Beyond Books


Sever (The Chemical Garden Trilogy, #3)
by Lauren DeStefano

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain. (

Release date: February  12, 2013

If you haven’t read the first two books. I’d suggest you bypass this review because it’ll spoil you, unintentionally for the most part, but still. You have been warned. 😉

It is always a bitter sweet moment when an amazing series comes to an end. On one hand, you’ve just finished a wonderful series and you don’t want to face a future without the anticipation of another book down the line. (Much like Harry Potter books and movies…) On the other hand, you’ve managed to complete a series that wrapped up nicely  in three books and you’re not having to suffer through that “Why is this series STILL going on!?” crap that longer series often have. The quality of the books tend to become mediocre and you’re really just sticking with it out of misplaced loyalty or nostalgia for the Series That Once Was and a sense of closure.

So as sad as I am to see The Chemical Garden series come to an end, I am also very happy that it was such an enjoyable ride for three books.

There’s a lot happening in the third and final book of this trilogy. I am sort of happy to report that I didn’t feel nearly as anxious while reading Sever as I did reading Fever. This isn’t a bad thing to me. I don’t really like having panic attacks while reading. Call me crazy. I was actually truly fascinated for most of the book, the parts in Reed’s home. I enjoyed him as a character, all grumpy and rough around the edges, and I loved his dark house full of curiosities. Once more I was moved by Linden and had completely forgotten about Gabriel until he was mentioned out of the blue. I still feel zero connection between Rhine and Gabriel. Zero.  He could have be written out of the story and I wouldn’t have cared.

I loved how the stories from the first two books all sort of tied together in the final one. I loved seeing sides of Madame I hadn’t experienced before. I loved that characters I previously couldn’t stand (Cecily, Madame, Vaughn) became more interesting and in some cases, some of my favourite characters throughout the series.

I am forever grateful to Simon & Schuster Canada for the discovery of this series three years ago. A random, surprise ARC in the mail one year sparked a love affair between myself and The Chemical Garden. It was ALMOST insta-love. ALMOST! But like a real relationship, this series and I grew to know each other better over the course of three books and I can now say with certainly that it is true love. This series is a keeper and I shall always be happy that it graces my bookshelf.

I do want to take a moment to discuss the covers for this series though. The first book, Wither had an amazing cover. It was dark and mysterious and tragic-looking all at once. Fever‘s cover was brighter but still evoked a strong emotional response from me. The cover model still looks broken and unhealthy, as if she’s withering away. But then there’s Sever which just sort of looks like a bad photoshopped mish-mash of STUFF and a happy, healthy Prom Dress Pose model over a horrible green screen. I am actually quite disappointed in this cover and I can assure you that if I didn’t already know how amazing this series was, I’d have not picked the book up in the store.  I think if the green screenesque background has been changed to something else.. a pattern? Wood? Texture? SOMETHING! It might not have looked so cheesy to me. The story between the covers is amazing though, so don’t let it make you think otherwise!

Oh, hey! I just saw this cover on Goodreads and it’s got a darker, moodier background and it really DOES change the look. I like this one a lot better and I’m wondering if that’s how it’s going to look when final copies come out?

Chemical Garden Trilogy

  1. Wither
  2. Fever
  3. Sever


  • Miss Remmers

    OMG I am SO excited for this book! I’m hoping BN is open early because I think I need to go get it before school starts and then have a reading day. 🙂 Perks of being an English teacher I guess. I LOVE Linden and I agree – no connection between Rhine and Gabriel on my part. I skimmed your review mostly (because I don’t want to be spoiled) but SO excited!

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