Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: 4/5 Stars
"Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.
The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.
In the 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."~Goodreads
Warning: May Contain Spoilers for Book 1!
- Dystopian Roadtrip!: Rhine and Gabriel travel up the East Coast in a very dystopian "where are we going to sleep tonight and who is going to watch out for kidnappers" kind of way. The come across everything from a brothel circus, to a creepy cafe owner and little old lady who happens to be a psychic. They also gain and adorable and awesome companion who really tugs at the heartstrings, but I won't get into that here. This setup really keeps the plot moving and kept me involved, I wanted to see where they would end up next and whom they would run into.
- Rhine and Gabriel finally get real: One of the things that really bugged me in the last book was that Rhine ran away with Gabriel even when she barely knew him and couldn't possibly be in love with him. I was afraid that this book would continue that trend but I was so wrong. Gabriel acted like a real human being. He spent most of the book, seemingly, questioning whether he should have come at all. The mansion was a beautiful prison, but the real world is hellish. He obviously cared about Rhine but they weren't about to jump into bed with each other. In this book they lean on one another for support while their relationship develops and goes through it's ups and downs. I felt like I liked them more and could relate better.
- Beautifully Grotesque: this book was much grittier than the last and that added to the realism and also made for a much more beautiful narrative about freedom and sacrifice and love.
- Where is Cecily: When I first saw the cover I assumed there would be a bit of Cecily in this book. I really wanted to know what was happening with her and the baby back at the mansion, but unfortunately she plays a minuscule role in this book.
- The Ending: Okay, I'm not going to go into any kind of detail because I don't want to spoil anything, but I was just so mad with how this book ended. First of all, I just felt like it was a bit forced and could have been written in a way that wasn't such a let-down. Second, CLIFFHANGER, seriously? Ugh! I know they make people want to read the next book but they're frustrating as hell. *pout*
I'm so happy that I didn't find this book to be a "middle book" bore. This series keeps getting better and I can't wait to read Sever when it comes out on Feb. 12. Especially after that cliffhanger, I guess it worked then.