Author: Laruen Destefano
Series: 2nd (Wither)
Published: February 21st 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Around The World Tours
Description: 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 Give This ...
I actually struggled with what to rate this. I just didn't enjoy it as much as Wither, but there was still a lot of spark to this book. I think it went in a direction I wasn't expecting.
Rhine and Gabriel don't make it very far before being ensnared in a twisted version of a brothel with an absolutely crazy "madame". Turns out the madame thinks she can get customers to pay lots of money for Rhine. Thankfully, it's a look but not touch sort of thing. It was interesting reading about their experiences her. Gabriel is kept so high on drugs (I think they called it Angel's Blood) that he can't even think straight. Rhine is desperately trying to find a way to escape. But, it doesn't take long for their past to catch up to them (I knew then what takes Rhine until the end of the book to figure out).
In their escape, they rescue one of the other girl's child and take her with them. Their journey to New York isn't pleasant for anybody. Gabriel goes through major withdrawals, the child has a broken arm (and she's mute), and Rhine must relive painful memories along the way. Nothing seems to go right for them, so I was hoping when they got to New York things would begin to look up.
But, Rowan is gone and their family home is in tatters. Which gives a different picture of the type of person Rowan really is than the one that Rhine gives us. With no were else to go, they follow the clue in the book the child has carried with her the entire way. I thought maybe my initial thoughts were wrong and that Gabriel and Rhine might find some sort of peace here. But, then Vaughn shows up and drags Rhine back to the mansion.
And this point, I think we realize what sort of monster Vaughn really is. I think I knew it all along, but the things he does to Rhine is really atrocious. And all in the name of science and finding a cure. I really think he's gone completely mad. Thankfully Linden discovers what's really going on. Although, I'm not sure that he fully understands what his father is capable of.
I think my lack of enjoyment in this book as that it's such a downer. They escape one crappy situation to wind up in another. The characters don't feel the same (but one spends part of the book on drugs and another trying to come off of them). It just didn't feel like the same story to me. I did still enjoy it and of course want to finish the series. I'm curious what happens next.