Friday, May 13, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Book 1 of The Chemical Garden)

Hey, another YA Fantasy! It’s also another debut novel! I promise I will review a book for a Not-So-Young Adult, but I’ve been reading either fantasy novels that are in the middle-to-end of a series or books that just don’t warrant a full review.

In a not-so-distant future, scientists engineered a generation of disease-free, genetically perfect children. It isn’t until the second generation starts dying that they realize their cure had unintended consequences. Now, with young men dying of infection at 25 and young women at 20, people are desperate to keep the human race from extinction. Women are being kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages so they can bear children. When sixteen year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped as a bride for Linden Ashby, all she wants is to get back to her twin brother. Even as she plans her escape, her growing affection for her sister-wives and her understanding of Linden make her conflicted. And is she beginning to feel something for the servant Gabriel?

That is the cover copy, essentially, I am too tired to summarize this myself. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate doing these synopses? I HATE DOING THESE SYNOPSES.)

This book was good. Not fabulous but interesting. Rhine’s narrative voice is what carries the story. She’s confused, scared, or angry but believable. While I was reading, it was fairly easy to suspend my disbelief, but once I put the book down, the inconsistencies and holes in the storyline became apparent. There isn’t nearly enough world-building but since this is the first in a series of three, I hope that we’ll learn more about the environment and the science (but I don't think that the logic behind the story will actually support any intensive scrutiny).

I would say read this but maybe wait until the next book is released? It’s not because there is a cliffhanger, the story ends pretty much where I expected it to. I'm just not sure it made sense. I’m curious to see how the whole story resolves but also a little hesitant because I'm not sure it will resolve well.

Wither, Book 1 of The Chemical Garden by Lauren DeStefano

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