Saturday, August 18, 2012
Rhine and Gabriel successfully escaped the mansion that held them both prisoner: Rhine as an unwilling bride and Gabriel as a servant. They thought the hardest part was over, but their hardships are truly just beginning. Rhine is determined to find her twin brother in Manhattan, but on the way, they encounter terrible situation after terrible situation, starting with almost immediately being abducted and forced to work at a brothel where both Rhine and Gabriel must bide their time until they can escape. Through all their misadventures, Rhine is getting more and more sick. Can Rhine and Gabriel cure Rhine of her mystery illness and find Rhine's brother?
Fever is an odd book and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I enjoyed the grittiness and the themes of a darker, more adult nature and the writing in general. Our characters dealt with issues such as prostitution, sexual assault, drug addiction, poverty, and polygamy. This book was much more bleak than the first because, instead of showing how the very privileged rich people lived, it showed the post-apocalyptic real world. The ramifications of war and global warming on our world are explored in detail. The only outside world focus in the previous book was the idealized version that Gabriel and Rhine yearned for in their gilded cage, so it was nice to see how it was really like. The writing drew me in and kept my interest as it did in the first book, but I felt that the novel didn't really go anywhere until the very end.
On the other hand, the book was very uneven in more ways than one. The pacing is horrible and the entire book felt very static. The entire first situation is identical to that of the first book: they are stuck in a place where they bide their time and play nice until they can escape. I already read that book. Please move on. The world building is kind of wonky. There is no middle ground in this world at all; there are just super rich people, super poor people, and criminals. That's all. It feels a little simplistic to me. The way women are treated is kind of weird. Since they die a few years younger than men, they should be treated a little better than trash to be killed at a moments notice, especially when the government is encouraging people to procreate to prevent humanity from dying out. The danger aspect is also very uneven. One minute Rhine can't walk down the street without being kidnapped and the next things are fairly normal. If things had been a little less to the extreme one way or the other, I think it would have been better.
Fever is a weird feeling book that falls into the snare of the second book in a trilogy. It basically sets up for the next book and not much else. The writing was still delightful and I enjoyed the book in general, but a lot more things got on my nerves here. I am looking forward to the next book, even if Rhine's brother sounds like a controlling tool.
My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins
Read as part of Dystopian August at Presenting Lenore.