Monday, March 26, 2012

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Spoilers for book one in the series, Wither, ahead! Seriously, don't even read the book description if you haven't read book one.

[description from goodreads]

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 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.

I wasn't enamored by Wither, but I liked it enough to give Fever a try.  My memories of Wither are a bit fuzzy, but I have to say I like it better than Fever even though there are parts of this book I really love.

But, let's start with the positives. Fever doesn't suffer from a slow beginning-- on the contrary, Rhine and Gabriel reach their first huge obstacle almost instantly. This fast start caught my attention, but what was more captivating was the creepy carnival setting. Shady carnivals are some of my favorite things, and Fever has by far one of the most twisted I've read about. The inhabitants are so colorful, so desolate, and in the case of some, so cruel that even when Rhine seems to have found a moment of peace, there is always a sense of danger lurking the background. The danger intensifies as Rhine and Gabriel continue their journey, for they encounter so many new places and people that it's impossible to tell who and where is safe for the pair.

However, despite the action and wonderful settings, I never saw what Fever's role in moving the trilogy along was until the end. There were immediate conflicts that Rhine and Gabriel needed to deal with, but the overarching issue of the series was not something I could even pinpoint. Although there is plenty of action, it often seemed to me like the pair were just killing time until the threat of Vaughn and Rhine's past reemerged. This wandering wouldn't have been quite as annoying had the pair developed at all-- or, rather, if Gabriel did. Rhine grows in strength because of all her hardships, but even in times of trouble Gabriel seemed more robotic and lazy than anything, and thus I couldn't see why Rhine was still in love with him.

A lot of the action seems superfluous because it doesn't always relate to the series' overarching conflicts, but Fever is still an exciting, well-written read with an ending that will definitely make me pick up the sequel.

Book details: Simon & Schuster/Hardcover/$17.99

Source: sent by publisher for review


  1. I agree, the creepy carnival was definitely one of the highlights of Fever! I too was unimpressed by Gabriel here – I wasn't a fan of him in the first one and Fever did not change my mind. I find Linden to be a much more interesting character! I hope he figures more prominently in book 3.

  2. The first book didn't blow me away, but I've heard mixed things about Fever. The "creepy carnival setting" sounds really interesting, but I hate to hear that the story doesn't really progress and Gabriel remains lethargic.

  3. I may be different from the rest, but to me the book was pretty good 5/6 of the way through. I always hated Linden and everyone in the house with a passion, except for Gabriel and Jenna(R.I.P) of course. The last parts of Fever really angered me. Not sure If I want to read the sequel now. :/

  4. Bought this book for my significant other. She blew through it in less than a week. Great buy for an avid reader!

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