Genre/Format: Young Adult, Own hardcover, 341 pages
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Last year’s Wither caught my attention; and I’ve been eager to read the sequel for ages now. Wither introduced the bleak future world where young adults are doomed to die much too soon, and our heroine Rhine is taken to be a sister wife for breeding purposes. Fever once again pushes boundaries and delves deeper into the abyss when we get to see the realities of the outside world. This atmospheric installment is gloomier than ever as two of the characters take on an emotional and physically grueling quest. The lavish writing and twists and turns kept my attention even though I sometimes felt drugged-out by Rhine’s headspace. And while I prefer the cover of Wither to Fever, the model’s pose and the accessories on the cover very much fit the mood of the book.
In the middle installment, Rhine and Gabriel go off in search of Rhine’s brother while trying to elude housemaster Vaughn. Rhine is left to ponder if she made the right choice, while she and Gabriel face challenge after challenge. Although I missed the sister wife dynamic and the characters in the mansion, the new setting freshens up the series with new drama, and allows us to get to know Gabriel a little better.
I found the book absorbing, although the situations and dark tone had me taking frequent reading breaks. Lauren DeStefano’s writing is descriptive and lovely and paints a vivid picture of the harsh world. Middle books can sometimes seem like a stalling tactic before the finale, but there were enough reveals and action in this sequel to keep me satisfied. Just when things would start to calm down for Rhine, a new threat would emerge. I left the book feeling that some of the pieces of the puzzle were starting to come together but yet still very much in the dark, if that makes sense. The last 50 or so pages had me riveted to the page.
Rhine becomes an even stronger character through all the trials and tribulations she faces. And even though I was not always a huge fan of Gabriel in Wither, I warmed up to him a little more this time around. Characters new and old appear in Fever, and I’m curious to see if they will intersect in the final installment.
It’s difficult to talk about this book without revealing any spoilers so I have to be vague, but I’ll venture to say if you enjoyed Wither you will like Fever as well. It’s one of my favorite dystopian romance series and I wasn’t disappointed with this sequel. It left me with an appetite to re-read Wither, which I’m likely to do before the last book of the series (title TBA) drops in April 2013.