Friday, April 19, 2013
Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano
Author: Lauren DeStefano
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.
Sever on Goodreads
This book was dull and nonsensical. I liked the first book in this series, felt a little MEH about the second, but this one is just bad. The storyline meanders along, major revelations are mentioned and then forgotten about, and some "main" characters are compeletly missing.
MAJOR plot spoilers in this review!
The first half of this book is Rhine hanging out at Vaughn's brother Reed's house. She goes there to keep safe and keeps talking about finding her brother, but ends up just hanging out with Reed for page after page after page. Linden and Cecily come visit her, and it's pretty boring. We spend a LOT of time reading about mature Cecily is now (at age 14), how Linden still seems to love Rhine, but also bows to Cecily's every whim, how Rhine has to stay out of Cecily and Linden's marriage, how Linden doesn't believe Rhine that Vaughn is a crazy douchebag, blah blah. I DON'T CARE.
During Rhine's time at Reed's we get one of the most idiotic scenes EVER. For some reason they're all practicing shooting an empty gun. There is this whole scene where Reed is trying to get people's attention... so he fires an empty weapon and Rhine comments about how EVEN WITHOUT A BULLET the sound was still deafening - a loud crack. Ms. DeStefano, I understand you may not know how guns work, but I'd think you would have seen at least ONE movie where someone tries to fire an empty gun and it just clicks. Quietly.
Eventually, Rhine does decide to leave and look for her brother. Then, for some completely random reason, Linden decides to believe Cecily when she says Vaughn is a bad guy, so Linden and Cecily leave their baby with Reed and accompany Rhine. I don't really know WHY they do this, but they do. And they then proceed to go... to the stupid prostitute carnival from book 2. A bunch more boring stuff happens and eventually they move on...
And find Rowan. Because apparently everyone knows what building Rowan is going to bomb next and he even builds a huge podium to give a speech before he blows it up. Even with all that info, the government/police apparently can't stop him from blowing shit up. So Rhine easily finds Rowan, who is apparently BFF's with Vaughn. And Rhine is like, okay, let's go go Hawaii where we find out that apparently the "virus" doesn't exist in the rest of the world. This fact is just sort of said randomly and then NEVER TALKED ABOUT AGAIN.
Seriously?? This seems like a HUGE FUCKING DEAL.
But whatever, guess it doesn't matter.
I'm also curious why, if the government is trying to hide this fact from the citizens of the USA, people are allowed to fly around to Hawaii and visit.
Then Rhine and Rowan both agree to help Vaughn discover a cure, which he discovers, and some other dumb shit happens including Gabriel randomly reappearing at the tail end of the novel (oh yeah, he exists?) and Linden dying in a really random and silly way.
It was just bad. Really bad.
There's been a build up to Rowan for like two and a half books, we get there and he is basically Vaughn's lap dog. He doesn't seem to give a damn that Vaughn kidnapped his sister and forced her into marriage with his son. He doesn't care about anything other than blowing up labs (WHY are we blowing up labs? WHY does Vaughn care about blowing up other people's labs?) and sticking his nose all the way up Vaughn's butt.
We get a whole love story with Gabriel in book 2 that I found a little dull, but it was still a major part of the novel. Gabriel is absent for ALL of Sever except for the very end. He has a tiny handful of lines and I cared about him even less than I did in book 2.
In fact, I couldn't bring myself to care about ANY of the characters.
Rhine was a boring wuss. Linden had no reason to exist other than to cave to his wives' demands. He has absolutely no backbone of his own. Cecily is supposedly so mature this time around, but I just found her slightly less obnoxious than before and even more dull.
Completely awful final installment to the series. If I had known it was going to end this badly, I doubt I would have started it. Any magic from Wither is completely absent here.
1 out of 5 stars.
Link to Kala's review on Goodreads: