- Author: Victoria Lee
- Genre: Fantasy/Scifi
- Page Count: 369
- Date Started: December 7th
- Date Finished: December 15th
- Spoilers? No.
A Brief Description
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.
Wow was this book good.
This book takes place in 2122, in the former United States. The country has been ravaged by magical nuclear war, and is split up into different countries now. The two most prominently featured are Atlantia and Carolinia. The story mainly takes place in Durham, Carolinia. (The former Durham, North Carolina). Magic is a virus that kills most of those that if infects. Atlantia has been ravaged by magic and is basically an uninhabitable wasteland. This has caused many refugees to escape to Carolinia.
Carolinia is known for it’s very anti-refugee/immigrant laws and are known to deport many back to Atlantia which is basically a death sentence.
The premise of this book is something that really called out to me. The idea is that magic is a virus that infects people. Most of the people that are infected die, but those that survive are called Witchings.
This is what happens to our main character, Noam Alvaro. He is the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family. He gains the ability of a technopath, or basically the ability to control technology. This catches the eye of the military of Carolinia and he is thrust into a world unlike the one that he was raised in.
Noam, the son of undocumented immigrants, has spent his entire life fighting for immigrant and refugee rights. Knowing that Carolinia is ruthless with it’s deportations, he sees a chance to make a change.
Immigrant and refugee rights should be a no brainer, but the story deals with this in a way that is very poignant and true to the atmosphere that exists in the United States today. Immigrants are trapped in detention centers and refugee camps that make the spread of magical disease much more deadly. In addition, they are relegated to slums and cramped housing that also help the spread of magic.
As someone who was raised by immigrant parents and was surrounded by immigrant friends, I can say that this one especially hit close to home. Like Noam, I was lucky enough to be born in this country, a country that is, mostly, (only mostly) free of crisis that cause refugees to flee their countries of birth. This was an especially poignant read.
Also, this book has an LGBT romance. Noam is bi-sexual, as is the main love interest, who is a prickly on the outside, cinnamon roll on the inside, kind of character. (I love Dara) The romance was not instant and it was built up over time. It was believable and I loved them both.
This story also covers other topics such as sexual abuse, loss and grief. The story was emotional and I really enjoyed the writing.
The plot was engaging and I found myself rooting for most of the characters and I could not stop reading it.
I gave this a 4.5 because there were certain things in the plot that just seemed a little bit too convenient, but they did not deter from my enjoyment. I would highly recommend reading this! I can’t wait for the Electric Heir, which is the sequel) that is due out in 2020!
Have you read this? What did you think?