In the first book of DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, sixteen-year-old Rhine lives in a world where it was thought that genetic engineering would abolish death. For the first genetically engineered generation, it was true. But then offspring began to live for shorter and shorter timespans. Now, women are dying when they’re 20 and men, 25. The world has become a barbaric place.
Girls now live in brothels or polygamous marriages for breeding purposes. Kidnapped to be one of wealthy Linden Ashby’s brides, Rhine evades consummation of the marriage throughout the book, although her two sister-wives do not.
Though she lives in Florida, and surrounded by wealth and comfort, Rhine is essentially enslaved. More, she’s afraid Linden’s father is performing hideous science experiments on young women who have died and, indeed, might be hastening the deaths in order to find a cure for the virus that's killing everyone at such a young age.
All through the book, Rhine wants is to return to her twin brother in Manhattan. When she and servant Gabriel fall in love with each other, they devise a dangerous plan to escape their imprisonment.
This book was so beautifully written that I am in awe of Ms. deStefano's talent. I am also intensely curious as to how she plans to develop books two and three. Book 2, Fever, will be released on February 21, 2012. I cannot wait ...