CBR III Review #65: Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) by Lauren DeStefano
Scientist thought they have finally figured out a way to genetically engineer superior children. These children would not get sick and would be virtually immortal. They were mostly correct. The second generation of superior children were stricken with a virus and now females are all dying around the age of 20 and men at 25. Now women are being kidnapped and sold into marriages so that they will bear children before they succumb to the virus. Rhine is kidnapped and sold with two other girls to 20 year old Linden Ashby. On one hand Rhine has been removed from a life full of hardship to one where she is surrounded by luxury, and despite the whole kidnapping thing Linden Asby isn’t so bad. On the other hand she was kidnapped and Rhine does not want to live her last four years of life as a slave in a polygamous marriage.
As far a heroines go I really enjoyed Rhine as a character, but I never really understood a lot the choices she made. She seems to waver a lot between trying to escape and staying with her sister wives. I also felt the other characters were fairly well fleshed out, but the world felt undeveloped. I never really understood why women dying at 20 and men dying at 25 would lead to polygamous marriages. Wouldn’t there just end up being more relationships with older men (from the first generation) and squeamishly younger women for the sake of children. Or shouldn’t the novel be more like Bumped and the older generation/government pays these young women tons of money to have tons of children before they die. The more children that are produced by this generation means more children to genetically test for a cure. If they can find a cure society can hopefully reverse this horrible disease so humanity doesn’t die out. The premise is an interesting idea, and I’ll probably pick up the sequel at some point, but I’m not dying for it’s release date to come.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 780 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing (March 22, 2011)
- Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003UYUOOK
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars