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’ve read some good reviews of this book and seen it on lists of highly anticipated releases. Considering that and the beautiful cover, I requested it on NetGalley.
The different take on magic in this novel is intriguing. Magic is a virus, and only a slim percentage of people survive after being infected. If they are fortunate enough to survive, they become a witching and possess magic with varying powers. A lot of time and creativity were put into the world-building – it’s complex and politically charged. The treatment of undocumented aliens is brutal and heart-wrenching, but also timely, and Noam finds himself straddling two different worlds.
Initially, the pacing is on the slow side, and it took me a while to get into this story. On the flip side of that, the ending is exciting, full of twists, and moves at an astounding pace. There are conflicting opinions on the world-building in other reviews I’ve read. Some readers wanted more, some thought it was more of an information dump. I’m with the group that’s unsure if they understood all the political angles. I found it a little confusing at times.
The Fever King is filled with political intrigue, characters who possess powers along the lines of X-Men, and a wonderfully diverse cast. Overall, it’s an enjoyable read, and more for the older YA crowd.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.