Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Review: Wither- Lauren DeStefano

Title:Wither (Book 1 Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: 04/08/2011
Genre:Dystopian
Rating: 5/5

What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb – males only live to age twenty-five and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape – to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

What brought me to Wither was the dystopian genre. With such a "controversial" concept their was no way I could put it down. What I first loved about this novel is that we are taken on an exciting journey from the very first page when the main character, Rhine, is being kidnapped and taken away from her twin brother. 
Rhine lives in a world lost of hope. Due to a dangerous and unknown virus men and women are dying young and because of this virus many are trying to find a cure while some are resigned to their fates. Rhine is sold to Linden, as one of three wives for the purpose of bearing his children. House master Vaughn is one of those looking for a cure yet he isn't afraid to use unconventional methods which you will find out later on in the book. Housemaster Vaughn is a truly frightening character. I love the way DeStefano describes him as cold hearted and manipulative. He is the cause of much death and is the main source of fear in the mansion.
  
Their is a reoccurring theme of polygamy in this novel which was interesting and unique to read. Linden has three wives, Rhine (his favorite) Jenna and young Cecily. The sisterhood developed between these "sister wives" is touching as they become closer as time passes. Cecily who is 14 years old becomes the first wife to bear Linden's child.
As a big fan of love triangles I enjoyed Rhine's constant battle between Linden and Gabriel. Although the romance aspect took a back seat in the novel I was still sitting at the edge of my bed waiting to see if she runs of with the servant Gabriel or stays with Kind Linden who really does love her.

Lauren Destefano's writing in Wither is beautiful. From the vivid description of the dresses worn to the holograms shown. You connect on a deep level with each and every character from Linden who morns his dead wife to Rhine who is torn between staying in the mansion with her sisters and Linden and leaving with Gabriel to go find her brother.

95% of the story is set in the mansion where Linden lives with his wives and his father. At some points of the book I felt that not much was going on and some parts were "dragged" out a little too much. Regardless I was captivated by the plot and the imagery used is just wonderful and you almost feel like you are living in this world feeling the emotions all these characters. I can't contain my excitement for Fever the sequel which is out next year.

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