The Fever King (Feverwake, #1)
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.

The Fever King (Feverwake, #1) Details

TitleThe Fever King (Feverwake, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 1st, 2019
PublisherSkyscape
ISBN-139781542040174
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Lgbt, Science Fiction

The Fever King (Feverwake, #1) Review

  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Me: *picks up a book with very high expectations and ends up disappointed*My brain: *slamming fists on table* REGRET REGRET REGRET REGRET REGRET REGRET REGRI relish the risk incurred by picking up a book that might inspire love or hate because both ends are passionate. As a reader, what I dread the most is the middle ground, the lukewarm, the books that lack whatever alchemy is needed to ensure they land on my heart with a sound of impact. Unfortunately, my images of The Fever King are already s Me: *picks up a book with very high expectations and ends up disappointed*My brain: *slamming fists on table* REGRET REGRET REGRET REGRET REGRET REGRET REGRI relish the risk incurred by picking up a book that might inspire love or hate because both ends are passionate. As a reader, what I dread the most is the middle ground, the lukewarm, the books that lack whatever alchemy is needed to ensure they land on my heart with a sound of impact. Unfortunately, my images of The Fever King are already starting to fray around the edges. The story is a thing I already faintly remember, and soon it would wither, and I’d watch my memories of it yellow and fade as everything fades in the endless wash of days. So, what’s this book about? In Carolinia, those with more power than sense and more money than mercy live in regal, decadent splendor behind high walls, while refugees scavenge the smoldering waste where the plague is waiting to snatch them by the throat.Noam, the bisexual Jewish Latinx son of undocumented immigrants from Atlantia, loses his father in a virus outbreak that spares his life and gives him nothing but swirling, shapeless memories when his parents’ arms were a fortress and a haven…plus an uncanny ability to control technology. A hint of fear mingles with wonder behind Noam’s eyes when he’s brought to the witching training center and told that he would be receiving personal tutoring from Calix Lehrer, the legendary minister of defense and previously America’s briefly crowned king.This is Noam’s chance and he seizes it in a desperate hold. However much he had failed his parents, he could still fight for the rights of immigrants like him—those who were told their dreams didn’t match where they’d come from and would therefore never come to pass. But Noam is a witching now, working for the government, and that garners him the mistrust of his people. Determined to show his fellow refugees that he hasn’t deserted their side, Noam works on gathering information that could definitively condemn the government’s treatment of immigrants. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop Noam from admiring his tutor Calix with all the greedy, worshipful need in his boyish heart. His delusions are, however, soon dashed and broken when Noam meets Dara, Lehrer’s adoptive son, and the fraught relationship between father and son yields the truth about Lehrer’s true intentions. "That was the whole point. Governments didn't have to listen to the people until the people made it hurt to not listen." As great as the concept of The Fever King is, it is knuckled under by the disappointingly unsatisfying execution.I plowed through this book, moved only by the cold embers of will. My interest only sputtered throughout my reading like tinder that refused to catch completely. I couldn’t twist myself out of boredom’s holds, and, after a while, my mind stepped around many events without noticing. I just did not care, and the feeling welled up in me so swiftly that I almost did not finish this book.For a fantasy that weaves political intrigue and elements of sci-fi, The Fever King makes for a sluggish read. It’s not a novel where the reader can seize the arc in a palpable grasp and can feel the intensity mounting towards a rapturous climax. The pace is slow. The tension is slack. The few plot twists meant to induce chills yield only a shadow of the impact I wanted them to contain. The world-building is not intended to do more than sound convincing and leaves far too many unknowns. I was keenly aware, throughout, that the less I questioned the workings of the virus and the “antibodies”, the more I would enjoy this book.Noam’s character is, unfortunately, not compelling enough to carry the narrative, and, after lengthy, lonely stretches of seemingly thin motivations, repetitive dialogue, the shallowly executed mash-up of secondary characters that are nebulously realized, I found the limits of my patience and gone past them, into the blasted hinterlands of irritation. The story's resolution was also unsatisfyingly easy. Plot turnings and character developments sheer towards the path of least resistance rather than diving deeper into something more complex and more nuanced. The entire plot hinges on a series of coincidences and bouts of luck that don’t stand up to scrutiny. They are too neat, too complete and too many to be entirely plausible. And I was not impressed.At least for a while the mystery of who or what Calix Lehrer truly is—friend, foe, monster, hero, or something more abstractly symbolic—and the raised stakes of intrigues around him stirred a flutter of interest in me. There’s an indefinable edge to his character that I found fairly arresting. The developing facets of his real motivation are complex and brutal when unveiled for what they truly are. I liked how the threads that separate monster from hero are tangled enough that you can’t trace you steps back to either one of them.I also cheer the author’s timely criticism of anti-migrant violence, but I thought the strokes were so broad that the attack was more ticklish than searing. The book introduces many important themes—immigration, racism, young people actively pushing back against what the world has decided for them—but doesn't explore them in a thorough way. Instead, it seems content to simply bring them up.Also central to the plot is a brewing romance between Dara and Noam. It’s formidably refreshing to see a queer romance taking center stage in a YA fantasy novel, but to be honest, the pallid dynamics between Noam and Dara hardened my heart to actually shipping them. My least favorite thing in romance is unnecessary conflict that could easily be solved if the characters…just…COMMUNICATED. Most of their exchanges involve drinking unhealthily amount of alcohol (I get that teenagers drink, but in this novel, it’s honestly skirting the edge of teenage rite passage into really dangerous territory), accusing each other of not understanding each other (again, communication, kids), and getting each other off. Again, I just couldn't bring myself to care.Overall, I think there was so much promise to the idea of this novel that the sketchy execution was immensely disappointing. This seems to be an unpopular opinion, because many readers seemed to have enjoyed this book. So, I’d say give it a try if it sounds up your alley!
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  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    The thing about The Fever King is that it’s about so many different things that it’s just truly indescribable.It’s about a virus that has taken so many innocent lives, yet has become a magical blessing for those who survive it. It’s about moral ambiguity and deciding what’s right and wrong for you but also for everyone else. It’s about identity, and trauma, and finding your place in a world that is always changing.It’s about a boy named Noam, and a boy named Dara, and what they must do to keep l The thing about The Fever King is that it’s about so many different things that it’s just truly indescribable.It’s about a virus that has taken so many innocent lives, yet has become a magical blessing for those who survive it. It’s about moral ambiguity and deciding what’s right and wrong for you but also for everyone else. It’s about identity, and trauma, and finding your place in a world that is always changing.It’s about a boy named Noam, and a boy named Dara, and what they must do to keep living in a world that demands more from them but has only given them pain.(And it’s also about the horrendously, achingly, painfully slow slowburn romance that blossoms between them but that’s not the point!!) The void from earlier was back, yawning wide in Noam’s chest. Dara felt it too, he thought. Dara might not have lost his family, but he had that same hole inside him. They matched. I think the most striking aspect of this book, though, is not its captivating narrative, or its impressive writing style, or its intriguing setting—rather, its intricate, carefully written portrayal of the complexities of its characters.All of these characters are, arguably, morally ambiguous. They are figuring out where they belong in the world, or in some cases, have already decided it and are acting upon it. They’ve all faced trauma, personal and intergenerational, and it’s affected them all differently. The nuance that which this pain is written with is done so carefully. ✦ Noam: a bisexual biracial Latinx/white Jewish teenage boy who survived a virus that took his family, friends, and fellow refugees, and gained the magic of technopathy from it. an activist for immigrant rights, and a sweet, soft boy who is too strong for his own good ✦ Dara: a gay Jewish POC celebrity son of the minister who is as much of a jerk as he is alluringly mysterious. also my son who has been through too much suffering and deserves some semblance of happiness!! ✦ Lehrer: the queer Jewish minister of Carolinia who’s been alive for who knows how long, who I secretly or not so secretly hateMore so, the gay slowburn romance that blooms in this book is just absolutely thrilling. Thrilling, in the please-kiss-already and why-does-this-hurt-so-much and I-have-never-been-more-terrified-for-two-people way.(stunning art by @bbonsbonss)While I will admit that I took some time to get into this book, once I was immersed in it, I was immersed. The story moves at just the right pace, keeping you on your toes and anxious for what’s to come, but still keeping you engaged in the present. It only helps that Noam’s voice is such a delightful perspective to read from.Not only is this an enjoyable, exciting story to read, however, it also tackles important issues such as immigration. Some readers have been angered by the inclusion of this, as well as the simple existence of queerness, and believe the book would be better without those subjects. But I would argue that this book is stronger with these political themes, and the existence of these characters are inherently political because of the people who don’t want them to be included.Nevertheless, I found the discussion extremely important and well-written, and it did not take away or distract from the narrative, only added more to it. As a queer child of immigrant parents, I related deeply to the threads of queerness and immigration woven throughout the book, and I am grateful they were included. That was the whole point. Governments didn’t have to listen to the people until the people made it hurt not to listen. Quite honestly, this whole book hurts, because it seems like seeds of pain are sowed in just when you think you’ll be okay, but the ending of this book for sure overpowers it all. I won’t say much, because I think you all deserve to suffer like I did, but I will say this: it is shocking, it is the ending you wish wasn’t perfect but kind of is, and it will absolutely destroy you.On that note, my initial reaction upon finishing this book was: hello, 911? yes, I’d like to report this book for making me want to kashoot myself. Frankly, I think that reaction still stands. There are so many things this book makes me want to “kashoot myself” over, from the characters to the romance to the discussion of political issues, but I would still want to read it all over again.If it isn’t obvious, I truly adored this book and found it not only powerful, but enrapturing and enjoyable as well, and the amount of appreciation I have for it has no end. If you’re looking for gay, moral greyness, and a soul-crushing, heartbreaking book, this one’s for you.P.S. I highly recommend giving this author interview a read, as well as the extremely heartfelt letter the author wrote about why she wrote The Fever King and how her real-life experiences are reflected in this book!:: rep :: biracial (Latinx, white) bisexual Jewish MC, gay POC Jewish LI, queer Jewish major character, all-queer cast:: content warnings :: violence, intergenerational trauma/genocide, murder, abuse, sexual abuse, statutory rape, parental death, death of a child, mental health and suicide, slut-shaming, ableist language, drug and alcohol abuse [more details here]Thank you to Amazon for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! This did not my affect my opinion in any way.All quotes are from an advanced copy and may differ in final publication.
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  • Lily ☁️
    January 1, 1970
    ✨ My full review is now up on my blog! ✨There’s something about books that make you avoid any and all real life responsibilities, stay up until 2 a.m., bleary-eyed and exhausted, and leave you with your soul crushed beyond recognition—and have you loving every single second of it. Something that leaves a distinctly enunciated yes in its wake that reverberates warmly in your heart with its perfect, almost poetic diction, and its all-consuming intensity.And that special something has ensconced its ✨ My full review is now up on my blog! ✨There’s something about books that make you avoid any and all real life responsibilities, stay up until 2 a.m., bleary-eyed and exhausted, and leave you with your soul crushed beyond recognition—and have you loving every single second of it. Something that leaves a distinctly enunciated yes in its wake that reverberates warmly in your heart with its perfect, almost poetic diction, and its all-consuming intensity.And that special something has ensconced itself deeply in The Fever King.The Fever King is about family—the one tied together by blood, and the one you choose for yourself—about being torn between two worlds, and fighting for what is right. It’s about loss, living life in the wake of trauma, and about finding oneself; about making choices that shape oneself, and shaping oneself with the choices one makes. “Now that both [Noam’s] parents were gone, the world was much larger than it had been before—gaping around him, sharp toothed and hungry.” It is filled with beautiful metaphors, accentuating a writing style that stands out with its uniqueness; a touch of poetry mingled with velvet-soft prose. “The ground underfoot sprouted with flowers: magical little buds of gold and silver that moved without breeze, glittering petals spiraling up into the air. (…) When Noam inhaled, their magic was spun sugar on his tongue.” The narrative, too, is completely entrancing, with many clues foreshadowing what’s to come brilliantly threaded into it, creating an slightly unsettling atmosphere that keeps you intrigued and suspicious, and always on edge, waiting for the next shoe—sharp, and elegant—to drop in a brilliant arch that cuts air.What is perhaps the biggest reason behind, and inspiration for my adoration for this book, however, are the characters; not only the main character Noam—who made something profound in my heart stir, when he curled up in a corner to read a book in silence, and it felt like home to him, who continued to fight for immigrants’ rights, and refused to give up even in the face of adversity—but also (if not especially) Dara. “Dara, who claimed he hated everything, but secretly dreamed of counting the stars.” There comes a point in your life, when you realize that fictional characters can make you feel so much love for them that you actually feel like you live through their hardships with them, and that’s what Dara does. He’s a character with layers upon layers, and the more you unveil, the more you love him.Among many romances, The Fever King’s stands out with a slow burn that tugs at your heart, and makes you simultaneously delight and suffer in equal measure. It shows you that having your heart ripped to shreds by unsaid words, dark secrets, misunderstandings, and horrifying reveals, and mended together by the most beautifully written and heart-wrenching scenes, and witty, humorous banter, can be the best gift you’ve ever had the fortune to receive. “The void from earlier was back, yawning wide in Noam’s chest. Dara felt it too, he thought. Dara might not have lost his family, but he had that same hole inside him. They matched.” In a world filled with magic, Victoria Lee brings to life not only an immensely captivating, and unforgettable story, as well as characters that capture your heart; she paints a vivid imagery of very relevant and important issues in our society, and cleverly illuminates them with a searing portrayal. “That was the whole point. Governments didn’t have to listen to the people until the people made it hurt not to listen.” The Fever King is a book that crushed my soul, and had me loving every single second of it, soaked in angst, and drenched in anticipation. Victoria Lee believes in her story, lives her story, and pours so much love, and so much of herself, into her characters—and it shows.It’s a book that destined to imprint itself into your being so wholly that you’ll be left wondering who you were before you came to love it, after you finish it—and all I can say is: you don’t want to miss out on it.Thank you so much to Megan Beatie for sending me an advance copy of this book! It in no way influenced my opinion, or rating. The quotes above were taken from the ARC, and are subject to change upon publication.*I jumped through what feels like a million hoops to get to this book early, stayed up until 2 a.m. to read it, and had my soul crushed … and I can genuinely say that it all paid off.Blog | Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter
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  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: It’s the 22nd century, and North America is divided into several different countries in the aftermath of a worldwide disaster. A plague that first hit back in the early part of the 21st century killed ― and continues to kill ― almost every person who get infected with the virus. Those few who survive become “witchings,” developing a variety of magical powers as a result of the virus’s presence in their body.Noam Álvaro is a bisexual teenage r 2.5 stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: It’s the 22nd century, and North America is divided into several different countries in the aftermath of a worldwide disaster. A plague that first hit back in the early part of the 21st century killed ― and continues to kill ― almost every person who get infected with the virus. Those few who survive become “witchings,” developing a variety of magical powers as a result of the virus’s presence in their body.Noam Álvaro is a bisexual teenage refugee from Atlantia, now living in the West Durham slums of the more well-developed country of Carolinia. He’s the son of a Jewish mother and a Hispanic father (thus ticking as many boxes as I’ve ever seen for diversity representation in a single character). When Noam survives a plague outbreak that kills his father and most of the people he knows, he emerges with unusually potent magical powers over technology that make him highly valuable to the people in charge of the Carolinian government. Noam outwardly accepts his new life as a student in Level IV, the Carolinia government’s elite witching training program, and as the defense minister’s protégé. Secretly, though, he plans to use his new position and power to bring down the government, which has been extremely hostile to refugees.But then things get complicated, particularly when Noam meets Dara, a handsome brown-skinned fellow student who looks like a magazine model. Noam is torn between his deep attraction for Dara and his fears about Dara’s allegiance to another politician who’s taken anti-refugee positions. Noam is also confused about how much he can trust Calix Lehrer, the minister of defense who has taken such a keen interest in Noam’s development.The Fever King is an LGBTQIA urban fantasy novel that feels more like science fiction/alternative history. Even the magic has a quasi-scientific explanation, which was appealing and helped to ground the novel. On the other hand, it didn’t seem realistic that not just the main characters, but every single character in the novel, is queer (per Victoria Lee’s blog). It made The Fever King feel like an interesting if unlikely exercise in diversity representation. The politics in the novel and its concerns with refugee rights and the gulf between the haves and have-nots also bear a clear message for our current society.Lee’s storytelling is a little disjointed and unclear, most noticeably in the first half. She creates an imaginative future society, but it could have used more worldbuilding. For that first half I wasn’t particularly enjoying the story, just plowing through it. But then it gets much clearer, and the final third is exciting and tension-filled, with some solid twists and turns. The Fever King is the first book in Lee’s FEVERWAKE duology, and though the ending doesn’t leave you with a terrible cliffhanger, the overall story is clearly unfinished at this point.Although the main character and his love interest are teenagers, this is a hard-hitting, R-rated book, with countless F-bombs, a semi-explicit gay sex scene (it cuts from the initial foreplay to the aftermath), discussion of sexual abuse, underage drinking, drug use, violence and murder. That’s quite a list, and I thought it was excessive for what is considered to be a YA book. There’s an audience for this type of novel, but I wouldn’t recommend it for younger teens. I’ll admit to some curiosity about how the plot will be resolved in The Electric Heir, to be published in 2020, but I’m on the fence as to whether I’ll actually read it.I received a free copy of this book for review from the publisher, Skyscape, and the publicist. Thank you!
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    The premise of this book sounded captivating and I couldn’t wait for the author to introduce the romance between the two male characters who basically hate each other, but I did not expect this YA story to be so… mature. The world-building is dark, Noam works to improve the conditions of refugees by working with government officials and developing his own powers, and there are plenty of secrets no one cares to share. There’s drinking, drugs, sex. Adult stuff. It’s a page-turner, but not an insta The premise of this book sounded captivating and I couldn’t wait for the author to introduce the romance between the two male characters who basically hate each other, but I did not expect this YA story to be so… mature. The world-building is dark, Noam works to improve the conditions of refugees by working with government officials and developing his own powers, and there are plenty of secrets no one cares to share. There’s drinking, drugs, sex. Adult stuff. It’s a page-turner, but not an instant one. The first chapter is confusing because of the complexity of the world. It takes time to understand—truly understand—what is going on and what Noam’s purpose is but once you do it all become worth it. It’s like when you have three essays to hand in on one specific date and you know it’s going to be a nightmare to finish those but once you finish them you feel so god-like. Except, you know, less dramatic. That was a bad example, really. It’s not my day.The gay romance is worth waiting for. It’s a love-hate relationship reminiscent of Damen and Laurent’s from Captive Prince. But just a tiny bit less… abusive (before it becomes steamy and romantic). I couldn’t get enough of Noam and Dara’s interactions which never failed to surprise me. Hot and cold is not something that attracts me in real life mates but because I’m not the one to deal with the mood swings and lies, the cat and mouse game feels satisfying somehow. I am so excited for the sequel. There is so much happening in this story that these are some very filled 370 pages and the ending left me speechless. Whaaaat? No waaaay. Such cruelty!!Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
    January 1, 1970
    I had no idea that I need this book in my life until I stumbled upon the synopsis. Dang! That sounds so intriguing! My gay romance radar went on autopilot and my inner queer faerie is slaphappy! *lol*Guess that's what you call a win-win situation. XD
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  • Jamie Finch
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not going to lie, the only reason I decided to pick this book up was for the m/m rep, which did not disappoint (prepare for a lot of angst). I honestly didn’t know much else about it or what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book was incredibly diverse and the bisexual representation in particular, made me ridiculously happy. “I meant it when I said I wasn’t gay” Noam said.Ames looked disbelieving , but she didn’t pull away.Noam smirked. “ Bisexual isn’t I’m not going to lie, the only reason I decided to pick this book up was for the m/m rep, which did not disappoint (prepare for a lot of angst). I honestly didn’t know much else about it or what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book was incredibly diverse and the bisexual representation in particular, made me ridiculously happy. “I meant it when I said I wasn’t gay” Noam said.Ames looked disbelieving , but she didn’t pull away.Noam smirked. “ Bisexual isn’t gay”I can’t put into words how much it means to hear characters refer to themselves as Bi . So often we are erased and just assumed to be gay and it was refreshing to see this character correcting this assumption, and he did it in a way that didn’t come across as overly defensive. It definitely took me some time to get into the story, as it did start out pretty slow. I found it a bit info-dumpy in some parts and I initially struggled slightly to understand some of the world building. There was also a fair amount of technological and science talk that went completely over my head 😂. Things did make more sense as the story went along though, and it really started to heat up during the last 100 or so pages. Holy shit did it get intense! Even during the slower moments, the writing and plot still managed to keep me intrigued throughout and I found myself constantly trying to figure out who to trust and what people’s motives were. The whole concept of the book was unlike anything I’ve ever read. The idea of magic being a kind of virus that not many people were able to survive was such an interesting take on it.Most importantly, I actually cared about the characters, which really does make all of the difference. It was very much a character driven book and I appreciated all of the little moments that went into developing their relationships. I really liked Noam as the main character and I found him realistic and quite relatable at times, especially when he didn’t instantly fit in with everyone else when he first arrived at level IV. I loved how he refused to turn his back on where he came from and his passion to strive for change. He could sometimes be a bit too blinkered, however, and there were times when I was frustrated with his character, but the reasons behind some of those moments were made clearer as the story progressed. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a strong desire to protect a character the way I did with Dara. The glimpses into some of the shit he went through broke my heart. There were just so many layers to his character and I loved him so much 😭There was one character, (who I’m not going to name because it could be a spoiler), who was just so well written and complex. I did suspect early on that there was definitely something up with them ,but I really wasn’t expecting the extent of it. I have a feeling that we have only just begun to scratch the surface of this character and what they are capable of. The other characters didn’t really play much of a part for me to have any strong feelings about, but I did like Ames a lot. I hope that the next book gives us more development for these characters as well !Another thing that I liked about this book was the clever way in which Calix’s backstory was introduced via things like letters, audio recordings, encrypted videos etc. I found this much more effective than him just simply opening up about everything that he endured.This book does delve into quite a few heavy topics, so that’s something to keep in mind before you read it. The author does have content warnings on her website ( http://victorialeewrites.com/2018/09/... ) but I highly recommend it!
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  • Malanie
    January 1, 1970
    arc sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewI was nervous about this one!!!!!!!. I don’t usually get into SF-F books???????? (which is a part of my personality we’re working on this year, pls contribute to the cause with your recs)But I appreciated the hell out of this book. IT WAS SO CHARACTER-DRIVEN???? But at the same time, we’re given science! and betrayal! AND TRUE LOVE FOR THE GAYS! This was an excellent novel. What is this book about? Noam (a gorgeous bisexual high school d arc sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewI was nervous about this one!!!!!!!. I don’t usually get into SF-F books???????? (which is a part of my personality we’re working on this year, pls contribute to the cause with your recs)But I appreciated the hell out of this book. IT WAS SO CHARACTER-DRIVEN???? But at the same time, we’re given science! and betrayal! AND TRUE LOVE FOR THE GAYS! This was an excellent novel. What is this book about? Noam (a gorgeous bisexual high school dropout) lives in a post nuclear fallout America. In his society, magic is a virus; if you get infected you either die or live and gain magical powers. The cool thing about it is that these powers are based on actual science & technology. So, if you want to, say, heal things? You must have a solid foundation in anatomy. So no screwing up in your STEM classes. & If I do say so myself, what a concept?????? IT’S JUST REALLY SMOOTH AND COOL. Our story starts off with Noam living in the slums and his parents are illegal immigrants. So, Noam’s focused on social justice and protesting for the human rights that immigrants deserve (which is extremely relevant and I was v proud to see this DISCUSSED). So, we just have a brave, accountable, good! teenage boy. Living his life w his vacant father (yes his dad is as useful as a piece of lettuce). But then one fateful day, Noam’s entire neighborhood is///////////infected/////////// Noam survives and develops powers, but everyone else dies. He’s whisked away to a special government school for magical kids & the story commences to hurt my feelings. Characters NoamNoam is a heroic, determined boy. Sometimes he’s a little bit…drunk on patriotism? For example, he makes decisions solely based on the greater good for immigrants, and is generally into utilitarianism. So, it can blind him sometimes? And his willingness to stab people may be frowned upon in some circles. But overall he’s a pretty sweet guy. c: I JUST REALIZED HE’S AN ANTIHERO! So, there’s that for the goddamn win. He’s also Jewish, bisexual, and Latino, and he’s not afraid to stand up for himself when someone puts him down for being who he is. I’M JUST VERY PROUD OF THIS CUPCAKE AND I LOVE HIM. My absolute favorite part of Noam’s story, though, is his relationship with Calix Lehrer, who slowly becomes a father figure over the course of the story. I’ve never read this brand of found family and it was an experience I’ll cherish for my entire life. Their relationship is complex? TO SAY THE ABSOLUTE LEAST. But I was really into it. Dara DARA IS SO SWEET????? He has a *past* and I felt so protective of him, meanwhile he’s protective of every single one of his friends. He’s gorgeous, brilliant, has *secret* powers, and is so soft when it anything concerns Noam??????????who can I talk to about selling my soul to Dara?I don’t want to say too much about him because so much of his character contains spoilers. But I’ll leave you with this: Noam and Dara’s love story = hate-to-love. AND I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TIME TO PREPARE FOR IT. But now you can. Doing good deeds again this year like the sweetheart I am c: c: c: Overall I wish the entire series were published right now. I don’t have….coping skills for this kind of thing???? WHY CAN’T I BINGE, WHERE ARE THE REST OF THE BOOKS???? that ending cannot be all I have?????? It’s like sand, slipping through my fingers. I FEEL SO ALONE. ****and yet my heart is beating so fast after what this plot put me through, and I'm suddenly deeply suspicious of everyone except Dara and Noam, because they deserve nothing but fond gazes.also, i don't know, they might deserve a relaxing afternoon? in which they can sit down with their classic novels, safely, and drink hot cocoa? as a soft, happy, thriving couple?)(scrapes my emotions off the floor)|BLOG|
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  • ⚔ Silvia ⚓
    January 1, 1970
    I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. Me: h-Victoria Lee, probably: I'll make sure you never know happiness againTHAT HURTED but like in a good way.It’s hard to say in a sentence what The Fever King is about. You could say it’s about Noam, a Jewish Latino bisexual teen who survives the magic virus that kills most of the population and leaves him a witching, status which grants him a spot among the people he and his family ha I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. Me: h-Victoria Lee, probably: I'll make sure you never know happiness againTHAT HURTED but like in a good way.It’s hard to say in a sentence what The Fever King is about. You could say it’s about Noam, a Jewish Latino bisexual teen who survives the magic virus that kills most of the population and leaves him a witching, status which grants him a spot among the people he and his family have always fought against. You could say it’s about impossible decisions and the line between right and wrong. You could say it's about intergenerational trauma and what it does to the individual and to a community.The Fever King is a book that will draw you in and make you care about the characters and the story. Even if you are not familiar with the genre (I would say it’s YA political fantasy/dystopia), the narrating voice of Noam guides you through the book in a way that draws from more light-hearted YA books. That is to say, Noam is a joy to read and he manages to make you smile and laugh even amidst all the stuff that goes on in the book. Sometimes I found like this could have been toned down a little, and at times I felt like the type of narrative used was more proper of a first person POV than the third person used here, but that's just a personal preference. I loved the magic system and the fact that, even with magic powers, people still need to know the science behind what they’re doing (eg knowing physics in order to move objects with telekinetics). That's something I wish was more present in books with magic because it's always so interesting to see and much better than when magic has no explanation or rules.One of the strongest things this book has to offer are the many political themes that I don’t feel qualified enough/entitled to talk about. I encourage you to read Victoria Lee's words about some of the themes that shape this book.I'm not going to lie, I struggled a lot (for months!) trying to write a review, because this is such an important book and I felt so bad not giving it a full five stars. I also read an early copy and I don't know how much the final product will be edited, but I fully plan on rereading it because the only problems I had were in the writing, which to me feels somewhat debut-y. I felt like the worldbuilding could've been better interwoven into the plot instead of being sometimes dumped in a big bulk. Sometimes it was tell-y instead of show-y, and I think certain *hints* were a little too obvious for my tastes. Those are just my personal preferences though, and I don't want anyone to think that this isn't an incredible debut. There were so many points that made me laugh out loud and others made me SCREAM because they were some of the most evil things I've seen done by an author, and I mean that in the best way possible of course.Some reasons you shouldn't go into this book is if you're expecting it to be about 100% good people (they're not) and also if you don't like gay shit. But in that case you can gently go fuck yourself and it's your loss I guess, because e v e r y o n e in this book is wonderfully queer.TWs: list of trigger warnings on the author's website, plus a few I feel like adding: sickness resulting in death of a child, mention of c.p., murder, blood, gore.____The author just confirmed that everyone in the book is going to be queer. I also have two functioning kidneys I'd be willing to trade for an ARC, I've...........got an ARC. Holy shit. *cries in bisexual*
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
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  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    Was this completely predictable? Yes.Did I care? Not even a little, and that should tell you something about how well-written these characters are.The Fever King is the first book in a futuristic sci-fantasy series set in what is left of the once-United States. It follows a main character who is bisexual, Jewish and Colombian and it features a main m/m romance. It's a story that talks about a lot of interesting themes, and I'm going to get to that in this review, but first I want to talk about w Was this completely predictable? Yes.Did I care? Not even a little, and that should tell you something about how well-written these characters are.The Fever King is the first book in a futuristic sci-fantasy series set in what is left of the once-United States. It follows a main character who is bisexual, Jewish and Colombian and it features a main m/m romance. It's a story that talks about a lot of interesting themes, and I'm going to get to that in this review, but first I want to talk about what this book made me think about predictability.I think we often use "this was predictable" to mean that a book was boring and banal. And I mean, that's often true, especially for books in which predictability isn't the point - I... wouldn't complain about predictability in the romance genre, you know - but sometimes it's just not.Sometimes a book is predictable because it took the path you wanted it to have, because it developed in a way that made sense, because the author didn't decide to sacrifice a perfectly solid and entertaining storyline for the sake of shock value. And as long as the main character isn't naive or unobservant for no reason - and here, that wasn't the case - I'm not going to penalize a book for doing what it should have done.And did this book go there. The Fever King is set in a country with an internal refugee crisis and an external persecution problem, as it's the only state in the world that doesn't imprison people who have magical powers, and it's a story about how people react to personal and generational trauma, a story about whether and how much the goal can justify the means.If you know anything about me, you should also know that this last sentence is probably the thing I like to see the most in fiction. Why? Because it makes for terrific villainous characters. And this was no exception. I can't tell you as much as I'd like about the character I'm talking about - because while it's a very predictable storyline, I'd rather write a spoiler-free review - but I found him really fascinating and awful, and isn't that the best combination? As usual, the characters that make me think "I want to know more!" and "please die, like, right now" are the ones I feel strongly aboutI also really liked the main character, Noam. He's the son of immigrants, and after he survived a deadly virus and became a witchling, he's thrust in a world that represents everything he has always hated - and to see how conflicted he is, how he's desperately looking for allies and at the same time kind of wants to go back? He was a really interesting character to read about.And his romance with Dara? The way they start out suspicious of each other but grow closer anyway and still don't really know what's the right thing to do... I have a lot of feelings, it must be that I just really like reading about confused young gays who are trying their best to do the right thing.The other side characters weren't that developed, but seeing how marginal most of them were, it wasn't that much of an issue. (This also meant that there isn't a woman who has a relevant role in the whole book, which I... don't really like)I liked reading about this world. It looks like a horrible place to be in, but it also has one of the most interesting magic systems I've read in a while, both because it includes superpowers I had never seen in a novel before - the main character main's power is technopathy, basically magical hacking - and because it's based on knowledge; you can get new powers if you study (for example, you can get telekinesis from physics).What I liked less about the world is that I often had no idea how anything looked like, but I can't say I didn't like the writing either, because this is the kind of story that felt effortless and that I went through in less than two days, two days during which it took over my head and I couldn't think about anything else.
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    there are antiheroes and gay shit in this
  • - ̗̀ jess ̖́-
    January 1, 1970
    “It's all random chance. The universe. Us. An infinite cascade of chaos. A series of impossible accidents is the only reason we even exist.”The Fever King absolutely blew me away. Here's something I don't say often, but even though the premise didn't get me too excited, the execution was incredible. I thought I was tired of dystopian books, but The Fever King proved that new twists can be put onto a genre that's been trod into the ground. It's a book that's poignant in this day and age, explorin “It's all random chance. The universe. Us. An infinite cascade of chaos. A series of impossible accidents is the only reason we even exist.”The Fever King absolutely blew me away. Here's something I don't say often, but even though the premise didn't get me too excited, the execution was incredible. I thought I was tired of dystopian books, but The Fever King proved that new twists can be put onto a genre that's been trod into the ground. It's a book that's poignant in this day and age, exploring how trauma, especially intergenerational trauma, affects people, and what happens when they come out as survivors.I loved reading Noam's story. Noam is stubborn and determined and keeps trying to do what he thinks is right. The narrative voice in this was so good. It was authentic and engaging, and even though it was written in third person, I felt as if I was in Noam's head more than in a lot of first-person narratives. I also came to love Dara a lot--can I give him a hug? Please? Both Noah and Dara were such complex and real characters and I loved the dynamic between them. Yes, it could be prickly and angsty, but I could tell they really did care for each other even though all the miscommunication (which was written so much better than most miscommunication tropes are).The worldbuilding and magic system was so interesting as well--where magic is a virus that can kill, and is based on actual science. I don't see many books that can be categorized as science fantasy but this is definitely one of them. The fracturing of the post-nuclear United States was interesting--a bit confusing at first, and I'm still not sure what the exact timeline is, but it didn't impact my enjoyment of the book. A lot of the backstory to the world comes through documents and videos showing Calix Lehrer's life. Lehrer was such a fascinating character and I definitely want to see more of him in sequels. Even though the characters were excellent and the worldbuilding was great, what stood out to me was how tight the plot was. I actually gasped out loud at a few points and even though there were some things that I saw coming, the twists still managed to get me in some way or another. The world of The Fever King incorporated history and current events that cause discomfort--riots, refugee camps, epidemics, biological warfare. I wasn't expecting this book to be as brutal as it was, but it deals with all types of trauma in a way that's just so raw. Almost all of the characters have experienced some type of heavy trauma either before or during the book's events and cope with it in ways that are probably more harmful than not, but they're survivors: they keep existing and keep pushing boundaries.I really enjoyed reading The Fever King and will definitely be on the lookout for the sequel when it comes. If you want to see a clever new twist on the dystopian genre, characters that you'll fall in love with, or just desire for your heart to be shattered by yet another book--read The Fever King. You won't regret it.Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
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  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    5 starsTHIS 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 c 5 starsTHIS 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. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHI 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.)Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    Let me preface this mini review by saying I have talked to the author and she seems really nice. I have nothing against her. That said, I unfortunately did not enjoy this as much as I hoped I would. I was expecting a lot of sci-fi (which there was but not as much as I was expecting.) I had trouble staying focused on the story. (But that's mostly because I had some personal things going on while I was reading this.) All in all, I loved the writing style. The story intrigued me at first but slowly Let me preface this mini review by saying I have talked to the author and she seems really nice. I have nothing against her. That said, I unfortunately did not enjoy this as much as I hoped I would. I was expecting a lot of sci-fi (which there was but not as much as I was expecting.) I had trouble staying focused on the story. (But that's mostly because I had some personal things going on while I was reading this.) All in all, I loved the writing style. The story intrigued me at first but slowly petered out towards the end. Thank you to Brilliance Publishing for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy***Therapist: So what's been on your mind lately.Me: so there's this book. I really want to read it but it doesn't come out until March.Therapist: You know what to do about that right?Me: Kidnap the author and hold her ransom for an ARC of her own book?!Therapist: ...Thank you to Brilliance Publishing for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy and thus saving their debut author from a kidnapping.
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  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    January 1, 1970
    4.25The Fever King is a diverse and gripping sci-fi thriller of suspense. The fast-paced political intrigue between the two major factions in a post US apocalyptic world and the main protagonist tangled up in it all had me glued to the pages. The former US has been befallen with a virus that destroyed most of the population and left two major metropoles. Atlantia in the southeast, a nuclear wasteland comprised of refugee camps, a place where all the sick people were dumped into; and Carolinia, t 4.25The Fever King is a diverse and gripping sci-fi thriller of suspense. The fast-paced political intrigue between the two major factions in a post US apocalyptic world and the main protagonist tangled up in it all had me glued to the pages. The former US has been befallen with a virus that destroyed most of the population and left two major metropoles. Atlantia in the southeast, a nuclear wasteland comprised of refugee camps, a place where all the sick people were dumped into; and Carolinia, the elite and knifing power of the rich, healthy and wealthy.Noam’s mother was the first in the family to die of the virus. Now, working hard to support his sickly father, Noam works double shifts, cooks and cleans in the shackle among shackles that comprise his neighborhood. Noam’s father used to be an activist for human rights and helped as many people as he possibly could. No one knows how the outbreaks started exactly. It could have been a tank coming from the quarantined zone that wasn’t hosed down properly or residing dormant in the blood of their hosts for a while. REFUGE RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS (Revolt of June 2018)Noam begins a fever and wakes up in the hospital. His body fought the virus and conquered it. This makes him a witching and the ability to control technology. There are only a few of those, it is rather rare and special and he becomes of interest to the minister of defense, Mr. Lehrer (ironically that means teacher in German). Noam will house with other students in a facility where he will be taught to handle his powers in a secret plot against the government. This is where he meets the elusive Dara who is way ahead of his game in his abilities. Torn between the factions of good and evil, and missing his dad, Noam still wants to secretly help the cause in aid of refugees. Shifting political powers and agenda’s make it difficult for him to know who is truly working for whom. A collision in action with Dara spikes a different kind of connection to his classmate. One, that opens up personal wounds among a backstabbing revolt that needs sorting out. How will Noam fare and whom can he trust? Will he be able to make his contributions to society or will he just be used as a pawn in the dangerous game between the factions? As high ranking officials die in questionable circumstances, Noam will make the most daring and costly move of his life at the brink of termination. ***This YA novel feels so timely and checks off all the boxes of a great read. The premise, background, and plot were intriguingly crafted and provided a rush that had me read this novel in one day. It differs from other YA novels I have read, as it tackles current political and historical parallels with the added bonus of diverse characters. I really liked this book and am so glad I picked it up. The first 2/3 rds. of it were a straight 5-star read but then it tethered a bit for me. Now, a disclaimer on my part, I do not read romance novels of any kind, and this one contained romance and the angst of love both physically and heartfelt between two characters. I was more interested in the overall plot. Again, just me. I know many that will enjoy those components. The Fever King is part of the Feverwake series. Not sure if it will be a duology, trilogy or more. I could not exactly find that out, but the author’s blog has a lovely post about the inspiration for this novel referring to the Holocaust.Again, a very timely fictional YA book. I think anyone looking for the “and then some” will find it in The Fever King.
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  • ☙ percy ❧
    January 1, 1970
    YO one of my most anticipated books goes on the amazon first reads selection??? it's motherfuckin christmas
  • Natasha Ngan
    January 1, 1970
    My kind of sci-fi: sharp, smart and political, with something important to say about our own world. Lee offers a fresh twist on magic that makes THE FEVER KING feel totally new and unique. I was absorbed in Noam's world from the first page - and was dreading leaving it by the last. Also: DARA FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Okay. This book fits so well with what I love: apocalyptic, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense... Bring magic in a futuristic world and you got me. Add a romantic story, and I'm hooked! A couple of times, I would have hidden myself behind my eyes if I was watching a movie. I devoured the book, loved loved loved!Many thanks to Skyscape for my e-copy of this book through NetGalley.
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  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received in exchange for an honest review – thank you! The first 65% of this book was so boring I was deeply concerned I’d have to DNF it. And then – incredibly – the plot went from plodding along to flat-out sprinting. Honestly, I nearly got whiplash from the sudden change of pace.But! It’s that change of pace which definitely saved this book from utter tedium.In this futuristic world, the US has been split into two countries – Carolinia, the north, and Atlantia, the south. The two sides h ARC received in exchange for an honest review – thank you! The first 65% of this book was so boring I was deeply concerned I’d have to DNF it. And then – incredibly – the plot went from plodding along to flat-out sprinting. Honestly, I nearly got whiplash from the sudden change of pace.But! It’s that change of pace which definitely saved this book from utter tedium.In this futuristic world, the US has been split into two countries – Carolinia, the north, and Atlantia, the south. The two sides have a relationship similar to that of the modern-day US and Mexico. Refugees from Atlantia constantly try and escape into Carolinia, which is richer and has better resources.Carolinia, however, strongly objects to these illegal immigrants. Atlantians often bring diseases with them: not just any disease, but magic. Magic manifests itself as a fever, and only if you survive it (very unlikely) will you get magical powers. Most of Carolinia’s government has magical powers, but they don’t want the huge death tolls that would result from Atlantians infecting the general Carolinian population with the disease.Sixteen-year-old Atlantian Noam Álvaro has just survived the fever which killed his father. But when he wakes, it’s to discover that Calix Lehrer – the immortal, all-powerful Minister of Defence for Carolinia – has taken a special interest in him. Noam hates the Carolinian government for its treatment of refugees. He’s determined to bring it down… and maybe, just maybe, he has an ally in Lehrer.Let’s go over what I liked about the book first.✴️ Noam’s love interest Dara Shirazi, Lehrer’s adopted son, was a great character. He’s damaged, loyal, protective, angry… it was wonderful seeing the slow-burn romance develop.✴️ I loved how the three main characters – Noam, Dara, and Lehrer – were all very much shades of grey. I’m a sucker for moral ambiguity, and The Fever King had that in spades.✴️ The political intriguing moved very slowly for most of the book, but in the last third it became a whirlwind of twists.✴️ I did appreciate that Noam was a bisexual Jewish boy of Argentinian ancestry.Now… for the dislikes.✴️ This is my biggest gripe. THERE WAS A VERY STRONG AND DISTINCT LACK OF THE PLUPERFECT TENSE. It jarred my nerves constantly. The author seemed utterly unaware that such a tense existed, which really damaged the quality of the narrative.✴️ Noam acted weirdly stupidly at times. Like, he broke into a top-security government building, but he had zero plan – no disguise, no idea what his excuse would be if he got caught, nothing. It’s got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve seen a character do.✴️ It took me a while to be clear on what exactly happened to splinter the US into these two countries, and I’m still not sure if I get it. Also, it’s mentioned that at one point, the American people voted themselves a king. I’m not American, but I venture to suggest that there is nothing the American people are less likely to do.✴️ The book is very short on character descriptions, which was okay for the main characters – because I’m invested in those – but meant I could barely tell the side characters from one another.On the whole:A fairly good book, which improved so much at the end that I’ll be reading the sequel. I would recommend this to anyone okay with slow-burn romance and slow-burn plot.
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  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)
    January 1, 1970
    Original review posted on my blog : Word WondersCW: mention and description of suicide, illness, death, violence, fascism, drug use, excessive drinking, pedophilia, statutory rape, abuse in all its forms, manipulation, trauma, murder, gore, generational trauma, ableist language, slut-shaming.Do you ever rate a book five stars and the more you think about it the more you realize just how much more you love it and how you wish you could give it a billion more stars? Because that’s me with The Feve Original review posted on my blog : Word WondersCW: mention and description of suicide, illness, death, violence, fascism, drug use, excessive drinking, pedophilia, statutory rape, abuse in all its forms, manipulation, trauma, murder, gore, generational trauma, ableist language, slut-shaming.Do you ever rate a book five stars and the more you think about it the more you realize just how much more you love it and how you wish you could give it a billion more stars? Because that’s me with The Fever King. I finished this book two weeks ago and yet the more I think about it then more I realize how much I underestimated my love for it. Which… is understandable because my goodreads reaction right after finishing it was literally “Just. Can someone please explain what the fuck?”. And that’s still accurate now and will probably be until I read the sequel because literally what the fuck?I love Victoria’s writing so much, if you think about it, it’s quite clean and simple, but the way they string sentences together and charge them emotionally just drives a nail through your heart. They wrote The Fever King as a very timely and politically aware piece of literature, this is a book that didn’t come to play and isn’t afraid to call out everything that’s wrong with the system. And I know this is something that it’s been criticized for. Too political. Too queer. But I think what those people mean too real. Because this book will speak the truth and it will make you uncomfortable but you’ll love it all the more for it. I know I did. I adored it with every rotten fiber of my heart.The concept of this book is a great one and I loved the angle the author approached it with. The Fever King is set in a future US that has been divide into different nations. We’re in Carolinia, one of said nations and the world has been fighting this virus for decades upon decades because when it strikes, it kills most people and those it doesn’t kill get magical powers, excuse me but mixing science and magic? HOW COOL IS THAT? The powers the person ends up getting are more often than not influenced by their affinities pre-infection and they can learn other skills, if they understand the science behind them. It’s been a long time since a magic system had me so giddy to learn more but this did it. My science nerd brain was well fed. And all of this was extremely easy to grasp.Noam, our bisexual Colombian Jewish main character, survives the infection that kills his dad and wakes up with technopathic powers. And listen. I would die for this boy, I loved how witty and cunning he is, he has a smart mouth and isn’t afraid to use it, but he’s also naive, strong headed and could avoid a lot of trouble if only he listened once or twice. He’s also the son of undocumented immigrant and has grown up extremely poor because of Carolinia’s cold shoulder to its refugee population as well as its increasingly loud and violent anti-immigrant sentiment. And he’s determined to destroy the system that killed his parents from the inside out.This book not only draws parallels with what is currently happening (in the US) but it also explores inter-generational trauma when drawing a parallel with the Holocaust, and space was explicitly made for that discussion by making the main cast Jewish.I was drawn to Noam’s character because of the decisions he had to make and how that created a golden opportunity to explore moral ambiguity and the lengths people would go to for what’s right, where do they draw the line? Is the line the same for everyone? Does this line even exist in such an oppressive and borderline genocidal climate? What’s right? What’s wrong? Are things really either or and not somewhere in the murky grey middle? And that was fascinating to read, and quite frankly one of the stronger suits of the book, which makes me circle back to this book being “political”, and makes me ask, how can it not be when the very existence of its characters and the people they represent is made political?Then there’s Dara. Troubled soft Dara who just wants to live on a farm and stargaze until he grows grey and old. And through the whole book, I just wanted someone to wrap him in a -consensual- hug, tuck him in bed with a good book and some hot chocolat. He’s Jewish and the adoptive son of the Defense minister of Carolinia, comes off as a snarky jerk who doesn’t care about anything, but who just has to deal with a huge amount of trauma every. waking. moment. And listen, I’ve never felt more seen, acknowledged or validated by how trauma coping was handled in my whole life.Victoria didn’t shy away from showing the gritty, messy, dark and very much unhealthy ways people can cope with trauma. How sometimes your only coping mechanisms are isolation and self-destruction because it’s better to suffer at your own hands than at another’s and because you don’t have the tools or vocabulary to do it any other way. Dara’s touch aversion, his nonchalant and dick-ish façade, the way he had to live with people worshiping his abuser while he knew how much of a piece of shit he was and not being able to do anything about it. All of it. It was extremely hard to read but also extremely cathartic.Because of how much trauma both characters deal with, the relationship between them was intense, and they weren’t always great for each other but they ultimately stuck by each other no matter their differences. Which…is another real part of this book, trauma not only affects you but it also affects the way you interact with people and if you ask me, it adds some kind of urgency and intensity to the way you care about people, which can turn toxic if not handled well, and I feel like this book navigated that line so very well, showing both sides of the coin. I not only rooted for Noam and Dara to KISS ALREADY but I also rooted for them to open up to each other, and be honest and GOOD to each other. Their romance was so slow-burn and tentative and I lived for the few sweet moments they had.Another prominent character I want to talk about is Lehrer, who’s the queer Jewish minister of defense and never in my life have I felt so conflicted about a character. And I’m still not sure how I feel about him even after finishing the book. He’s lived over a hundred years, maintaining himself with his magic (being the most powerful person to exist), and he’s mysterious and complicated and absolutely horrifying but that draws you to him even more because you can never be sure of what his attentions are or if his agenda is really what he says it is (I don’t think it is but!!!! i don’t know!!!!). There are other side characters in the book that make up Dara and Noam’s friends group, who are Ames, Taye and Bethany and I hope we can see more of them in the future, especially Ames. I love that girl to pieces.This review is long enough as it is, and I think I’ve overshared more than enough for one post so I’m gonna leave it at this and urge you to PLEASE read this book if you can handle the topics it tackles. It’s brilliant. Now yours truly has to agonizingly wait for THE ELECTRIC and HOW am I supposed to survive so long on that ending? HOW?
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  • TL
    January 1, 1970
    2.25 to 2.5 starsThis is just gonna be random thoughts scattered instead 0f a proper review.. bear with me.Wish world building was less vague.. was confused in the beginning..not enough to put me off but would have made it easier to sink into the story... the powers have a vague Xmen ish feel to em but not much action with training for much of the story. The science behind developing different powers is very fascinating and wish more time had been devoted to that as well.Noam and Dara's connecti 2.25 to 2.5 starsThis is just gonna be random thoughts scattered instead 0f a proper review.. bear with me.Wish world building was less vague.. was confused in the beginning..not enough to put me off but would have made it easier to sink into the story... the powers have a vague Xmen ish feel to em but not much action with training for much of the story. The science behind developing different powers is very fascinating and wish more time had been devoted to that as well.Noam and Dara's connection is well done but I didn't root for them together till later in the game, little while after Melissa did. Maybe seeing into Dara's head would have helped but the mystery of certain things with him was a nice touch.Regarding Dara, I caught on to a couple things before Noam did and was itching for Noam to find out so we could see how he handled everything. Calix fascinated me. Both with his relationship with Noam and just by himself.a whole book just on his backstory alone would be quite the journey. Seeing inside his head would definitely be a trip. Though with certain things revealed... well, yeah.I didn't trust him at all really. You can tell (or at least I could) fairly early on that something isn't on the level with him, he's a man who keeps many many secrets.Side note: kept picturing Tom Hiddleston as him:).The plot is a bit slow, meanders a bit but isn't totally dragging. Another one where it'll either hook you right away or take a bit to work its charms on you.I was in the former camp,  and a bit in the latter. The ending I saw coming and it was done well but was still letdown. Not interested in book two but I did have fun while reading it for the most part.
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  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    I have heard many great things about this and the author seems like a very cool person so why not?!
  • Benjamin
    January 1, 1970
    I'm making this happen..............................................................................................................FUCK COLLEGE, FUCK EVERYTHING, this is exactly what I need.
  • Surina
    January 1, 1970
    This is why I DON'T read uncompleted series because after I finish the first book, which of course ends on a HUGE cliffhanger, I can't ever grab the second book immediately and find out what happens next so I end up biting my nails all year while waiting for the next book and by the time the second book comes up my poor nails are GONE.Am I being slightly melodramatic? Yes. Maybe. But after that ending I am a certifiable mess so I feel fully entitled to cry into the void right now.
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  • Kal ★ Reader Voracious
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars “I would rather die than do nothing.” Friends, there are some books that just suck you into their pages from the start and stay with you after you finish. The Fever King is one of those rare books. I was captivated from the first page and filled every spare moment I had with reading this amazing debut novel. For two days I started and ended my day reading The Fever King, and actually went to work an hour later than normal so I could finish the book yesterday. (and I absolutely hate h 4.5 stars “I would rather die than do nothing.” Friends, there are some books that just suck you into their pages from the start and stay with you after you finish. The Fever King is one of those rare books. I was captivated from the first page and filled every spare moment I had with reading this amazing debut novel. For two days I started and ended my day reading The Fever King, and actually went to work an hour later than normal so I could finish the book yesterday. (and I absolutely hate having to stay after it gets dark!)I honestly have no idea how to even find the words to review this book. The Fever King is an amazing debut fantasy/speculative fiction novel that takes place in the year 2123 in an alternative United States. I think for me the thing that stuck out the most about this was that the point of divergence into this possible future was 2019, and even though we don’t have outbreaks of magic spreading (that we know of) it feels so incredibly authentic. And that’s terrifying to me, and the best parts of science fiction. In this 2123 new countries exist but there is still the same hatred and nationalistic rhetoric that we are experiencing today.Our protagonist is Noam Álvaro, immigrant’s rights activist and 16-year old son of undocumented immigrants living in the refugee slums of Carolinia. His world is turned upside down when he survives the outbreak of viral magic and becomes a witching. His survival and blood tests bring him under the attention of hero and Minister of Defense Calix Lehrer, who brings him under his wing and into Level IV to train. “He was finally where he needed to be. Where he could use whatever powers the witchings taught him to undermine the foundations of their world and rebuild it into something new. Something better.” Thrust into a world Noam not only doesn’t belong in but has openly fought against, he finds himself in a position to use his position to further the cause. This book offers a nuanced conversation about activism, nonviolent and violent protest, and how the line becomes blurred between acts of terror and revolution depending on who wins. I really liked how realistic this feels with the stakes of trusting people and possibly putting that trust in the wrong person. But the desire to do something. Anything. To help his people, and taking a chance. “Everything worth doing had its risks.” A major theme of this book is utilitarianism and whether the ends can justify the means. Caught between his head and his heart, Noam acts very much like I imagine 16-year old me would act in this situation: full of idealism and willing to do whatever it takes to make the world a better place. But he also struggles with it and starts to feel disillusioned as well. I like when my protagonists struggle and don’t act as if they have all the answers, and all of the character decisions felt authentic to me.I absolutely loved the worldbuilding and how Lee slowly reveals information to the reader through the plot as well as the addition of some historical newspaper clippings and interviews to provide additional historical context so it doesn’t bog down the action of the present. She manages to toe the line perfectly, giving the reader enough to crave more but never too little to feel lost in a sea of details.I cannot write a review about The Fever King without talking about the wonderful characters. All of them are three-dimensional and feel like real people. Even though one of his Level IV roommates, Taye, doesn’t have much of a role in this installment, he still felt just as real as the rest of the characters. Dara is a precious bean and must be protected at all costs. “This had been his life. This had been his father’s life, and now it meant nothing. Noam had magic. He was one of them now.”“Right. Because Dara had the luxury of finding such things surprising.” The Fever King addresses privilege incredibly well. The circumstances of Noam’s survival and witching status brought him into a world that he didn’t belong in, and the differences were stark. His roommates all had been trained from a young age, are Carolinian, and generally come from more affluent backgrounds. Noam grew up in an old bookstore in the refugee zone and dropped out of school after the eight grade. They are from different worlds and through Dara’s eyes Noam sees how different they truly are. “And Noam might pass for white, but Dara sure as hell didn’t, which, yeah.” But despite that privilege, intersectionality also comes into play. I found it to be rather impactful to see this issue of race come into play, and how just because one may have had all sorts of benefits afforded to them in one area, it doesn’t mean that everything is easier or erases other struggles. It’s subtle in the narrative but was something I really appreciated. “And I meant it when I said I wasn’t gay,” Noam said. Ames looked disbelieving, but she didn’t pull away. Noam smirked. “Bisexual isn’t gay.” This book has a m/m romance, but I was so pleased to see Noam is bisexual and that the narrative succinctly touches on the fact that being with a person of one sex doesn’t erase bisexuality.Overall this book is everything that I hoped it would be and more! The infection and outbreak reminded me of The Hot Zone, the nuance of trying to enact social change and creating a better world reminding me of The Handmaid’s Tale, and characters that I need to protect with all of my being. I liked that I never really knew who to trust and it felt like I was along for the ride alongside Noam… and that meant that as the stakes got higher, so did my anxiety! I cannot recommend this book enough. What I hope to see explored in the next book: (view spoiler)[– I want to know more about the Catastrophe. Why did Lehrer abdicate? (Like really?)– How are additional abilities developed? I just don’t get Lehrer in this context.– I kind of wish i knew what the limits of magic were, how it works, where the virus itself comes from.– Why aren’t they working on a cure?– Wait apparently they occupied Atlantia? (hide spoiler)]I purchased an early copy of this eBook as part of the Amazon First Reads program. If you are in the US, you can get this book early for $1.99 (free if you are a Prime member) before February 28, 2019! The Fever King will be available in the US on March 1, 2019!Blog | Twitter | Pinterest
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  • ♡ Dakota ♡ (Sarcasm is my middle name)
    January 1, 1970
    Gay and fantasy. What more could I ask for?
  • rin
    January 1, 1970
    so... am i allowed to sue victoria lee for emotional distress?i have literally no idea how to review books that i loved so i'll just scream a little and call it a dayHEY SO I REALLY REALLY LOVED THIS OKAYoverall it's like xmen or maybe vicious with a dash of gay and revolution and dealing with trauma and fighting for refugee rights. and its very well written and im ashamed to admit that i apparently lived under the rock because i haven't heard of this book until like a week ago even though some so... am i allowed to sue victoria lee for emotional distress?i have literally no idea how to review books that i loved so i'll just scream a little and call it a dayHEY SO I REALLY REALLY LOVED THIS OKAYoverall it's like xmen or maybe vicious with a dash of gay and revolution and dealing with trauma and fighting for refugee rights. and its very well written and im ashamed to admit that i apparently lived under the rock because i haven't heard of this book until like a week ago even though some of my friends have already read it (sigh). and so i went into this book completely blindly having absolutely no idea what it's about and whew! it surpised me!couple of cws for the book: (view spoiler)[child abuse, statutory rape, suicide (mentions), genocide (mentions), unhealthy coping mechanisms, general violence (hide spoiler)] also the author provides them in detail (which is a very nice thing to do) explaining what happens where, so if you need warnings, go check them out!as for the rep, there's a bi jewish main character, who's also a second-generation immigrant. and i believe, a gay love interest of color (im not exactly sure if he's gay but he totally reads as one for me idk). while reading this i was more on the 4 stars rating because it was kind of slow but then THE PACE PICKED UP SHIT STARTED HAPPENING MY EMOTIONS WERE ATTACKED I NEARLY DIED so in the end i felt like i just finished a race and i honestly couldnt not give it 5 stars (to be fair, it's not a 10 but a solid 9 from me and i have big expectations from book #2 now).i can't do justice talking about the issues brought up in this book, but i very much recommend reading the author's message - WHY I WROTE THE FEVER KING. i just want to add that i really loved the way it dealt with trauma, showcasing different ways of being totally fucked up by it and different ways of coping with it. i loved the romance in general (if noam and dara aren't happy in the next book i will sue the author i swear) but i did have some issues w/ it that are mostly personal. it's a decent slow burn (as slow as you can do in 60% of the book i guess) but i think the switch between 'we're not really friends' to 'we're totally in love' was a little to immediate for me. but i have to add, that my complaints about 'another love interest acting like a douche in the beginning sigh' are not really valid in the context. also i wouldn't call the romance hate-to-love as everyone does, i think it's more like intense dislike to love (lol), hate is too strong for that. but overall i still really loved it!i also really loved the characters. i would say, secondary characters do fade in the background sometimes but main characters were really well written! noam and dara are Very Good Bois Who I Would Take Thousands Of Bullets For. (view spoiler)[lehrer can go and fuck himself tho i knew this piece of shit was creepy n disgusting from the very beginning. i think it was intentionally obvious so you could see how unreliable of a narrator noam turns out to be and how much of a sway lehrer had over him (hide spoiler)]im very happy that this book turned out to be good! totally need the sequel right now PLS READ IT @ EVERYONE read it to piss a bigot off p.s. liked how the language of the book is pretty (not very) explicit (yeah, let your teenagers say fuck!) and how it didnt shy away from sexual stuff (again, not very explicit, but not hidden away either)
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  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    First off I would like the thank amazon publishing for sending me an advanced reader copy of The Fever King by Victoria Lee in exchange of a review. I really enjoyed reading this! Lee perfectly balanced the science and magic of her world with the coming of age themes that are apparent in our own politics.CharactersCharacters are everything for me! I loved Noam. He was sweet, but had an undercurrent of thoughts that the average character doesn’t. He wasn’t always the good guy in the story. I real First off I would like the thank amazon publishing for sending me an advanced reader copy of The Fever King by Victoria Lee in exchange of a review. I really enjoyed reading this! Lee perfectly balanced the science and magic of her world with the coming of age themes that are apparent in our own politics.CharactersCharacters are everything for me! I loved Noam. He was sweet, but had an undercurrent of thoughts that the average character doesn’t. He wasn’t always the good guy in the story. I really appreciated reading that. I was slightly nervous that the character Dara would end up like other boys in books who bully the person they ‘love’ (cough, Cardan, cough**) But nope! Lee simply made Dara a troubled and very mysterious character! He wasn’t always nice, but who is always nice?!? Lee went the perfect direction for the relationships Noam had with characters.PlotThe plot was fast and kept me on my feet. I was constantly excited to see what was going to happen! The twists at the end of the book were literally so unexpected my mouth was hanging open from shock! I read this book in a single day, so I guess that goes to show how much I really couldn’t put it down! My only trouble with the plot was that there wasn’t a scene where the reader, or just me, wasn’t shown something personally horrible happen to Noam or another character. The heart wrenching scenes are what guarantee the readers affection of a character or story and I didn’t get that until more than half way through, a side character revealed something. So most of the book I felt slightly disconnected from the story. I have no doubt that with this sorry continuing into a second book, that won’t be a problem. After all, it’s so hard to win the readers love in just 1 book! Sometimes it takes a whole series to do the trick. WritingI am super picky about writing styles. Some drive me insane, lol. Thankfully, Lee’s writing was very well done! It didn’t bother me or take from the story. She very clearly discussed the feelings of Noam. I never felt lost from confusion of what was happening or what he was thinking/ feeling. The politics in the world was superb, and described very clearly. The magic system was straightforward in description but very involved. I loved that. I personally would love to see more imagery, it’s my favorite literary device, haha. But I did have to keep in mind that this is a dystopian novel, there’s not usually so much description of the scenery as other genres.ThemesI loved what this book had to say. The cast was incredibly diverse. And wow the coming of age themes really punched me in the face. Here’s me while reading: “What I just cried about this when I saw it on the news last week! Now I’m crying because Noam is going through it?!?” Yep. The US has the problems of a dystopian novel, comforting. Noam’s parents were immigrants, and Lee when into detail of how that shaped his lifestyle. He in a lot of ways felt a lot like me because he went to politician rallies, volunteered at refugee centers and tried his best to be a help, but never felt like he was actually making a difference. I can’t claim to have done as much as he was doing in the book of course. But that sense of being too young to actually make a difference is a problem I really struggle with. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this! My rating of the book is 4.5! I recommend this to anyone who enjoys coming of age novels, dystopians, sci-fi, or modern fantasy!
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  • Emily Martin
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to read an early version of this book and guys. I LOVE IT WITH MY WHOLE HEART. Like…where do I even begin? I don’t think I’ve ever been more obsessed with a cast characters. I adore ALL OF THEM—including the ones I probably shouldn’t. (But most especially Dara, my cinnamon roll darling. You’ll understand when you meet him.) And then there’s Noam! How I love his wry humor and his questionable moral compass. Lee has created something so special here. THE FEVER KING is both timel I was lucky enough to read an early version of this book and guys. I LOVE IT WITH MY WHOLE HEART. Like…where do I even begin? I don’t think I’ve ever been more obsessed with a cast characters. I adore ALL OF THEM—including the ones I probably shouldn’t. (But most especially Dara, my cinnamon roll darling. You’ll understand when you meet him.) And then there’s Noam! How I love his wry humor and his questionable moral compass. Lee has created something so special here. THE FEVER KING is both timely and timeless, and Lee deftly tackles issues like trauma recovery, moral decay, and the ways we allow history to repeat itself. Her world building is spectacular and her prose is gorgeous and aslfjdasklj just do yourself a favor and preorder it ASAP.
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