What a good read! Book Two of the Chemical Garden trilogy exceeds the momentum of the first book, Wither, and now I am eager and anxious for the third and final installment. See my earlier, glowing review of Book One here:
Fans of The Hunger Games are sure to enjoy these books. The author writes brilliantly. The world she has created pits her characters against grim, nearly hopeless odds. "Grim" is really the best adjective to describe Fever. Without wandering too far into spoiler territory, suffice it to say that it is out of the frying pan and into the fire for our main characters in this novel. The stakes have risen for Rhine, a young woman who was forced into a sham marriage in the first novel. The world she lives in has become only more poisonous, more deadly, more sinister than when she was first "gathered" and sold into a beautiful, but unmistakably evil prison. Freedom is short-lived and seemingly impossible and what appear to be insurmountable obstacles rise up to halt Rhine's desperate search for her twin brother and true freedom.
A sinister, crazy woman in the red-light district is only another prison warden, one who runs a demented carnival that is really a brothel, a place where she keeps her girls drugged up on angel's blood and literally sells them to the highest bidder. People who seem to be offer refuge turn out to be cracked and apt to turn on a dime. Orphaned children, the "malformed" who were born with serious birth defects, are abused and abandoned. The ice-chilling villain of the first novel has only grown more eager to continue his scientific experiments on unwilling young women. And if all of this isn't enough, every child born into this world dies between the ages of twenty and twenty-five. How easy it would be to give up. But Rhine doesn't give up. Her strength and steely resolve combined with unfaltering kindness and love make her an excellent narrator. And the return of intriguing characters from the first novel in addition to the introduction of new heroes and villains will keep the reader hooked.
Start with Wither and then hurry on to Fever. The second book is even better than the first and the third, Sever, will hopefully be the best of them all. Sever is due out in February, 2013.
Is it February yet?