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.
The ending of Lauren DeDtefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy was bittersweet. Truths and secrets are unveiled in this book that changes everything for Rhine and the world. Incredibly uncommon, the concept of this world was how when people from the past stove for perfection they only ended up crippling their world. I’m having a hard time putting into words just everything I feel for this book, I absolutely loved Wither and Fever but Sever fell a little flat for me. Rhine was an interesting character who started as an immature teen that couldn’t accept the reality of the world, and grew into a young woman with a quest for knowledge that could never be stopped. And while there is some pining over being separated from Gabriel, Rhine doesn’t let that distract her from finding her brother and escaping from Vaughn. I loved this book, but at the same time I had so many qualms with it. The story moved at an incredibly slow pace and I felt that all the time spent at Linden’s uncles’ house was just filler. There was endless talk of going to find Rhine’s bother Rowan and getting back to Gabriel, but basically zero action was taken for more than half the book. And what really bothered me was the fact that it almost seemed that Lauren was afraid to get Rhine a little "dirty." I mean, Lauren is an incredibly gifted storyteller who makes the most out of vivid imagery, but in this dystopian world where girls are nothing more than for breeding incubators…somehow Rhine avoids the actual act of sex. She is put into many, many situations where terrible things could happen, and they just never did, I think this held the books back emotionally and realistically. All-in-all though I did enjoy this book, and the entire series and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.