Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Review #121 - Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

My Rating: 4/5

The premise of the book is what initially drew me in. I wouldn't say it let me down, but it wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be.

Rhine as a protagonist was my favourite character in the whole book. I hated Cecily throughout, and Jenna was likeable. I wanted to hate Linden, but for some reason couldn't.

I would have liked to have known more about Rhine's brother. Hopefully he is in future books.

At times it reminded me of The Goddess Test just with her being trapped in the house and not being allowed to leave.

At this stage, there will be a further three books in this series: Seeds of Wither (#1.5) , Fever (#2)  and Sever (#3).


  1. I like your comparison to The Goddess Test although ultimately I liked Rhine and her story more with the house arrest feeling more compelling under her circumstances.

  2. I agree - I was attracted by the interesting premise, but ultimately was a little disappointed by the book itself. For some reason, I couldn't hate Linden either!
    If you'd like ot check out my review of Wither, here's the link