The Fever King

417p. (Feverwake: Bk. 1). Amazon. Mar. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781542040174; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781542040402.
Gr 10 Up—Until the outbreak, Noam was a regular 16-year-old boy in his neighborhood, even if he was an Atlantian refugee. Afterward, he wakes up in a hospital alone, everyone else in his neighborhood dead. Suddenly he is handed power, status, and a new life as a witching. But does he want it, or can he use his magic to enhance the Atlantian cause? This is a book for teens of today wrestling with the political unrest in the United States. Written from the refugee perspective, it explores topics of abuse, suicide, intergenerational trauma, mass plague outbreaks, and more. Debut author Lee reflects on her personal experiences through a sci-fi/fantasy lens and seeks to speak to readers who see themselves reflected in Noam's eyes. Lee's writing is advanced, sophisticated, and full of emotion. Readers can feel the tension and frustration in Noam as he tries to navigate a world of power and corruption to find where he belongs. Noam's relationship with Dara, a fellow witching, is also an example of the hard decisions we make for those we love. This is for true lovers of sci-fi and dystopian who enjoy deep character development mixed with a little romance.
VERDICT Fans of Neal Shusterman and Veronica Roth will be drawn to this novel. Highly recommended to any young adult collection.

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