Review: The Fever King by Victoria Lee

The Fever King by Victoria Lee

The Fever King (Feverwake #1)
Victoria Lee
Published March 1, 2019

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About The Fever King

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.

Fever King on Goodreads

My Review

THE FEVER KING is a really intense read packed with so many things. It starts with a dark dystopian setting. The government struggles to control a deadly pandemic and uses it as an excuse to harm refugees. Add to that a hopeless but desperate love between two boys.

Noam is a hopeful revolutionary. So many times his hope and trust are pitted against pretty sinister things, and I definitely got caught up in worrying for him when it seemed like he was trusting the wrong people and worrying for him when he took reckless risks, led by his passion for his cause.

I felt like the breadcrumbs of the story were perfectly laid out so that I picked up on hints about what was going to happen and then felt a lot of suspense watching it all play out. There were crushing moments of betrayal and moments that had me cheering at a character who came through.

One thing I will say about this book, though, is that it’s pretty short on female characters. The ones that are mentioned are often rallying points for Noam’s emotions. His grief over his mother’s death. His outrage at his friend’s father who purposefully got her whole family sick, hoping they’d become Witchings. I would have enjoyed seeing more active female roles in the story.

I think readers who enjoy books by Cassandra Clare will like the forbidden romance and dark story world of THE FEVER KING. Please check out the content section below, especially the trigger warnings.

Fever King on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 16 up.

Noam is Jewish and Colombian and bisexual. His mentor is also Jewish. Another character is Brown (perhaps Iranian American) and gay.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used pretty often.

Romance/Sexual ContentTrigger warning for rape of a minor.
Contains brief a brief scene alluding to sexual abuse and rape followed by someone confronting the victim about what happened to him.

Two boys kissing. One scene briefly describes them having sex.

Spiritual Content
Survivors of the virus have magical abilities. Noam touches a mezuzah before entering a home. References to celebrating Shabbat.

Violent Content – Trigger Warning for pandemic
Noam goes to a protest rally that turns violent. He stops a group of men from kicking a girl by pointing a gun at them. Noam acquires bruises from his sparring sessions with his mentor. Someone murders a prominent government official by stabbing them multiple times. Someone murders a prominent political figure by electrocuting them.

There are several scenes and descriptions of people very ill, suffering and dying with the virus.

Drug Content
Dara and his friends drink a lot of alcohol in multiple scenes. One girl does lines of cocaine. One adult character smokes cigarettes.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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