also don't want Cecily to be abandoned. So, if I as the reader can't figure it out and see the obvious answer, then I can only imagine the turmoil in Rhine, and that it really must be easier to try to forget/ignore the feelings for Linden. And that is not even factoring in Silas--but I can't really get too much a read on their dynamic. I def liked his character, and hope to see him again.
Destefano really knows how to torture her characters, and its hard to read, but it is awesome how they grow and change. As well as what their suffering and trials make me feel. I have no idea what is next for them, but I am dying to find out.
What did you think of the book/series, and what do you think about the love [insert shape here]?