Official Stuff –
Author – Lauren DeStefano
Pages – 384
Series – The Chemical Garden Trilogy
Publisher – Simon and Schuster
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.
My Rating – 4 Stars
If you are unfamiliar with this series, The Chemical Garden trilogy is a dystopian young adult series, set in a world where in hope of creating perfect children and eradicating illnesses like cancer, they messed up and now females don’t live past their 20th birthday and males don’t live past their 25th birthday.
So the population doesn’t die out, people are still marrying and producing children. And marrying they do, it’s not uncommon for a man to have several wives. Often these wives are collected by Gatherers, people that kidnap women and sell them off to be married. Rhine has been kidnapped and sold off to become one of the three wives for a man named Linden, who lives in a mansion with beautiful grounds. However his father is creepy and cruel and Rhine is not obedient at all.
When we last left Rhine, at the end of Fever, she had escaped Vaughn’s basement of nightmares and watched her twin brother, Rowan, take credit for the bombing of a research lab. Still recovering from whatever Vaughn did to her, Linden offers to take her to his uncle Reed’s house, a place Vaughn is likely to leave her be. At Reed’s house she can rest until she’s healthy enough to search for her brother and Gabriel.
Though she will desperately miss her, Rhine is ready to say goodbye to her sister wife, Cecily and begin that journey for Rowan. But Cecily won’t let go and Linden does was Cecily wants. Even if that means helping the wife that left him. Linden doesn’t want to believe the horrible things Rhine tells him about his father. He is just as weak and spineless as ever, though he does have one brief moment of courage where he stands up to his father.
Vaughn, being the evil bastard he is, doesn’t let things go of course. Cecily’s life is risked, Linden can’t escape. They are on the run, where they meet the Madam. They learn more about Rose, Linden’s first wife.
Finally we meet Rowan. He’s been busy starting a revolution, bombing hospitals and labs, thinking his twin is dead. And you’ll never guess who is helping him.
Rowan and Rhine together learn some disturbing things about themselves and their parents. They also discover just how much Vaughn has been interfering with their lives. They are some seriously important twins.
I loved this book. The writing is beautiful as always. So dreamlike and melancholy. Vaughn’s reasoning for being such a monster is explained though it’s definitely not a forgivable reason. Cecily isn’t as annoyingly frustrating in this book; she finally, finally redeems herself for betraying Rhine and Jenna. Gabriel is absent through most of the book and in Rhine’s quest to find her brother and escape Vaughn once and for all, it seems as though he’s been forgotten but he floats in the back of her head.
The issues I have with this book are minor. The lack of Gabriel and the two character deaths. The both seem rather abrupt, though I was expecting one. The other seemed a bit unnecessary. The ending was vague, though fitting for this particular series.
Now that this series is complete, I highly recommend checking it out.