Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden #3
Rating: 1.5 / 5 stars
Given the plot of Fever and the potential that the ending of Fever offered, I thought for sure that Sever was going to be better than its predecessor and that it would at least have a chance of being somewhat decent... but I was wrong. If possible, Sever was even worse.
Rhine quickly (and once again) escapes the grasp of the crazy Vaughn, and is determined (once again) to find her brother. In fact, the basic "plot" of Sever is almost identical to Fever, except that Rhine now has Linden and Cecily by her side instead of Gabriel. And while I hate to admit it, the only interesting part of this entire trilogy was when Vaughn was terrorizing and causing harm to the girls. Other than that, the plot of the novels is so bland that it was hard to even focus.
Once again (a common theme from this novel) Rhine finds herself going back and forth and back and forth through a few locations looking for a few people (one still her brother, and one Gabriel again). And the novel has a few shocking twists, one of which is highly coincidental if you ask me (the one involving Rose's past), but other than that it was another lack luster attempt on DeStefano's part to develop a romantic dystopian novel.
Even the returning characters in this novel have lost their charm. Cecily, broken and abused and ultra clingy and needy, is somehow more annoying than she was in Wither when she was begging for attention due to her pregnancy. And Linden is so naive to his father's true intentions that he was actually appalling.
Then DeStefano introduces the concept of the Chemical Gardens for the very first time, even though we are almost through the trilogy. And perhaps she does actually explain them, but I was so bored with the novel by then I was hardly focusing to the minute details. And once the trip to Hawaii comes around, forget it. I had no idea what was going on by that point. Sever felt like DeStefano had gotten a little bored with the love triangle angle after the first two novels as well and thus in Sever attempted to turn the focus back to the dystopian society that motivated all of Vaughn's actions. But by the time she got around to jumbling a half assed plot together, it was already too late and only succeeded in muddling an already hopeless story even more.
Again, perhaps I missed it in my skim reading attempt to get through this novel, but I don't think the true meaning/cause behind the dystopian society, brought forth by whatever caused everyone to drop dead at 20 or 25 was even resolved. So not only was the plot that "carried" through the entire series not well thought out, developed, or delivered, but then to add insult to injury, it was not even brought to a conclusion! Forget it, bah.