Title: The Fever King
Series: Feverwake, #1
Author: Victoria Lee
Publication Date: March 1st 2019
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.
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.
“I was sorry to hear about your mother.”
Mr. Kang had his hands pressed together as if in prayer, leaning forward across his desk with elbows braced against old case files and his glasses sliding down his sweaty nose—it was 105 degrees out and Mr. Kang’s rickety box fan did little to cut the heat.
“Thanks,” Noam said. He was pretty sure that’s what you were supposed to say in response to comments like these. “It was a while ago.”
“It’s been less than a month, Noam.”
Noam shrugged. Three weeks, four days, and thirteen hours, he wanted to say. Not that I’m counting. “I’ve been busy.”
“Of course. I’m sure there’s a lot you and your father have to take care of.”
Noam’s answering smile felt more like a grimace. His father was the thing he had to take care of. Ever since Noam’s mother died, Jaime Álvaro had not moved. He’d sat down on the floor for shiva and never gotten up again. And even though the mourning period had passed, he still refused to speak. Eventually Noam had called Brennan, and Brennan called his friend who worked at a group home, and together they managed to lever Noam’s dad off the floor and into a chair.
The friend from the group home called it catatonic depression. Noam called it abandoning your goddamn kid.
“I dropped out.”
Mr. Kang’s brows went up. “Noam,” he said, “we need to talk about this. That’s a very hasty decision—”
“Not really. I mean, what else do you want me to do? My mom’s dead. We need to pay rent. I’m working down at Larry’s now.”
“Noam,” Mr. Kang said again, like he thought repeating Noam’s name over and over would build rapport, “success rates for juvenile offenders are much higher for kids who stay in school. And you’ve always done so well. Your teachers say you’re a bright boy. Lots of potential with computers—”
“Yeah, well they don’t pay you to go to class, so.”
Mr. Kang exhaled heavily, the same exasperated sigh adults always made when they mistakenly thought a child wasn’t understanding them. But Noam did understand. It wasn’t like he didn’t get how cycles of poverty worked—he’d lived in one his whole life. It was so easy to say think long-term when you had an actual savings account. Noam’s family could only afford to think short-term. How were they gonna pay rent? How were they gonna buy food this week? If Noam quit his job to stay in school, he and his dad would both starve before he ever got that degree.
“I live in a bookstore,” Noam offered after a long moment: an olive branch. “I read a lot. I’ll be okay.”
“Regardless, I’m going to be in touch with your social worker.”
They sat there for a moment, just staring at each other. Noam slouched a little lower in the creaky metal chair, hooking his ankles round its legs.
“It might be good for you to see a psychologist, too,” Mr. Kang said after a while, tone a bit gentler this time. “Grief is hard. You seem to be holding up pretty well, but even so. It’s important to have a support system.”
“I have my dad. And Mr. Brennan.”
“Of course.” A long beat, drawn out like taffy, both of them thinking the same thing: two ex-cons didn’t exactly count as good role models when you’re a year out of juvie. “How is Mr. Brennan, anyway?”
“He’s good. Still working at the Migrant Center.”
“And you still volunteer there, yourself?”
“Sure. Every Wednesday.”
Mr. Kang nodded slowly. “Okay. All right. Well…well. We’re out of time, looks like.” He rose from behind the desk, held his hand out for Noam to shake when he stood. “Glad to hear you’ve been keeping out of trouble.”
“Right. Always, Mr. Kang.” Noam grinned, and after a second’s hesitation, his parole officer smiled back.
Outside was even hotter than in. Carolinia in the summer was like living in a sauna—the humidity bore down on Noam like a warm wet blanket tossed over his face; sweat trickled down his spine. He pulled out his phone and checked his texts. One from Sam: ready whenever you are.
Noam smiled at his screen and took the bus down to the library. He used their wifi and a laptop he’d bought cheap, huddled cross-legged in a quiet corner with fingers flying over the keyboard. When he was done there was a hole the size of York in the Carolinia National Bank firewall and all their servers were crashing one after another like toppled tiles.
And in the rubble, Noam left his signature: Free Atlantia.
Featured Bookish Playlists
Note: Click playlist name to open via a spotify link.
- Blood Pact (a Noam Alvaro playlist)
- Dead Light (a Dara Shirazi playlist)
- Blue nights (a Carter Ames playlist)
Prize: Win a copy of THE FEVER KING by Victoria Lee (US Only)
Start Date: 18th March 2019
End Date: 31st March 2019
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86353/?
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