Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Title : Sever
Author : Lauren DeStefano
Genre : Dystopian
Published Date : February 12nd 2013
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages : 371
Source : Bought
Rating : ✿✿✿✿

From Goodreads :
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.


While the first book Wither was really amazing, I really can't say the same for its sequel Fever. It was honestly a disappointment, and it clearly had that second-book-syndrome. However, while I'm still curious about Rhine's problem with her only 20 years lifespan, and also the never-ending Vaughn's threats in her life, I decided to continue with Sever to find out.

“I try to hate you. I’m trying right now.”

Sever began as Rhine was once again in the grasp of Vaughn and she just learned that her brother was well and alive, and was now leading a terror bomb attack to research institutes all across the state. And that he thought she was dead.
But when hunting down her brother to make him stop the bombing led Rhine to the truth about the virus, her past, and the connections between them all, will she be able to make her decision?

From the plot line, it was slightly improving compared to Fever. It still felt plot-driven, but on some points, I began to feel that the character's personality played their part on the story too. The characters were even more glowing as well, and the side characters which were previously a bit undeveloped, really showed their true personality here. We also get to see a glimpse of Vaughn's humanity as well, as well as other characters.

Rhine Ellery, our main protagonist, was still the same as previously. And that, while a constant personality was nice, it was at the same time not really nice if it's too constant. And that exactly what the problem was with Rhine. She was still a strong, wise, and independent girl from before, and yet she didn't really changed at all, and if not for the recently-shining side characters, I would've probably put this down simply because Rhine is too still and said things all too matter-of-factly.
One character I found really interesting was, surprisingly, Linden Ashby. His characteristic was so developed and really brand-new compared to when he first make appearance, yet still stayed true to his initial traits. He also manage to show his seemingly-dependable character when talking to Rhine about believing his father ill-nature, yet also showed his weak and naïve personality, which were caused by the reclusive way he grew up in. His characteristic was very layered and have a nice depth, and overall he was really easy to portrayed as well as three-dimensional.
Cecily, Rhine's sister wife, was really growing too in this book, and it's a nice surprise that I actually became her fan, where in book one, I really just want her and her whiny-annoying-irritating personality—while it was actually unique and something totally her—to just die and go away. From one incident that nearly cost her life, she underwent a major personality change and became braver, wiser, and more daring. It's really lovely to see that her change flowed well and felt really natural, and now that I looked back, her god-awful personality from before really portrayed her childish 14-year-old attitude as well.
Vaughn Ashby, finally, took up some white and became a shade lighter than he was before—all black personality and honestly boring. He was shown to be more human here, and finally again, we get to see what fueled his madness for discovering the cure. What made him to be so obsessed with it. And with him being a little more human, I could finally see the reason behind his action, and understand that it come from somewhere inside him, not just a way to propelled the story.

The things that I still dislike from this book was—still and not changing—the romantic chemistry between Rhine and Gabriel. If I felt it was real enough, I would obviously care about what happened to Gabriel, and what would become of their relationship? And yet, I don't. Which showed just enough how much the chemistry between them are. None.
And when there's no chemistry, it also became quite hard for me to understand why would Rhine do things for Gabriel's sake? 
And in the end, the missing romance between them made me just thought 'The story must go on, so yeah, Rhine has to do it'.
I also don't really like how every single problem in this book was somehow connected to Vaughn. When something happened, Vaughn was involved. When someone goes missing, Vaughn was involved. And when someone died, of course like obviously, Vaughn was involved. It seemed that wherever we turned, we were served by Vaughn-induced problem, and it was just like, was Rhine's world consisted of only her and Vaughn? And Vaughn and Vaughn again? Geez.

Overall, Sever did give us a satisfying conclusion to The Chemical Garden trilogy as its stunning finale. While it was still a bit lacking from some aspects, it was done nicely enough, and really worth the read. If you love dystopian story, and would love to read something new, I recommend you this one. Although the second book wasn't quite good, the first was absolutely amazing, and the third was great to conclude it all.

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  1. Wither was an okay novel for me but when I tried to read the sequel I couldn't finish it. Good to know this one was an adequate conclusion to the series, though. Glad you were happy with it!

  2. I loved Wither but I was also disappointed with Fever. I agree, the chemistry between Rhine and Gabriel was almost non-existent to me. I haven't gotten to Sever yet -- it's on my shelf, I've just been putting it off. Glad to hear this was a satisfying conclusion.

  3. I have been meaning to pick these books up for a while now but I just haven't gotten around to them yet. The whole idea really intrigues me. Great review.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  4. Oh, I really love the covers of these books, but I'm not sure if I really love the story, I just read Wither, and I liked it, but I still haven't read the others!
    Great review, though, glad you liked it!

    Lis @ The reader lines


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