I actually went into this book fairly blind to the plot and I am so glad that I did. The Fever King (Feverwake, #1) by Victoria Lee was such an interesting and engaging story, weaving current societal themes into a dystopian fantasy.
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 attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
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. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
- Diverse Cast – I loved how Lee was able to create such an amazing cast of MAIN characters. Noam is a bisexual biracial Latino Jewish teen (try saying that ten times fast!), Dara who is a gay POC, and then Lehrer who is queer and of German descent. I think it might be even better that Lee chose to create characters that reflected her own Jewish background, as it added a more authentic reading experience for me personally. It came through in small details here and there, very subtle.
- Tricky Villain – It’s always fun when an author can create a villain that you’re constantly second-guessing if they truly are the bad guy or not. I love feeling conflicted over who is good and who is bad. It adds an extra air of mystery to the story when that happens.
- Sexual Tensionnnnnn – Seriously, the sexual tension in this story is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Someone come hose me down, PRONTO!
- Relevant Themes – It was really interesting how Lee was able to weave current social themes into this story, which only helped to increase my engagement in the story. Immigration played such an integral part of the plot and I loved that. It was interesting to see how that affected Noam’s thoughts throughout the entire story. It gave extra weight to each decision that he made, which helped you feel how much was really at stake for him.
- Rushed Ending – I feel like the ending could’ve been dragged out a little longer. It seemed like too much happened way too quickly and I was left feeling like some things were not resolved. I still had questions that I think should have been answered or explored more, even though there will be a sequel. It felt like the ending gave me whiplash over how quickly it all went down. It gave me Midnight Star flashbacks and that’s not a good thing.
Overall this was a fun and engaging read. I think the ending could have been handled a little better and that some lingering questions get answered in the sequel. I loved how current political and social themes were woven seamlessly into the story, as it really helped bring the story to life. I do plan on continuing with this series in hopes of getting to see more of this world and how Noam helps to fix it.
Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars
Have you read The Fever King? If so, what did you think about it? Did you feel like the ending was rushed? Did you agree with Noam’s final decision?