Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.
Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.
The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.
In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price – now that she has more to lose than ever.
It is two o’clock in the morning and I can’t go to sleep yet because I NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK.
WHY do you do this with the cliffhangers, DeStefano?!
At least you gave Rhine one small bright spot in her life there at the end, considering all we’ve seen of her is terrible circumstances and less than desirable choices. But still! That’s where you’re going to end the book?
When we last saw Rhine, she had escaped the mansion and creepy, sinister father-in-law Vaughn with attendant Gabriel for company. You’d think maybe Rhine would catch some sort of a break and that something good would come out of this rediscovered “freedom.” But, as is the trend, she doesn’t catch any breaks and her life gets about a billion times worse.
Let’s talk about Gabriel. When she’s sick and practically dying, Gabriel’s there to try to take care of her. At other times in the book he was there to protect her and be there for her in her moments of weakness. But I’m still not convinced on these two together. And I understand that he was angry because his relatively untroubled life is in shambles now that he’s left the only life he knew after Rhine talked up the outside world and it didn’t deliver (in the least). I just don’t feel like they have a real love connection.
They’re ASTOUNDING friends! But more than that? I don’t see it.
You know how I said the last book was chilling and creepy? Multiply that by about 80 and you get the intensity and disturbing genius that is this installment. I could feel Rhine’s depression and despondency. I could feel her fear and panic at the thought of Vaughn and his experiments. My heart racing, breathing haggard.
There was more heartbreak and lost hope and terror and creepily unsettling aspects to this story than I know what to do with. There was little emphasis on romantic relationships, yet I was still held in a vise grip and inundated with feels. This is one series I am at a complete loss as to what I think is going to happen, because everything surpasses any conclusions I attempt to draw.