Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Time is running out for Rhine.

With less than three years left until the virus claims her life, Rhine is desperate for answers.  Having escaped torment at Vaughn's mansion, she finds respite in the dilapidated home of her husband's uncle, an eccentric inventor who hates Vaughn almost as much as Rhine does.

Rhine determination to be reunited with her twin brother, Rowan, increases as each day brings terrifying revelations to light about his involvement in an underground resistance.  She realizes she must find  him before he destroys the one thing they have left: hope.

Sever is the last book in The Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano.  I read the conclusion of Rhine's tale in a day and, like the other two books that proceeded Sever, I was pleasantly surprised with the events that unfolded.

I enjoyed reading Sever and couldn't put it down.  Linden and Cecily feature more prominently, helping Rhine to finally find her twin brother, and the introduction of Vaughn's brother Reed and his house of assorted junk was great. DeStefano's tale has a good momentum, and a somewhat satisfying ending, yet this final book is not flawless. 

Rhine suddenly becomes unwilling to speak her mind, losing some of her back bone towards the end of the story.  She is constantly listing all the reasons why she should tell the truth and then changes her mind, remaining silent and pliable to those who want to use her.  Although, at least she had a spine to begin with, unlike the majority of YA heroines I have come across so far.  Instead much of the character growth is borne out of Rhine's sister wife, Cecily, who becomes less of the annoying red-headed child and proves that she can be a loving mother, devoted wife and a good friend.

For me, the major problem lies in that an important moment in Sever is completely underwritten. For an author who is normally more than adept at conjuring a detailed atmosphere from their words, DeStefano's description for this certain event was unusually vague.  I had to read the passage three times to try and understand what had just occurred.  While I don't expect to be spoon fed with exact and intricate detailing when reading, just a small sentence to explain how would have been much appreciated.

I wasn't expecting to fall in love with The Chemical Garden Trilogy, and I didn't.  However, instead, I found three books that were extremely easy to read and somewhat interesting.  Sometimes that's all I can ask for.

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