Summary: 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.
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: I purchased a hardcover
Sever was extremely good. I absolutely loved it and I think it’s the best book in The Chemical Garden trilogy. The series grew quite a bit from start to finish and I think the author shines the most in the third novel. Books one and two were jumbled and less connected, but three really brought everything together and there were reasons for everything that happened. Sever was so good and so much better than the first two in the trilogy. I’d tell people to skip books 1 and 2 if the background and character building weren’t so important. So instead, I’d tell people to keep reading. I promise it’s worth it.
Finally, Sever dealt with the loose ends. Fever felt like such a break from everything that happened in the first book. While the events in Fever were important, they were less important to the overall story. Sever picked back up with the motivations of Vaughn, the science and the cure, the strange marriage, the fate of Rhine’s brother, and other significant things. I loved the growth of the all of the characters and the way time and circumstances changed them.
Reed, Linden’s uncle, was a new and refreshing character. He made me laugh and was so crucial to Rhine’s well being. I felt like he understood people. Rhine needed someone to care about her well being and stop her from being so impulsive. Cecily shined so much in Sever and became a very likable character. Even Linden showed some promise and seemed less.. wilted. Gabriel, however, was nowhere to be seen. I’m starting to think the author couldn’t keep them together in the same story for very long without issue. It’s weird how one of present or the other, but never both.
Sever got my pulse racing, my jaw dropping, and my heart aching. It was beautiful, adventurous, smart, and horrifying.
Of course, the fact that Sever was so good made it bad at the same time. Why does the plot seem to come together now? Why does the discovery of the project that the series is named for not get revealed until book three? Why are we even touching on the science now? Why not earlier? Why do the characters grow into people that do something other than go through the motions of mansion life in this book and what took them so long? Why is the connection to Madame’s circus take so long to happen? Why does everything come around full circle? And why does everything work out in the end just how Vaughn would have wanted it and why is that the ending that isn’t horrible? I like the trilogy. I like the characters, the events, the premise… everything. But as far as being a coherent and well executed story from start to finish? It kind of fails. It doesn’t make sense. And the premise, even though I do like it, has more issues than I care to even think about. It’s like… I just wish this was put together better. It’s like a beautiful jagged painting that I just want to be smoothed out.
I love the author’s writing and character building. There is no doubt that The Chemical Garden trilogy is beautiful and well written. I highly recommend it and I am glad I read it. It’s just that I’ll still have a few issues when the overall execution and the plot holes. I love the way the author writes, so I’m very glad I got to read Perfect Ruin and I’m looking forward to the continuation of that series.