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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

This sequel to Wither (2011), set in a futuristic society, continues Rhine's first-person account as she flees a forced marriage and, accompanied by faithful servant Gabriel (who also loves her), heads to New York to find her twin brother. The trip is eventful, from a brief (sexless) stint in a prostitution ring that leaves Rhine tending someone else's love child, to being subjected to extensive medical testing by her vengeful father-in-law. A certain lack of energy and a bleak tone drag the plot, even in situations where characters' lives hang in the balance, but DeStefano's rich use of language helps set this dystopian tale apart. Readers will be able to follow Rhine's story without reading the first book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy, but the references to her foreshortened lifespan and the depth of her father-in-law's intentions lose some of their urgency without that background information. Try this with Ilsa J. Bick's Ashes (2011) or, for the prose, Alice Hoffman's Green Angel (2003). HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The publisher's extensive marketing strategy will ramp up buzz with exclusive downloadable content, a video trailer, and wide-ranging promotional efforts.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Wither (2011) never heat up in this, the second novel in the dystopian Chemical Garden Trilogy. Having recently escaped the compound where she was forced to marry, take on sister wives and ultimately become her evil father-in-law Vaughn's scientific experiment in the name of finding a cure for the virus that kills off men and women at a young age, Rhine, along with former servant and love interest Gabriel, finds herself in trouble again. Plotting another escape from a heartless "First Generation" who runs a brothel out of an abandoned carnival site, continuing to evade Vaughn, picking up a malformed and mute girl and trying to find Rhine's twin brother should be adventurous. And finally being able to communicate freely should bring out the intimacy between Rhine and Gabriel. Instead, the repetitive story, filled with too many similar dream sequences and nearly nonstop illnesses, falls flat, and readers may wonder at times if Rhine and Gabriel even like each other. Their constant running and hiding overshadow the interesting questions about the ethics of science, relationships, sexuality and power raised in the first book. Readers who want to know more about the causes and effects of the mysterious virus will have to wait for the third installment, purposefully set up by another rushed ending. (Dystopian romance. 14 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
The New York Times bestselling sequel to Wither reveals a world as captivating--and as treacherous--as the one Rhine left behind. <br> <br> Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but they're still in danger. Outside, they find a world even more disquieting than the one they ran away from. Determined to get to Manhattan and find Rhine's twin brother, Rowan, the two press forward, amid threats of being captured again...or worse.<br> <br> The road they are on is long and perilous--and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and men die at age twenty-five, time is precious. In this 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.
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