Monday, 2 January 2012

Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (4 Aug 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0007425473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007425471

A Handmaid’s Tale for a new generation…
Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery has only four years left to live when she is kidnapped by the Gatherers and forced into a polygamous marriage. Now she has one purpose: to escape, find her twin brother, and go home – before her time runs out forever.
What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb – males only live to age twenty-five and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape – to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

Orphaned twins Rhine and Rowan know exactly when they are going to die. They live in their parents home, sleeping in shifts and desperately trying to stay away from danger. Thanks to genetic testing and mistakes of older generations, when the scientists found a way to cure disease, they radically shortened life spans. Twenty five for males. Twenty for females. Desperate to keep the human race thriving, girls are stolen and sold into marriage with the sole purpose to reproduce. Rowan has always tried to keep his sister safe, but nothing could have prevented the day Rhine was stolen.

Sixteen year old Rhine, along with nineteen year old Jenna, and thirteen year old Cecily, are bought by the formidable Housemaster Vaughn to be the wives of his son, Governor Linden. Linden’s first wife, Rose, is suffering her last days, gripped by the disease that will claim everyone when their time is up.

Rhine vows to escape and somehow get back to her brother, but with locked windows, and stuck on one floor of the mansion, Rhine must earn Linden’s trust if she is to break free from her cage.

The character of Rhine leapt off the page for me, her fears becoming mine and her entrapment making me feel claustrophobic. Her interaction with Gabriel, an attendant in the mansion, brings the small bit of light into her world of darkness.

A new dystopian series, Wither is sure to be an absolute hit. With shocking content and disturbing view of the future, the author pushes the limit yet also keeps the characters and events startling real. I for one cannot wait for the sequel. 


Respiring Thoughts 2 January 2012 at 15:41  

I loved this book! Thanks for the review.

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