5 stars · Dystopian · lgbtqia content · sci-fi / fantasy · sequel · suspense · young adult

REVIEW: The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee is Remarkable

The Official Description: 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.

Just the facts: Sequel to The Fever King, heavy subject matter, wonderful characterization and story telling, queer content

This story is about surviving all the things we aren’t sure we can survive and what we are left with… after… – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit:  The Electric Heir is the remarkable sequel to The Fever King which was published earlier this year. I immediately added The Fever King to my list of favorites for the year. I love an original plot and the world that Victoria Lee has created is stunning and unique. In the first book, Noam wakes from a magical illness to discover he has a new latent ability. It also changes everything he has believed in the past about witchings. The end of the first book left a pretty huge cliffhanger… I’m not going into it here because I don’t want to ruin the first book… only continue reading past this point if you are okay with SPOILERS!

Oh this book! So… Noam has remembered everything about what Lehrer has done. He’s struggling once again to fight for what he thinks is “right”. Fortunately, he’s also figured out how to prevent Lehrer from controlling his mind… or has he? See… one of the things I love about this book is that it’s not just about “magic” and “Politics”… this book is really about consent and surviving.

The characters in this novel are struggling to survive so many things. It’s amazing that Lee manages to create such a likable cast of characters while still giving them realistic and heart-breaking challenges. This is serious stuff… no joke. Both Noam and Dara are struggling with consent, surviving a variety of abuse and surviving loss. One of those things would be so overwhelming that one might want to just die – but these characters are clawing at the edge of a cliff and trying not to fall off.

Lehrer is the villain of the story. But the thing is, Lee is such a great writer that there are moments when, as a reader, I was drawn right IN and became just as uncertain about what was going on as Noam was. I think that’s the sign of a really well-crafted villain. Yes, he’s horrendous at times, but he can also be sweet and caring… and GOD! I felt so bad for ever liking him! But, I credit Lee with that… this is an author that can put together some remarkable characters, and I got real feelings about them!

What Noam and Dara have in common… is also what seems to drive a wedge between them. Dara has already escaped from Lehrer and he wants nothing more than to impart some wisdom on Noam… and get him out of harm’s way. But, that’s just not how the world works. And really, it’s not how “surviving” something works. I wish it was as easy as someone saying, “you really need to stop this now.” If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of abuse, I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m trying to say. (I’m aware that I’m not putting it together really well.) Everyone who goes through any type of situation that’s abusive is going to have to battle to find their own way through it.

There were parts of the path for Noam and Dara that were absolutely heartbreaking to read… in particular the way they were drawn together and needed to push each other away at certain times. I think Lee has done a remarkable job of writing about the way these two characters find their strength and fight their battles.

Wonderful book, difficult subject matter at times… but this series is remarkable and I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone.

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Please check out the post written by the author

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee from Skyscape Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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