Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 21 February 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format: hardcover, library copy
Status: Book 2 of The Chemical Garden series
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.
Fever starts right back up after Rhine and Gabriel escaped the mansion. Their escape relief is short lived when they fall into the clutches of Madame.
Madame is a paranoid first gen who runs a brothel in South Carolina. she renames all of her girls after colours. Rhine becomes “Goldenrod.”
Lilac is one of her best girls and is assigned to watch over Rhine. She also helps watch over Gabriel. Lilac also has a malformed daughter, Maddie. Madame despises Maddie who is fiercely protective of her mother and bites the clients.
Madame turns Rhine and Gabriel into a perverse things-you-can’t-have act where people watch them together in a drug induced state and “trapped” in a cage. Madame loves the idea that she’s taking advantage of their love. She thinks love is useless.
Vaughn somehow finds them and they manage to escape. Lilac uses herself as a distraction as Rhine and Gabriel escape over the fence with an injured Maddie in tow. The agony of Lilac allowing her daughter to disappear with strangers ripped my heart out. She knew that no matter what, Rhine would keep Maddie safe. She knew as long as Maddie was safe, she could go on. The trio flees until they reach Manhattan.
The search for Rowan comes to naught. Rhine is destroyed that she has come so far and her brother is no where to be found. They follow an address in Maddie’s book and meet Lilac’s mother who runs and orphanage. They decide to lend a hand and stay while Rhine comes up with another plan. Maddie makes friends with another girl and quickly and happily adjusts.
Their happiness is short lived because Rhine starts falling ill and they don’t know what’s causing it. She keeps getting sicker. Suddenly, Housemaster Vaughn shows up. To save Gabriel, she agrees to return to Florida.
Fever definitely doesn’t disappoint as book two in a series. I wasn’t disappointed in any single way. The action, the feels, the drama, everything. Lauren DeStefano does a fantastic job keeping you on your toes every step of the way. It left me extremely anxious to jump right into Sever. I was so happy that I’d had the foresight to carry it with me to Virginia!