I'll admit this book wasn't as exciting as the previous one, Fever. It got off to a slow start, but then, all of a sudden, I was hooked. I think Sever is by far the most interesting book in the series. There are so many bombs dropped--literally and figuratively. I accidentally read a few spoilers beforehand, but I was still shocked when certain events took place.
Sever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano Book Reviews
Another thing that I really liked about this one was that we were finally offered an explanation into the dystopian world and Vaughn's mind. I'll be honest, the worldbuilding isn't flawless. It's not all that intricate, and there are holes, but I found it sufficient enough. There were no glaring errors that got on my nerves or anything. Then again, worldbuilding is not really my focus when I'm reading. This is also the first book in the series in which I felt a real emotional connection. I actually cried a little in this book!
In the past two, I had a hard time feeling connected to any of the characters, but something shifted in this book. Gabriel was basically not in the book, and I have to say, I didn't miss him at all his ending is one of the only ones I'm not particularly fond of. I did, however, really enjoy Linden's presence in the novel. I wasn't exactly sure how to feel about him before this novel, but he really won my heart in Sever.
He was going through a lot and he had a hard time processing the reality of the world he lives in. But the way he cared for Cecily and Rhine, even though she wronged him in so many ways, was adorable. I can't say any more on my feelings about Linden without revealing spoilers, but know that I loved him. We get to know two new characters in this novel, both of whom I enjoyed. It took two and a half books but finally it happened. We got to meet twin brother Rowan in the flesh. Some people didn't like him, but I did. The way he interacted with Rhine just made my heart happy. Maybe it's because I have always been super close with my brother, but I just adored how much he obviously cared for his sister.
Then there is Reed, Vaughn's way less maniacal brother. I loved him a lot too. He is a unique one, that's for sure. Maybe he isn't great with people, I could tell how much he ended up caring about Rhine, Cecily, Bowen, and of course Linden. I wish we got to know him a little better, but I loved the way this story ended for him. Everyone grew so much over the course of the series. She has come so far from the first novel, and I hate the she had to experience so much tragedy and was forced to grow up so quickly, but she is such a dynamic character and never dull to read.
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Rhine is so much stronger and much more independent. In this final novel, I felt like I finally connected to her. She finally let herself feel something other than sorry for herself. I'm so glad I read this series. With beautiful, gorgeous, completely stunning writing, and a seemingly hopeless world, DeStefano has gifted us a dystopian story that stands out from the rest of the pack.
I really enjoyed this final installment. I didn't like everything that happened in it, but I think it ended the way it needed to, and it left me with a fluttery feeling as I closed the book. I'll miss these characters and this world. It was a good run, and I can't wait to read anything else DeStefano graces us with. Read this on my blog! After recovering in the hospital, Rhine goes to Lindens uncle Reed's house.
I really enjoyed this character, and I thought Destefano did a good job showing how much polar opposites Reed and Vaughn were compared to each other. Rhine continues the search for her brother, Rowan, before something happens to him because of his reckless behavior, and later for her search for Gabriel. Cecily did alot of growing up in this book, and I was happy to finally really witness her character fully develop. You also learn more about Rhine and Rowans parents which I thought was interesting and well put.
I also liked how in the end, you are left to decide whether Rhine's parents and Vaughn were justified in their actions. That was still a tough decision for me because of the cruel nature of the experiments done by Vaughn You also learn more about Madame, who is another character who will also puzzle you in the end in whether she is cruel or just sad about her daughter.
Destefano did a marvelous job in intertwining all of the characters to each other and in creating a world that is unique and original, one that can never be created no matter how hard someone tries. I finished this book very quickly because I was desperate to find out what happened but not desperate to end.
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I would have ended quicker but I kept stalling because I didn't want to say goodbye. The ending was very well said and not over done. I liked how no one had babies any more than they had or got married Rhine is ultimately a character I will never forget, from her name, to her eyes, to her incredible strength on the inside that she has inside herself.
It was truly a fantastic book, and an even better series, one that I was glad to read.
Destefano is an artist with her words and from within her mind she creates a world so beautiful and heart-wrenching, that the praise I give it will not ever do justice. Having loved Wither and having been disappointed by Fever, with Sever I was hoping that Lauren DeStefano would redeem her trilogy for me, by concluding it with the sense of wonder and hope I had been given with Wither. Considering that lacklustre world-building was a common complaint from readers of both Wither and Fever, it was about time that the issue was finally adressed in Sever.
Unfortunately for Sever, while the characters I missed the most from Fever Cecily and Linden are back, everyone is stuck in a bleak and dreary place, making for a very stagnant and tiring read. Linden is trying his hardest to be angry with Rhine, to hate her, so he spends much of Sever blank-faced as he works through reconciling his head with his heart.
As for Rhine, she talked — a lot — about her great plan of finding her brother, but most of what she experiences is something that is forced on her, or something that someone makes her do. She was very much a passive force in Sever, and even her voice became one of hopelessness and defeat. But in Sever, Vaughan is just as tired as the rest of the characters.
He gives a rather logical explanation for most of his behaviour, shedding new light on his seemingly diabolical plans, which made his scheming, somehow, much less ominous. So why is Sever getting two stars, instead of just one? Because despite its faults, I still read it in just one sitting.
So it obviously had something going for it that I enjoyed enough to make sure it got read. It is always bittersweet finishing a series. There is this feeling of depression that you won't be with the characters you've came to love, rooted for, and swooned over. There is also, at least for me, a feeling of accomplishment and closure provided that the author delivers.
And Lauren definitely delivered in Sever. I got caught right back up into Rhine's world. Cecily is grown so much, and it was quite a journey in Sever to see her develop so much more. She is such a unique type of character, and I can't really describe how reading about her has effected me.
The Chemical Garden Series Books 1-3: Wither, Fever, Sever
She has some heartbreaking scenes in this one, and I didn't know how I would handle it. Linden is as sweet and generous as ever, if still blinded to what is around him, but luckily the women around him and Reed, his uncle who I adored by the way, help to make him see the world and his father the way it really is. I love Reed's inventive and curious nature, as well as appreciating him offering his house and protection. The conversations he had with Rhine were great, and I loved his teasing nature.
I wasn't expecting him as a character, but he turned out to be great. Rhine's search for her brother, and figure out the truth or not about what he is saying. She wants to show Rowan that she is alive, and also get some of the answers that he seems to hold about her past, and hopefully the hope that they cling to for their future. I flew through this and did not want to put it down to eat or sleep, and did so only reluctantly. The characters are beautifully written and captivating. Rhine's emotions and motivations are easy to relate to. Partials Partials, Book 1.
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