Friday, November 8, 2013

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

3/5 Stars
Title: Sever
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 12, 2013

Sever was my least favorite book in the Chemical Garden series. I enjoyed Wither and thought Fever was fantastic, why then did it take me 2 months to read this book? For a long time nothing happened in the story.

The plot in Sever was painfully slow. For the first half of the book Rhine, Linden, and Cecily were just hanging out at Lindens Uncle’s house trying to figure out what to do next. After 100+ pages I set the book aside and would read a couple pages here and there. I didn’t want to force myself to read because I knew it would make me resent the novel. Instead I bided my time and waited for things to happen. Eventually the story did get started.

In Sever we finally get the answers that have been burning throughout the entire series. Is a cure viable? What happened to the rest of the world? Who exactly are Rhine’s parents? What is Rhine’s brother doing? Is Housemaster Vaughn really the villain we love to hate? All are answered and after a very bleak couple books I liked the way the series ended on a positive note. 

Rhine, in this novel, was rather wishy-washy. She had very mixed feelings toward Linden and sent the poor guy mixed messages. Rhine also rarely thought of Gabriel which bothered me. Gabriel wasn’t really in the story at all until the last few pages. Throughout Sever Rhine really never thought about anything but her brother and how to find him. It wasn’t until Rhine finally found her brother that the novel took off and I couldn’t stop reading until the end.

My biggest gripe with Sever was DeStefano’s handling of Linden. I won’t give spoilers but I really thought that boy deserved more after everything he sacrificed for Rhine and how much his world drastically changed after Rose, his first wife’s, death. 

What I did enjoy was the change in Housemaster Vaughn’s character. That man has been one of my favorite villains in recent memory. In Sever we get to see the motivations behind his experiments while trying to determine if these experiments were for the greater good or if he is truly just a monster. 

While Sever wasn’t my favorite book in the series I still enjoyed the story (at least the second half) and was happy to see the novel end on a hopeful note. In the future I look forward to reading more of DeStefano’s writing because while the story didn’t wow me I really enjoy DeStefano’s style of writing her prose is truly lovely.


  1. I had a not so favourable reading experience with this series overall, Emily. So you're not the only one with the same grievances. I do like Lauren's writing style though. It's entirely her own, almost.

    1. Is there another author with a similar style? If there is let me know, I'd love to give them a try =)

  2. I recently read Wither and I was really disappointed so I decided not to continue with the series. I loved the premise, but I had so many problems with the book. Glad to hear that it ended on a hopeful note! ~Pam

    1. I think it's good you quite. I really enjoyed Fever but Sever was just kind of a strange meh reading experience.