Political commentary? Dystopian fiction? A story about people with magic skills? The Fever King is all those, and some more…
The Fever King by Victoria Lee
You know me… I love books that are just a little bit crazy, full of twists and I feel like I can bond with the characters. Well, I got just that from Victoria Lee’s story.
In an alternate version of the US, where one can get infected by a virus that causes magical abilities (if you are in that tiny percentage that actually survives, that is), Noam is a sixteen year old teenager, living in a refugee camp. Yes, there’s a quite lot going on there.
Refugees are not welcome, or can’t leave, not quite sure, but nevertheless, their life is full of unpleasantness and hardship. When a virus outbreak pretty much wipes out the whole neighbourhood where Noam Álvaro lives, he’s the only one who survives… and wakes up with strange powers he doesn’t understand. I feel ya, dude. Took me a while to get my head around some stuff too.
Calix Lehrer, the minister of Carolinia takes him under his wings and while helping him catch up on school work, because even kids with superpowers need to study, becomes a quasi father figure to Noam. I absolutely loved this aspect of the magic skills. To use them their full advantage, witchings (people with magic) had to learn the actual science behind their powers. Noam, a technopath knew quite a bit about hacking and computers, but who would have thought that maths and physics will be the real deal!
Noam is such a cool guy. Mature, sweet, perhaps a bit naive, but also passionate. Rather than fighting against the government as a rebel, he takes this opportunity to take down the system from within. He’s a compelling narrator, but that’s also what makes the story confusing sometimes. We only know what he knows, and that’s not a lot. He’s basically the guy who haven’t heard of most people and basically goes around saying “who dis?” a lot.
Dara, the Brooding Guy with A Past is quite the enigma. The adopted son of Calix is not the friendlies dude around, but as they get to know each other with Noam, a very special relationship blooms between them. Noam is clearly fond of him, but can he be trusted? What’s behind all the secrecy?
Guys, this book was intense. I was changing my mind about certain people literally every chapter, guessing and then second guessing just what exactly they are up to. Bit by bit, I managed to draw some conclusions from diary entries and classified documents… only to start doubting everything again.
While I didn’t get a real feel about the world, I was immersed in all the plotting, double crossing and political intrigue. The story touched upon some topics that are quite relevant to us nowadays: refugee crisis, xenophobia were just a few of these.
With a sprinkle of sci-fi and a dash of dystopia, The Fever King was a great opening to a promising new series.
Who is Victoria Lee?
Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whisky.
Victoria writes early in the morning, then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work.
She is represented by Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary.
This tour was organized by The Fantastic Flying Book Club, and you can follow it >> here <<