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Challenges: DAC, Support Library
Publication Date: March 2011
Short synopsis (Goodreads): What if you knew exactly when you would die?Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb — males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape — to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
My Review: It took me a while to warm up to the idea of reading this book. Polygamy isn’t a subject that I willingly subject myself to reading about, but this book had such rave reviews that I wanted to at least give it a try. I picked it up this morning after finishing another book and didn’t put it down until this evening after finishing it.
Rhine was an easy narrator to follow and relate to. I understood what she was feeling, both in hating her situation but in feeling warmer towards Linden. Gabriel was a good sympathetic character and I am looking forward to getting to know him better in the future installments.
What most surprised me about this book was the relationship between Rhine and her sisters wives. I came to value their strengths and found their weaknesses just as annoying as she did. I never expected to find out what it might be like to share a husband with other women. I still shudder at the idea, but the way DeStefano presented Rhine with Cecily and Jenna, it didn’t seem so bad, in a bad kind of way, if that makes sense. They each meant different things to their husband and it was interesting seeing the characters change.
It will be interesting seeing the repercussions of Rhine’s decisions in the later books. The end was slightly anti-climatic, but I’m still kind of glad I waited to read this as now I don’t have as long to wait for the next installment. Not that the end is a cliff hanger, but I’m still eager for what’s next. Hopefully it has more physical action and suspense!