I have mixed feelings about The Fever King by Victoria Lee. On the one hand, if I were to simply go by initial instinct, this isn’t the sort of book that I would end up adding to my TBR. I’m just not thoroughly interested in it and, for some reason, it just seems as though the magic in this novel is a weird afterthought despite the fact that it’s supposed to be a central focus of the novel as a whole. And truthfully, despite the fact that I’ve seen this book around for a while now, it doesn’t look like anyone I know and trust as a reviewer has read this book which only furthers my inability to make a decision on this particular novel. At the end of the day, I find that there are a lot of questions I’m left with about this book and I feel quite apathetic about getting them answered. I’m not eager to read this book, which is the unfortunate thing, because I worry that this feeling might result in me missing out on an amazing story. But, at the same time, I don’t want to waste time on something I won’t enjoy.
The Fever King follows a young boy called Noam who has survived a magic virus–or attack?–and is resultingly left with his family all dead and new technopathic powers. Of course, this new power makes him valuable to the government, but the problem is that Noam has been subjected to the struggles of undocumented immigrants for his entire life, fighting for refugees who are not treated well by this government. And so he finds himself working for them with the intention of destroying them from within. But then he meets the Minister’s son and suddenly justice and his priorities are at war with the feelings of his heart.
You can see, I’m sure, why I’m so reluctant to pass on this story despite feeling as though I won’t enjoy the read. The discussion of immigration and the diverse characters are things I really look for in books and I’m thrilled to see it in this one. But I also don’t want to read a book just because of diversity as, if this were about straight white characters I wouldn’t even bother to pick it up. So, mixed feelings.
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.
What are your thoughts on this book? If you’ve read it, please feel free to link me to reviews or drop your thoughts in the comments as I could really use some further input here. Do you think you’ll add it to your TBR? Pass? Let me know!