Wither is compelling and completely hard to put down. I started it on an evening and sat in bed reading until 2AM. The last book I did that for was Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay. I tried telling myself to put it down, but I could not sleep until I finished the book. The book literally swept me away with its prose. The amazing writing connect me with Rhine and I rooted for her as she maneuvered and manipulated to gain freedom. She is an easy character to root for - strong and determined. Her emotions are believable as she moves from initial anger to homesick misery to unexpected empathy towards her captor and husband. While Rhine was flushed out, I felt many of the secondary character were not quite as complex. The other two sister wives seemed somewhat stock character like - the young, naive, romantic and the older, jaded, realist provides contrast to Rhine, but I would have like to see them develop more. Additionally, I felt Gabriel did not develop as much as Linden and therefore, could not buy the romance between Rhine and Gabriel. I felt like she latched on to him, as a mode to retain her self in this walled world. DeStefano created a creepy world where genetic engineering has doomed the human race. While the first "perfect" generation is healthy and illness free, the generations following would be doomed to dying at the ages of 20 or 25, depending on gender. Rhine lives in this dangerous world, where Gatherers kidnapped women to be brides for wealthy families to ensure the line continues. It is a fascinating premise of a world, but there are still some holes I hope is addressed in future books. For example, where's the police? The Gatherers are human traffickers and its obviously a brides black market so where is the judicial system? I would think that despite the bleak world, basic rights, such as freedom, would be intact. And despite the panic, it's hard to think citizens would just accept the fact that women are nabbed ALL THE TIME. If this world is so deprive of rights, why would parents want to have children in this environment? Knowing they themselves will pass at 20 and 25 respectively, therefore leaving their child/ren to fend for themselves in a cruel and dangerous world, I find it hard that parents would want to bring children up in a world like this. I understand the wealthy might want to have kids since they live in gated homes and so not exposed to the horrors of the average person. Wither has a promising world, but I hope to see it be cultivated more.