As with her first novel in the Feverwake duology, Victoria Lee’s sequel The Electric Heir crackles with that same magnetism that allures you to Noam’s chaotic and feverish world.
Six months have passed since the events of The Fever King, six months since Dara ventured into the QZ, fevermad and dying; and Noam hung back with Lehrer, caught in Lehrer’s powers of persuasion. And now, six months later, Noam can’t shake the regret that he didn’t escape with Dara, didn’t stand beside Dara in his last moments, for Noam’s certain Dara’s dead. Unable to cope with grief, Noam grows even closer to Lehrer, serving as his right-hand man in a slew of sordid affairs, both violent and intimate. When Noam accompanies Lehrer to an important gala, he expects only idle chit chat with government officials and people of import, not the boy he’d long thought dead. Dara’s return flips Noam’s world on its axis, bringing not only questions, but the whispers of a resistance group called the Black Magnolia and their plot against Lehrer. Ready to take down Lehrer once and for all, Noam enters a dangerous game of double-crossing, with consequences that kill.
The Electric Heir kindles all the beloved facets of the first book, from its realistic and flawed characters to its striking twists and turns, decisions and consequences that both enrage and enrapture you. And Noam makes plenty of those in this novel, and it’s one of the elements that make him such a strong character, such a compelling character to read. His tunnel vision for justice carves out a single path for him, a single desired outcome, that he won’t often stray from; he sets his mind to something and sees it through, and it causes him to make mistakes, choices readers surmise, if not know, will end poorly. It solidifies not only just how human Noam is, but also that he’s just a seventeen-year-old kid thrown into circumstances beyond his years, circumstances anyone would fumble through.
With the novel’s dual point-of-view, this aspect of Noam’s character becomes even more prominent. Dara’s chapters not only unveil his thoughts and his side of the story, but also how he sees Noam. This insight into both characters not only accentuates their development since the first novel and throughout this one, but also the feelings they have for each other. Even in the first novel, their relationship was never easy, never without its complications, and The Electric Heir poses even greater obstacles for them, full of pain, betrayal, and trauma. Knowing both their sides packs an added punch, leaving you hoping everything will turn out for them in the end, that they can wade through all they’d been through and get to a point of resolution. And you harbor that same hope for all the characters, new and old. Except Lehrer, who’s so vile and sadistic that his downfall is one you delight in.
An electrifying and worthwhile conclusion, The Electric Heir is the perfect send-off for the Feverwake series and its beloved characters.