Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.
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."
I must admit that it took me a really long time to get into this book (I struggled to get through the first sixty or so pages of this book, I could literally only read ten or so pages a day, and then after having read the first sixty pages I set the book down for about a month or two before picking it up once again)- something that is quite unheard of for me. The main reason why I struggled through the first bit of this book was because I found that it didn't jive whatsoever with the world that we had come to know and love (errrrr.... perhaps "love" is not the best word to use when describing a world in which young girls are forced into polygamous marriages and die in their early twenties ;) ) in "Wither", the first book in the series. However, once I was able to get past the first sixty pages, I found that the book was a lot more manageable and I was able to read the remainder of the book within a couple of hours.
There were a number of things that irked me about "Wither" (for instance, did Rhine and Gabriel technically have a relationship, Rhine didn't give Gabriel a choice in running away, etc.) and I very much appreciated and was quite surprised by the fact that this book addressed almost every single problem that I had had (it gave me a new found respect of everything that went down in "Wither", not to mention a different perspective). Furthermore, I did quite like a few of the newly introduced characters (Maddie especially) and the reintroduction of old characters (old characters who I frankly didn't think we would ever see again).
That being said, while I quite liked all of my burning questions being answered in this book and the introduction of new characters, I was overall quite a bit disappointed by the plot of this book overall. I felt that very little was accomplished in this book- that the plot was a vicious circle of sorts and that Rhine and Gabriel ended up exactly where they started. Furthermore, I felt that the big reveal (the big reveal surrounding Vaughn and Rhine) was almost too far "out there", that nothing in "Wither" led up/ gave any indication that that was going to happen (that it very much came out of left field). Also, (as I have mentioned numerous times) I personally quite dislike it when a character fades in and out of consciousness throughout the book as I find that it makes the plot unnecessarily convoluted (I mean, how do you know what is real?) and therefore I disliked that that happened with Rhine.
All in all, while I did not enjoy this book near as much as I enjoyed its predecessor, I will still read the last book in this trilogy. Here's hoping that it will be just as good, if not better than, the original!
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.