36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) (Hardcover)
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Every now and then, I try reading a new author and hit pay dirt. This was definitely one of those times. This book keep me turning pages until the end and I don't think it gets any better then that when reading.
The opening quote by T.S. Eliot ("This is the way the world ends not with a bang but a whimper.") is a very fitting start to this story of a dystopian future. A future that is not so far away and could happen. The first paragraph is chilling and the author certainly has a way with words ("They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids"). Seventy years ago, scientists engineered super embryos that became favored over the old fashioned method of having your own. This was done to help society as the population was decimated by cancer but of course there was a price to pay. The first generation of super embryos were fine but all of their offspring have a life expectancy of 20 (females) to 25 (males). Science running amuck is nothing new and has been done plenty of times before (Logan's Run) but this author succeeds in making it fresh. Our heroine's world is much darker than any Hollywood movie.
I liked how the characters and situations in this story were not simply good or bad but various shades of grey. Housemaster Vaughn is a villain but the purpose behind his horrific acts is to find a cure, an ends justifies the means kind of guy. Even though Rhine was forced to become part of a polygamous lifestyle, she uses Linden to make her own life more comfortable. It was interesting to see how inner morals either bend or break when survival is at stake.
There isn't much of a love triangle between Rhine, Linden and Gabriel in the usual sense but that's a good thing. This book does not follow the usual formula used in popular YA novels a la The Twilight Saga Complete Collection but comes closer to the originality found in Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset. Suzanne Collins' trilogy ranks higher in my view but Lauren DeStefano has made a good start. Although there were some holes, I was drawn into the fictional world created by this author and that takes skill.
The author ends the story on a journey with a hint of what lies ahead. "Wither" is the first book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy and is recommended for 14+ but does deal with polygamy and sexual situations. I would caution adults not to write this book off because it is aimed at the YA set.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 7, 2011 8:17:27 PM PDT
Rose Lucidi says:
Where can I find the other books in the Trilogy?
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2011 5:49:19 PM PDT
Margaux Paschke says:
They have not been published yet. I wonder how long we'll have to wait.
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