After being married off to Linden with two sister wives and experiencing the loss of her family, Rhine finally escapes her father in law's grasp, only to be pulled back in. It seems all of Rhine's journey has been for naught, until she realizes her twin brother, Rowan, is alive and getting much unwanted publicity. Her strength and determination return and, though against her father in law's will, she sets out to find her brother, and the boy she left behind.
Although heartbroken once before because of her absence, Linden agrees to send Rhine to stay with his uncle to get her strength up, then she will be off to search for Rowan and Gabriel alone. However, the trip doesn't leave Rhine so alone. Cecily, her once sister wife, Linden, and baby Bowen accompany her to Uncle Reed's, unsure of what they'll experience.
Reed seems odd, but the more Rhine stays, the more she discovers about this man. He has the ability to make things grow, whereas his brother, Vaughn does anything to prod, poke, and ultimately destroy. Throughout their journey, each of the character's are faced with despair, hardships, and courage. Trying to outrun Vaughn, while holding onto the only hope they all have, which is each other, and the determination to survive.
Is it possible, after all Rhine's been through, to completely leave the mansion, the ex husband, and the life she knew for a year behind in order to search after a brother and boy who could all be but forgotten and lost?
Sever by Lauren DeStefano is absolutely the best end to this trilogy. Since I first picked up Wither when she first began the series, these books have held onto my heart and have not let go. The writing, you can tell, is so carefully done. Each idea, each sentence, each word is so well done. That was part of the fun of reading this.
Even better: the covers of all these books include so many different objects, but all of them relate to this story. All of these items contribute somehow to the journey, and they affect the story's theme. It is just attention to detail that really makes this a thoughtful piece as well as an entertaining one.
The other amazing part is the story itself. It is truly amazing how the idea of a disease taking the young 21 and 25 year olds can create such a dystopic society that is so enchanting and hauntingly real. Life is a race against time; a race to succeed and maybe have a shot to find this cure. What Rhine discovers about Vaughn, her parents, and her brother is truly remarkable, and it completely changes the reader's opinion of all these characters.
The really amazing thing about DeStefano is that she manages to incorporate all the character's into Rhine's world AND make them relevant. Cecily's character develops in a way where readers actually enjoy her wild emotions. Linden is determining whether he should disobey his father for the first time, or stay with what he has always considered safe. Even Vaughn becomes more than a monster, and maybe appears to be the only one who can really change the world.
I fell in love with all the characters, and towards the end it was really hard to to determine who I should "root" for. Rhine grew tremendously throughout the trilogy, and it was a journey that all readers will be happy to take with her.
Although there was a great deal of tragedy and sadness, I feel like the end was appropriate and not at all expected. All characters were able to find their place, even those who have been dead and buried. Because even the dead play a role...
Such an amazing trilogy, and it is DEFINITELY a must read!