Author: Lauren DeStafano
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?
Another dystopian society novel. I must say, it wasn’t amazing. Alike to my review of Starcrossed, I didn’t feel much connection between Rhine and the guy she loved. I felt it between her and Linden, but when it came to the other guy, it just wasn’t there. I didn’t see the connection between many characters, really. Again, not an amazing book.
I liked the idea of it: males die at the age of 25, and women die at the age of 20. It’s a scary concept that can possibly happen. But really, the thoughts, the actions, I don’t know, didn’t feel right. I felt that the story dragged on and the author was just spitting out whatever, trying to get to the end.
But I have to say, she got Rhine’s inner conflict right. Throughout the novel, Rhine is trying to get away from her captors, and yet along the way, she begins to care for Linden too. And then she spends so much time thinking and wondering what will become of him when she escapes, but there’s still that part of her who’s determined to get away as fast as possible and never look back. That was probably the best part of the novel.
Otherwise, I do think that it did drag on, but it was bearable, and I still read the novel in a day ’cause I got hooked. So there’s gotta be something there to like (I just can’t put my finger on it…)
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.88/5
Eventually I realize that I am holding on to him just as tightly as he holds on to me. And here we are: two small dying things, as the world ends around us like falling autumn leaves.
“There’s nothing here to say good-bye to. There’s no dancing girl. No mischievous smile. She’s gone, off with her sisters, broken free, escaped. And if she were here now, she would say, “Go.”
“Tell freedom I said hello.”
“‘If I happen to see it, I will.”
-Jenna and Rhine