For some reason, Wither disturbed me on a whole lotta levels. When I first started reading, it took a while to become absorbed, because my head kind of got stuck in the (pretty ridiculous) rut of believing it was almost like a combo of Throne of Glass & The Selection all rolled into one. But the farther I read, the more I realised how unfair an assessment this was.
I remember when I read The Selection, thinking what a crappy life it must be to have to consider winning the favour of a local prince/wealthy bachelor just to bring some security to your family, but dude, the MC’s situation in Wither was really so much worse than that.
Okay, I’ll quit making comparisons now and move on.
My first curled lip arrived around the time that Linden decided who’d be his first consummated wife—and the outcome of that. I felt disgust at the behaviour of said wife the following day, and the fact the other two wives were expected to listen/pay witness to this when it regarded a man they were expected to behave the same toward. Maybe it’s because I’ve been with the same man for over twenty years in a dedicated relationship that I felt disgust toward the total wrongness of this whole torrid affair. And my feelings on the matter didn’t really cease right up until the end of the book—though I won’t go into any more details because I don’t really see how I can without giving spoilers.
However, despite the reaction this book incited, I recall reaching a certain point and finding myself totally engrossed, almost like a sick and twisted observer, unable to look away from the spectacle in my fascination to find out how it all plays out. I’m not entirely sure at which moment in the story I became fully absorbed, it just kind of happened all of a sudden, which I guess says a lot about the authors storytelling and ability to draw the reader in—especially as I found the first X amount of pages to be a little slow. Though, I guess the slowness may have been because there were a few chunks of back story thrown in at times I’d rather it wasn’t, taking me from a scene for a little longer than I wanted to be gone. I’ve noticed this happens a fair bit in dystopia novels when there is a high level of world building and a lot for the reader to understand. Thankfully, these didn’t happen very often, and soon petered out—and the moment they did, the story was off at a running sprint
And should I mention that cliffhanger of an ending? Well, I’m going to. I guess some may say there was resolution (of a sort) found by the book’s end. But, dude, there are waaaaaaaaaaaaay too many things left unanswered, loose ends left untied, and I don’t believe for one minute that what happens at the end IS the end, or that it will simply be as easy as the reader might be fooled into believing it is. So I’m going to have to read on. Because I’m now invested in these characters, and, man, do I need to know.
Oh, and may I just point out (before I go) that within these pages was some of the most flawless writing I’d read in a while? Yeah, for a change, there wasn’t a JABiful eye twitch to be seen.