Author: Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Rhine has escaped the mansion with Gabriel, but they haven't outrun the danger. In the outside world, they encounter a landscape as mysterious and threatening as the one they left behind, a twisted carnival run by a ruthless madame who looks to add Rhine to her menagerie of girls. Despite the perils, Rhine is desperate to get back to Manhattan to find her brother Rowan. Even worse is the fact that they can't seem to elude Rhine's father-in-law Vaughn, who is determined to bring her back to the mansion by any means necessary.
This book scared me so much more than Wither did. It was mysterious, haunting, surrounded by danger. I kept imaging Rhine and Gabriel walking blindly across a mine field, hoping to make it across without tripping an explosion.
When they reach the carnival with its retched ringmistress and her harem full of young girls forced into prostitution, Rhine seems to trade one prison for another, as much of an accident as it is. They were on the run, looking for somewhere to hide and to plan, it wasn't their fault they ended up at this creepy carnival.
Fever is a glimpse of the darker side of the world Lauren DeStefano introduced us to in Wither. First, she gave us the Gatherers and their vans shipping young girls off to be wives for young husbands, polygamous marriages and sister wives, luxury and comfort and a safe but dangerous cage with walls made of eyes and ears. Now, she gives us a dangerous carnival with a ruthless madame, young girls trapped in a life of prostitution, and an even more dismal future.
But Rhine's strength is still there, still alive in her heart as she struggles to continue the search for her brother. In Fever, there are more questions of choice and survival, more hope but also more fear, more speculation over whether or not love and freedom are worth the struggle, worth dying for, worth searching for in a world slowly decaying from the ground up.
This book frightens me more than the first. Dark, deadly, dangerous. Mysterious and haunting, Fever is a dark look at a ravaged future brought down by disease and genetics and the evilness that comes out in people. The need to survive, no matter the cost, no matter the pain, no matter the lack of morals or human decency.
Like Wither, it shook me to my soul, the glimpse of such a dismal and dangerous future almost too much for me to bear. Like Wither, it always surprised me and never failed to disappoint me. And like Wither, it showed me once again that Lauren DeStefano will be an author to watch out for in the future.
(I borrowed an advance copy of this book from another book blogger, and then she said I could keep it.)