5 stars, all the love…
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology thrusts him into the magical elite.
As the son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Noam hopes that as part of the magical elite, he can make change by secretly planning to use the skills he learns against the government. But the way forward becomes less clear when he meets the minister’s son, Dara.
Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
THIS BOOK, Y’ALL.
I love it so much? It was tightly written and wonderfully set up and I love the characters and am SO DEAD at the ending.
Whew! I could scream about this book all day, honestly.
In short, if you get anything from this review, it’s that you should READ THE FEVER KING. GO.
The lovable characters + ships.
Honestly, Victoria Lee is a master at creating characters I love and feel intensely attached to.
It’s one thing to write characters that are real or interesting, but it’s a completely other thing to write characters that you fall in love with and can’t get enough of, and they’ve totally made this happen and I LOVE Noam and Dara and everyone else (except you-know-who).
I want them to have a happy ending. I’m actually invested in them and their stories and their happiness, and I think this is one of the greatest things a fiction writer can accomplish, and Lee has done this.
All I want from the sequel, The Electric Heir, is for Noam and Dara and everyone else to happily retire in a beautiful countryside and skip through fields of daisies. Is that too much to ask? *sobs*
The gritty futuristic setting and the creative virus.
I loooove sci-fi and the setting feels very sci-fi to me. It’s not like the 2010 dystopian YA fiction a la Hunger Games, but more gritty and a little apocalyptic (or, more hopeless if not apocalyptic) with more influence from our current world and modern politics.
It’s so rich and immersive and you get sucked into Carolinia (although, we’ll apparently be seeing other areas of this futuristic world in the sequel) and the almost desperate life people have to carve out for themselves and the suffering that is prevalent.
There’s a lot of different issues that Lee tackles, and it can be messy and confusing and not clear cut–exactly like life. A lot of the time in fiction, it feels like these types of worlds are divided into “rebels” and “non rebels,” but Lee writes something more complex than that. They write how different causes and things give those who protest different goals and ideas and it pulls them to decide what is their priority.
This is real. It’s not clean cut and one group is in the wrong and one is in the right. It’s got so many different elements that are part of real-life movements.
The fight for women’s rights? There were so many different divisions, and some activists excluded black women (*cough* Susan B. Anthony), but did it with a purpose (for feminism–this doesn’t mean she was right, though). Others disagreed with her methods.
Black rights? So many different activists who had different views on how to acheive equality throughout American history.
There is no clear set right or wrong way to do something when you’re dealing with a movement, and another one of Lee’s triumphs in this book is how they show the more morally gray and not straightforward elements of a movement that isn’t necessarily prominent in other YA fiction pieces.
And the virus added a little bit of a fantasy element, which I loved reading! Most people who get the virus die, but the few survivors now develop special abilities, and the protagonist Noam is one of them.
The smart take on social issues in a fantasci setting.
I talked about this a little bit in the last section, but even more than a realistic depiction of activism, there’s also a lot of social issues being tackled by Lee, and I think they did a good job in balancing all of these.
From immigration to religion and their links to politics, Lee weaves this into the story without making this a book whose primary focus is these issues. It’s part of life, and that’s real.
Anyone who says that this book is too political should be reminded that the existence of any person who is a minority is inherently political. You can ignore it, but when it comes down to it, political issues give rights and take them away, and it almost never does this with non-minority groups.
Lee makes the social issues in the books prominent and there, yet woven into the story to not make it the focus. Because Noam’s existence is inherently political, and so are many of ours.
THE ENTIRE STORYLINE OMG.
Lee captures your attention right away with a heavy introduction feat. the death of Noam’s father and the virus infecting the area where he lives.
And from there, it only gets more and more tense as Noam joins Level IV and meets new people–some good and some bad–and gets intertwined with this viciously complex plot.
You’re left guessing who is the bad guy, and Lee toys with the reader and their perception of what’s happening, it’s mindblowing.
It’s very tightly plotted–there’s no room for errors or holes in this story or else it will all fall apart, and the climax had me internally screaming and externally tearing up.
It’s good. It’s really good.
And the ending. The ending killed me.
I just–HOW COULD YOU DO THIS.
I have no words.
Everyone needs to read this just so we can all scream about the ending from our houses and vibrate the earth with the sheer force of our shrieks.
Overall . . .
Please read it. Thanks.
(Seriously, I love this so much and I can’t believe I have to wait till NEXT YEAR for book 2 to come out.)
ALSO! Don’t forget that The Fever King is an Amazon First Reads pick until the end of the month (FOUR MORE DAYS), which means you can get it
– free on Kindle for Prime members, $1.99 on Kindle for everyone else
– $8.99 for the hardcover!
And seriously, the hardcover is beautiful. Under the dust jacket is insanely gorgeous wow. You can purchase it here! (No affiliate links.)
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Skyscape for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!