Published February 12th, 2013
With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.I've had this one on my shelves for a few months now, and I knew it was time to pick it up since I'm working on finishing off some of my series. I've really enjoyed the Chemical Garden books, this particular installation being no exception. Plenty of character growth and even some hope and secrets finally revealed take place in this final book, it was definitely a great conclusion to the series.
Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.
In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.
We start off where the 2nd book left off, with Rhine recently rescued from the experimental hell of Vaughn's dark and dreary basement. Linden is a bit weary of her, not quite believing the terrible things his father has done to her. As time wears on she slowly acquires his trust again, securing faith in him. Cecily is a main character as usual, pregnant again so soon after birthing small Bowen. The pregnancy proves difficult and disastrous, almost killing her in the end.
It was interesting to see how much Cecily had grown as a character. In previous books she was childish, whiny and naive, but still lovable. She's grown a lot and become stronger for the benefit of her child, no longer the little girl she once was. Linden gradually grows as well, realizing that his father may have ulterior motives at times, his growth leading him to seeking bursts of freedom. Rhine has grown as well, gathering some hope from the dark recesses of the world she's living in. At times she even begins to see Vaughn as a person, though a slightly deranged one.
We get to know Rowan, who wasn't at all what I was expecting. Another new character introduced is Vaughn's eccentric brother, Reed, who was quirky and wise, the perfect role model for Linden. He does his best to keep his brother in control, all while keeping the rest of the characters safe. I liked how he had more knowledge of the world than others, you could tell he knew the truth about the virus and the rest of the countries of the world.
Sever was a story full of hope, grief, and mysteries gradually unveiled. The ending was perfect for me, leaving things happy but a bit open ended for interpretation. As usual Lauren Destefano's writing style was poetic and engaging. I'll be sure to read her upcoming series!