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.
I love it when a sequel can raise the bar for a series. Not only can you see the author's develop their talent, but you can truly appreciate the progression in a story. This is the case for Fever, the second installment in the Chemical Garden series.
We start right where Wither leaves off, with Rhine and Gabriel escaping from the haunting mansion into a world just as hideous as the one they left behind. Where Wither is calm and creepy, Fever is full out adrenaline and fear. Every page of this book captures the dangers and frenzy that has over taken society. From degrading prostitution rings set up at a run down carnival to constantly escaping the evil Vaughn's clutches and trying to track down Rhine's twin brother, Rowan, you are never left with a moment to catch your breath! There truly is never a calm moment for Rhine or Gabriel in this book!
Although the plot has been amped up with a shot of pure adrenaline, the relationship between Rhine and Gabriel has hit a sort of plateau. There is definitely a new dimension to their connection, where it almost seems that Gabriel resents Rhine for bringing him into this chaotic new world. This romance between the two isn't forbidden now that their out of the mansion, so the electricity we saw in Wither has simmered a bit. There was definitely some sweet and tender moments between Rhine and Gabriel, but it often had to do with one of them caring for the other while sick.
Other than that missing spark between Rhine and Gabriel, this book was non stop action. While these characters are constantly running from Vaughn, the reader really feels that sense of desperation. Now that the characters are outside of the mansion walls the risks are even greater and each new character encountered is a possibly new enemy that'll constantly leave you questioning everyone's safety! With so many close calls and heart breaking moments, Fever will be sure to give your emotions a beating! Be prepared to fall even harder for this captivating and eerie series and continue the unknowing countdown to Rhine's 20th birthday.