Series: Feverwake #2
Publication date : March 17th, 2020
Publisher : Skyscape | Amazon Publishing
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 483
Synopsis : In the sequel to The Fever King, Noam Álvaro seeks to end tyranny before he becomes a tyrant himself.
Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.
Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.
Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life. (From Goodreads)
CW: mention of suicide and suicidal ideations, illness, death, violence, fascism, excessive drinking, pedophilia, statutory rape, abuse in all its forms, graphic description of physical abuse, manipulation, mind control, trauma, murder, gore, generational trauma, depression, eating disorder.
So…I read THE ELECTRIC HEIR back in September and couldn’t review it. I told myself that I’d read it too fast, didn’t retain enough, and would need a reread to solidify my thoughts before putting them on page. I reread the book last week and I…still don’t know how to review it. This book is a masterpiece. It just means too much to me. It dug deep down in my soul and hit all those soft tender spots that were tucked deep down, so deep that I even convinced myself they weren’t there anymore. It made cry, all kinds of tears, and it was one of the most rewarding reading experiences I’ve ever had.
The writing in this one is just as good as in the first book, if not better. It’s visceral, gutting, buries itself in the deepest darkest corners of your mind and messes with them, makes you question everything happening, and stop trusting even your own shadow. THE ELECTRIC HEIR is –obviously- an extension of THE FEVER KING, picking up six months after it, with Noam in a mess that’s too big for him to get himself out of on his own, and yet still believing he has it under control, still believing he can get out (sounds familar…). This continuation digs even deeper into trauma, abuse and corrupted governments, which I didn’t think was even possible because of how masterfully done in the first book.
THE ELECTRIC HEIR shows how easily officials can twist their actions, pretend they care, hide facts, and manipulate the people to make them think whatever awful thing they’re doing is for the greater good, it also shows that fascism can be disguised as a utopia, or the promise of one at least. And seeing that at play, seeing how the ~villain~ was so powerful, ten steps ahead of everyone and able to dismantle every scheme was maddening. I felt like I was trapped along with these people. There were so many twists and turns, so much politics, scheming and plotting that it kept my head spinning. But in a good way. This book never got confusing or too hard to follow, which is impressive if you ask me, considering just how many layers there are to it.
My favorite part though? The trauma and abuse exploration. It meant the world to me, it made me anxious, made me angry, made me cry and feel deeply understood. Whereas I thought the first book did a brilliant job at showing abusive behavior in all its forms, THE ELECTRIC HEIR goes the extra mile, or extra thousand miles. It was hands down the best exploration I’ve ever read. It shows every single horrifying detail. Emotional manipulation, the twisting of actions to make them appear better than they are, the “this is for your own good” after a beating, the rape, the cuts, the bruises, the tears, the anger, the guilt, and even the attraction, the part of the main character that keeps going back no matter what.
And it all boils down to one thing. This is a book written for survivors. Even the dedication says it. Everyone can love this book, it can even be a favorite, but it just hits different when you’re a survivor, because it feels like the author cracked open your skull and peered into your brain. I just…words can never be enough for me to express how much I love this book, and how grateful I am it exists. I have so many things written down inside its folds (first ARC -or book- I ever annotate) so many lines I angrily underlined, so many tear stains covering its pages, it feels like my ARC copy has become an extension of who I am and I don’t think I’ll ever be capable of letting another human open it, it’s just too personal. Too me.
THE ELECTRIC HEIR continues on the downward trauma spiral THE FEVER KING started us on, you can see Noam slowly lose control of his life, ever so naive with a savior complex, wanting to do good but sometimes going about it in all the wrong ways, putting himself in more danger than he can bare. Which perpetuates the question of how far is too far? Where do you draw the line when you’re trying to save your people? Where does the good stop justifying the bad? And Noam is definitely faced with these questions at each twist and turn. He’s also faced with the consequences of each of his actions. And quite frankly, even you as a reader who might think you have a solid moral compass will get lost while reading this book. Because there is just no definite line, nothing is clear cut, everything is murky and muddled. And again, this is one of the elements that made me love this book even more.
Then we have Dara, my sweet soft baby. And guess what? HE FINALLY GETS A POINT OF VIEW!!!! We finally get to see things he went through from his own perspective, instead of Noam’s biased, skewed and somewhat idealistic one. And wow did I adore him so much more, which I didn’t think was even possible. His soul is laid bare in this one, all his wounds, insecurities, jagged edges and broken pieces come to the surfaces. Being inside his head is both overwhelming and in a way…comforting? I’m not sure that’s the right word for it, but it’s as close as I can come to describing the feelings. Seeing his character development was one of the best gifts this book has given me, seeing his lay his soul bare, accept that his has things to work through and eventually…GET HOUSE PLANTS? Amazing.
Their relationship, though? Whew boy. An uphill battle. It made me cry (let’s just embrace that I cried a lot reading this book). This book continued to show that trauma blinds you. But with a bit of a reverse situation from the first book I’d say, without giving any spoilery details. It shows that when you’re drowning in abuse and trying to survive it while telling yourself you have it under control, you can hurt the people around you, you WILL hurt the people around you, you’ll be sorry for it but won’t know how to fix it. But it also shows that recovery is…possible. It’s a hopeful, light at the end of the tunnel, a thousand miles long tunnel, type of read. Because seeing both character go from tearing each other apart to being there for each other and helping each other heal…that’s extremely my shit. They’re so SO SOFT for each other and reading the parts where they waxed poetry about each other made my heart transcend.
I’m also really glad we got to see a bit more of Ames in this one, although I wouldn’t complain if we got a book about her. Especially her and Bethany
I must admit that, plot wise, THE FEVER KING is tighter, but THE ELECTRIC HEIR’s stakes are so much higher and it focuses so much more on the individual journey as well as the personal stakes and how they’re linked to the bigger picture that I couldn’t help but love it even more. Especially with how attached I am to the characters. I am ready to die for them.
Do I recommend?
If I still gave books stars, this one would get all the stars in this galaxy and beyond.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Electric Heir? If so, what did you think?
Who was your favourite character?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.