This review contains lots of spoilers....be warned!!I LOVED this book. I'm glad I only gave "Wither" 4 stars, because this second installment of "The Chemical Gardens Trilogy" is even better.This book begins where the first one left off, with Rhine and Gabriel escaping the mansion. Their new found freedom is short lived however, as they are captured and caged in a carnival/brothel. Here they live within the confines of Madame Soleski's madness. Painted china doll faces, ferris wheels, angels blood. They befriend a girl called Lilac and her young malformed daughter, Maddie who ultimately help them to escape when Vaughn comes calling.On the move again, Rhine, Gabriel and Maddie make their way to Manhatten. It's not an easy journey as Gabriel is going through withdrawl but they eventually make it. Rhine is home. But home turns out to be a burned out shell. Rowan is gone. There's nothing left.With no where to go, they follow a random address in Maddie's storybook. It turns out to be that of Lilac's mother, who lets them stay in exchange for help. But Rhine quickly becomes sick. Very sick. All symptoms are mimicing the virus, but the virus is not due for another 3 years. Gabriel is sure that somehow Vaughn is responsible...but is that possible? Of course it is. Vaughn emerges out of the darkness, only to persuade Rhine to go back to the mansion. That he is the only one who can fix her. Whisked away, no one is aware that Rhine has even left. Rhine has now become a prisoner of Housemaster Vaughn's basement of horrors. Unimaginable experiments are carried out. Drugs are constantly administered for both sedation and testing causing unspeakable nightmares. Rhine is restrained 24 hours a day. Utter loneliness and despair set in. Truths are revealed. But Rhine is strong. Rhine is resilient. And Rhine is a fighter. With the help of Cecily, Linden is made aware that Rhine is back and being held in the basement. Linden in a state of shock, rushes Rhine to the hospital where she is slowly recovering. Rhine begins to enlighten Linden about who Vaughn really is. What he's really done. What he's really doing. As Linden leaves the room, Rhine glances up at the hospital tv. A face stares back at her. Rowan is alive.How the heck am I supposed to wait until February 2013 for the 3rd book??? Now that's torture in itself. Right out of Vaughn's basement of horrors.