Friday, 27 July 2012
Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano
The reviews I'm currently publishing are quite old for me, as I've previously mentioned I've had a ton of homework/revising for exams and am only just catching up. Hopefully, by the end of this summer I'll have caught up and will be able to just post when I write a new review. I'm going with the advice of my sort-of-history teacher Mrs Connor (@history_ahs) and scheduling my posts so that I can have a post a day (or near enough!). If you want to see the accurate date when I read the book, please find and add me on goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/xxgeorgiexx
Plot: 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?
theworks.com) and I got the sequel for free (from Mrs Connor, who's my go-to for books), so I thought I'd give the series a try.
Although I liked the concepts of this book (youth dying young, girls sold as wives, etc.) and I found the whole genetically modified aspect fascinating, I didn't feel the climax coming till the very end of the book. I found myself steaming through it, and didn't find it particularly gripping (I was on a long journey with nothing else to do, so I had no choice to do anything but read).
The characters were a bit whimsical, and I didn't find myself liking the protagonist, Rhine, very much. She was all talk and no act, trying to run away and them giving up quickly. There were a lot of flash-back sequences, but I didn't find myself warming to her as much as I should have been. In fact, despite the fact that you should feel sorry for her (in the situation she was in), I just found her a bit pathetic. She moans a lot and doesn't really follow up on her own thoughts.
That said, a few of my friends have recently read and loved this book, so it could be just me and my cynical thoughts, rather than the author's writing prowess. Even so, I rate this book 3.5 stars as it had some wonderfully creative ideas but I just wasn't as enthralled as I would have liked to have been. A lot of people have liked it though, so give it a try if you liked Matched by Allie Condie or anything of that variation.