Author: Lauren DeStefano
Genre: YA Dystopian
See it at 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 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.
Please note: While I stay away from spoilers in my reviews, this is a sequel so alas, if you haven’t read Wither, there perhaps will be spoilers for you on that side as I’m trying to review this installment.
Fever had a lot of WTFery and eye-rolling moments for me. Oftentimes, I call sequels that don’t quite live up to my expectations a “second-book syndrome” and this is where Fever fell into place. This disappointed me. I was sad.
Let me start by saying I loved Wither. I loved it. I loved it. I loved it. You can find my review here where I wrote a long drawn-out post about all the things I loved about it, and proceeded to talk about how excited I was to finally start reading this series. It’s such a unique and strange concept and the world-building is so mind blowing for me. I devoured it, and put Fever at the top of my reading pile because I couldn’t possibly wait to find out what happened next.
So about halfway through Fever, I wanted to slam my head into a table and scream and cuss at the characters. What the hell?!
In Wither, I noted that Gabriel felt weak as a character in his personality. He definitely isn’t alpha, and definitely doesn’t show a side that had an inkling of admiration for me. I understand there are readers that adore him. He’s sensitive and sweet, sure. But what makes him Gabriel? I couldn’t figure it out then, and I still don’t know other than the fact that he’s just weak-minded and cowardly. He just didn’t have the strength to protect Rhine when she needed it. He didn’t have much of a backbone then, and in Fever he continued to prove this while they’re both on the run by constantly whining about how they should probably go back to the manor, where he’d rather her be in a life-threatening situation apparently. That pretty much proved that he didn’t give a damn about anyone else other than himself in my opinion. Ugh. I may sound like I’m just being snark about this, but really I’m not. When I love a series, its characters, and its world-building, I get extremely attached--thus, sometimes I get really chatty and opinionated. I also tend to sometimes focus more on my notes and dislikes for later discussions.
There were some revelations made in this book and some shocking twists and turns. Rhine was developed more for this installment and I found myself liking her a lot better here than I did in Wither. So it was a bit of an opposite here. While I hated Gabriel even more in this installment, and sort of liked him in Wither, and didn’t like Rhine too much in Wither--I found myself attaching to her here. I sympathized with her and learned more about her past. I also really liked how she became attached to the deformed child and cared for it. Seemed to show more of her nature, and it made me reach out to her as a reader. She’s strong, determined, and intelligent. A great female character to follow along. Though, she is a bit reckless at times I must say.
There was also a lot more action to be seen in this sequel. I really enjoyed that. Rhine and Gabriel traveled together after escaping and saw many places together, met different people and groups--some good and some very bad. Unfortunately, Rhine had some experiences along the way that were frightening and heart-pounding. I do give Gabriel some credit in these areas, as he FINALLY came around to trying his best to keep her safe when he could. Then he’d turn right back around again to whining about going back, and annoying me again. Haha.
I didn’t hate this sequel. Even though I felt it had that “second book syndrome”, I still found myself flipping the pages to find out what happened next. Ms. DeStefano has a talent for writing vivid detail and realistic, beautiful dialogue. What I was waiting for most through the entire book: Linden. Only to be saddened and not have him appear until toward the end--which left off on an awful cliffhanger yet again. And this time I must actually wait for the next installment. I don’t know how I’ll manage to wait to find out what happens next.
If you’ve read and loved Wither, I still recommend continuing the series! Enjoy!