I liked pieces of this book and I disliked parts of this book. It took me a little while to get through, since I only had a couple hours at most each day to read, and maybe that got in the way a little of being able to fully enjoy this. It just felt like there wasn’t much progress and I had a hard time connecting with the characters.
I’m still not a huge fan of Rhine as a character. Once she breaks free of the mansion, it becomes a focus of her thoughts, and she even refuses to take off her wedding ring; the last major thing tying her to the marriage with Linden. Where her quiet resistance in the first book made sense, in Fever, I kept wanting her to fight. To dig deep and find a way to fight for what she wants, to know she made the right decision in leaving and bringing Gabriel with her. It never happened and while a possible explanation entered near the end of the book, I’m not sold and I really hope DeStefano can make me believe it in the next book.
Gabriel still doesn’t interest me. In Wither, he was hardly around enough to form a real connection with. In Fever, he’s around more, but half the time he’s drugged and not himself, a quarter of the time either he or Rhine is sleeping and that last quarter is what he really is. I’m sure a lot of people are completely in love with him, and I see his potential, but he’s just not there. I haven’t seen enough of him as him to really feel the romance between him and Rhine.
The other thing that left me feeling disappointed was the plot. It felt like a lot of running and hiding, but there weren’t any answers to questions. It felt a bit like running on a treadmill. You’re doing something, but getting nowhere. Things happened, and I understand that they had to happen, but it just feels like it was a lot for nothing. And yet it somehow kept me interested and the ending has me ready to read the next book.
What I really loved about this book, though, were the secondary characters, especially Maddie. I fell in love with her hard this book. Lilac, Jared, Silas, and Claire were wonderful additions to the story and I found myself wanting to read more about them than I did Rhine and Gabriel. They were different and extremely wonderful to read.
Fever had as much potential to be a great story as Wither, but it fell a little short. It’s still an interesting story, but I wish there was a little bit more to Rhine and Gabriel. There’s enough to the book to keep me reading, and I hope DeStefano can write a conclusion that blows me out of the water.