Sever, by Lauren DeStefano, was published in 2013 by Simon & Schuster. It is the sequel to Fever.
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.
One thing I couldn’t stop thinking about while reading Sever was how empty the world is. I’ve mentioned this before about a few other books and how utterly alone the protagonist and the people around her seem. It gives everything in the book a self-centered, shallow note, unfortunately—Rhine’s world literally revolves only around herself and the people who have conveniently been involved with and connected to her throughout her life, and everyone on the periphery is very quickly introduced and just as quickly put aside.
I found it a bit too unrealistic that everyone Rhine met was connected in some way or another. Vaughn, Madame, Rose…after about the third such revelation I just rolled my eyes. Can’t a stranger ever stay a stranger? Can’t there be just a carnival owner who imprisons and drugs Rhine without there having to be some grand connecting story line?
I also thought the ending was anticlimactic and disappointing. The resolution of the virus was so anticlimactic that I thought it was a trick. And once again, Gabriel shows about as much personality as a wet paper bag, and Linden, the one who Rhine continued to think about and who left much more of an impact (and the one who’s more interesting), is conveniently shoved aside (not that I really wanted Linden with Rhine either, what with the whole polygamy thing). I almost bought Gabriel and Rhine as a couple in Fever, but Sever completely destroyed that, along with the last of my enjoyment of the trilogy.
Recommended Age Range: 14+
Warnings: Implied sex, some graphic imagery.
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
“Can I see your plane?” I ask. “Does it fly?”
He laughs. It’s nothing like Vaughn’s laugh. There’s warmth in it. “You want to see the plane?”
“Sure,” I say. “Why not?”
“No reason not to, I suppose,” he says. “It’s just that no one’s ever asked before.”
“You have an airplane in your shed, and no one has ever asked to see it?” I say.
“Most people don’t know it’s there,” he says. “But I like you, not-Rose. So maybe tomorrow. For now, we have other things to do.”
The Wither trilogy started out promising, but very quickly fell apart in Sever as the poor worldbuilding and lacking romance unraveled the whole thing. I was annoyed with the “everyone Rhine meets is important to her life and if they’re not they’re very quickly gone never to be seen again” plot, and the resolution of the virus is so anticlimactic that I literally could not believe it and thought there was going to be another twist. A disappointing finish to an overall disappointing trilogy.
You can buy this here: http://amzn.to/299eISb