Series: The Chemical Garden #3
Release Date: 12th February 2013
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Synopsis: Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.
With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.
Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.
In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.
Review: After having completely mixed feelings about the second book in this series, I was quite worried about reading Sever. After all Wither was an incredible debut but Fever fell really flat for me, I was hoping Sever would be like Wither. Although it isn’t as good as Wither it is still a superb addition to the series and a perfectly written finale to a beautiful trilogy. I was so glad to have the answers to the questions that have been nagging me since the first novel, and seeing how they will affect Rhine and her friends. Although I did think some things were slightly too easy or exaggerated. It had its flaws but I enjoyed it nevertheless.
The novel begins right where Fever left off; Rhine is in hospital recovering from the horrible things Vaughn did to her. As soon as she is discharged she wishes to go find her brother but Linden will not let her until she is fully recovered. Instead he takes her to his eccentric uncles where she stays for a while. She soon realises that Reed is nothing like his brother and she feels at ease in his copy. She learns more about Vaughn’s childhood and what made him the way he is today. Reed has many things lying about his home and Rhine helps him fix these. Only when she is fully recovered she leaves with Linden and Cecily to find Rowan. The thing is no matter how far they go, her past follows, people she has known both good and bad will resurface. Rhine must find her brother before he does something drastic or before her time runs out.
We get to see Rhine cope more independently in this novel. Before she was either in the house or with Gabriel and here she is left alone with Reed and her mind. Its here she formulates her plan on how to get to her brother and how to stop him before it is too late. Rhine does a lot of thinking in this book and for the first time we see her coming to terms with her short life and the evil Vaughn wants to do to her. She realises that her life will never be safe when Vaughn is alive and I think she comes to terms with this. We see her as a character grow and finally accept the life she is living. She’s still the considerate Rhine we all know from Wither and Fever but she just develops as a character.
I still have so much love for Linden and I like how he separates himself from his father and tries to help Rhine on his own. Cecily is a mother now and she goes through a lot of heartbreak in this novel, I just wanted to give her a hug. Gabriel on the other hand was completely absent from the novel except from the very end and even then he didn’t leave an impression on the reader. Reed was a great addition to the cast and I loved how he played a big part in the finale.
The plot begins quite slowly as pick up where Fever ended and while Rhine is recovering from her injury. But as soon as they leave get to Reed’s things really begin to pick up and it isn’t long until disaster strikes. I was so devastated for Cecily at one part and even now it makes me feel so upset and I just want to hit Vaughn across the face. From there things just get worse so Rhine takes matters into her own hands and decides Rowan is their only hope. Answers begin to be told and secrets are unlocked all while the beautiful prose carries the reader along to the finale.
Sever is a beautifully written finale to a unique series. We soon got all the answers we wanted even if the ending was a bit farfetched and too easily fixed. I just don’t agree with it. Despite this Sever is a good novel but it doesn’t have the magnificence that Wither had. I think Lauren DeStefano is a really promising author and I can’t wait to see what she produces next.