Friday, April 5, 2019

Review: The Fever King by Victoria Lee

Title: The Fever King
Series: Feverwake #1
Written by: Victoria Lee
Published: March 1, 2019 by Skyscape

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

I can't remember when I first learned about this book but it sounded interesting enough to add it to my TBR. Then when I saw that it was one of the Amazon First books for the month of March I picked it up without any hesitation and I am really glad I did. This is one of those under the radar type of books that I was incredibly surprised by. I found it gripping and thoroughly engaging.

This is the perfect book for plot-driven readers like myself. It is one of those books that is full of non-stop action and thrilling twists. Seriously, every time I thought there couldn't possibly be another surprise there was. The overall plot kind of felt like three different books combined into one but it never felt jarring or strange to switch between storylines. The author did a great job in developing a flow that created a cohesive book that had me entertained from beginning to end. It was incredibly fast paced as well. There was not a dull minute at all in this book. And the best part is that the plot still built to a huge and exciting conclusion that had me on the edge of my seat.

I think one of the things that made the plot so good was that world was so complex and engaging. There were a lot of great elements to this world that combined some of my favorite things to read about. First and foremost was the dystopian aspects of the story. I don't read a ton of dystopia but I do like the genre overall. This book was dystopia at its finest. It took a modern problem and the treads in our current society and kicked everything up a notch to develop a fictional world that felt current and outrageous at the same time. There were elements of an oppressive government and revolutionaries that were fighting for their rights which all combined to make thoroughly engaging political unrest. Then it through the main character between the two factions which led to a lot of uncertainty in who was right and who was wrong. I love when books make me question rulers and I loved that about this book.

I also really liked the magical system in this book. I love a magical system where the characters each have different powers and they feel like superheroes, and if they get these powers through a virus that kills a bunch of people, all the better. Seriously, when did that become a trope because it definitely is and I am here for it. I loved seeing Noam use his powers and learn about them throughout the book. And each characters powers were fascinating. I like my magical systems to be based in logic and rules and this was one of those times where it was like that. Even if you had powers, in order to use them you needed to know physics and how the forces of the universe worked which was an interesting layer. My only criticism of the powers is that it almost felt like they had endless possibilities. You could unlock new powers with new knowledge and in some respects it just felt like you were giving the characters magic in order for them to get out of situations that there was no other way out of. If you are going to have a magical system like this there needs to be limits.

As far as the characters go, this is a book that had some great diverse characters. First of all, the characters were of different races, genders, and ethnicities which I really enjoyed. Although if I am being entirely honest, this book needed more women. There was really only one or two and they had much smaller parts than the male characters. The main character was biracial, Jewish, and bisexual. Yes, we also had LGBTQIA representation. And Noam was a great main character. He was easy to root for and had been through a lot of hard times before and during this book. He was easy to empathize with throughout the book and that made his development all the more sweet when he came into his own by the end of the book. The rest of the characters were complex and more odious. Because there was so much uncertainty about right and wrong throughout the book it made for characters who walk in a very grey area. Dara was really interesting and I totally ship him with Noam. Lehrer however was the most complex. He's a very charismatic leader with a great set of powers but is also kind of ruthless. All the characters really worked so well in this kind of narrative.

All in all, I really liked this book. It was the perfect change of pace for me with a dystopian world full of magic and mystery. The plot was gripping and engaging, and the characters were complex and engaging. It's not a book a lot of people are talking about and I wish more people would because it's really fantastic.

I give The Fever King by Victoria Lee 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. This is definitely worth a read for anyone who likes dystopia or is loking for a thrilling read full of diverse characters. It reminded me a lot of books like The Darkest Minds and The Reckoners which are some of my all-time favorite dystopians.

Have you read The Fever King? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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