Title: Wither (The Chemical Gardens #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 22nd March 2011
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? (From Goodreads, 15th March 2013)
I had seen a lot of bloggers talking about the Chemical Gardens series due to the release of the third book in the series just recently! I decided to get the first book and see what the fuss was about and I am glad I did! A dystopian novel in which women are forced into marriages and scientists attempt to work out a way to reverse the ticking time bomb within humans. This is an interesting idea, a cure for cancer was found but after the 1st generation they learned that their children would all die at either 20 or 25. The world is not what it was.
Here the focus is on Rhine who is kidnapped and taken into a forced marriage. We follow her journey as she attempts to run away to find her twin brother. Falling in love with a servant, recognising the evil within the house she is now trapped.
We have adventure, love and a world which is dealing with its mistakes. A series you will fall in love with.
4.5 out of 5