The Chemical Garden trilogy has crawled it's way very near to the top of my list of favourite books.
I find the entire setting of it completely fascinating.
A virus that causes women to die at 20 and men to die at 25.
Girls being 'Gathered' and sold as brides or slaves.
Let's talk characters.
I'll start by talking about Rhine.
She's an incredibly brave girl, and in the first two novels, she goes an extreme amount, only to end up again in the evil clutches of Housemaster Vaughn - Though in this final installment, we find ourselves questioning our opinions of him slightly.
She's a character I can really believe in. All she wants to do is be reunited with her family, though everything that she's done to get to that point has demanded extreme effort.
Rowan: I find it very hard to believe that Rhine what not tell her brother of all the atrocities to Vaughn was responsible for. Especially the second it appears the two of them seemed to be allies. It didn't really seem to take to much to Rowan, I would have like more character depth to him, considering he's the whole reason Rhine refused to kept a prisoner wife.
Cecily: At first the stupid girl who didn't really understand the world she was in. But by this book, she really does come into her own and I grew to very much like her character.
Reed: Maybe the greatest thing about this entire book.
Gabriel: Well is there any point even mentioning him?
Linden: I felt somewhat warmer to him as he began to see his father for who he truly was. I was deeply saddened by fate actually.
Can I just say that I really liked the small parts where Madame and her carnival reemerged. I found that whole thing so peculiar and interesting.
Character relationships become so twisted and interweaved that I truly had no idea where this book would be going, and I enjoy when I'm constantly being pushed to think of new options.
Though this series is Lauren DeStefano's first published works, I found her first two books to be mesmerizing, and yet I found this one somewhat lacking what I had felt while reading the previous installments.
I am satisfied with the ended to this trilogy, but I feel like so much more could have been done to make it a truly epic end.
Part of what I really loved about Wither, the first in the series, is Rhine complete desperation to get away, but I found that she didn't really take much charge in this one and followed along with what everyone else wanted.
It actually grieves me to say that I'm giving this book 3 stars. I had ridiculously high hopes for Sever, and feel I've been left with only a half a story.