The Electric Heir: Feverwake, Book 2
By Andrea Beach,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Intense, romantic sci-fi tackles mature issues.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Near-future science fiction meant to entertain.
Sometimes violence is needed to end brutal tyranny for the greater good. Friends are there for each other and come through for each other. Happiness is being able to live the life you want, freely and in peace. Sex with a minor is rape.
Positive Role Models
Noam has matured some and is now less self-absorbed, working to overthrow the dictatorship from the inside. He stubbornly sticks to his plans without adapting, no matter how far off the rails it goes and no matter how much it hurts himself and others. He stays with his abuser, who nearly kills him, because he thinks he can handle it long enough for the abuser to be overthrown. Dara is loyal, supportive, brave, and tells Noam hard truths when Noam needs to hear them. He heroically fights the temptation to keep drinking after he recovers from alcohol withdrawal. They are a positive representation of a same-sex relationship. All important romantic and sexual relationships, good and bad, are same-sex in a near-future country where it's not stigmatized.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of fighting with magical abilities as well as guns, knives, and weapons of war. Blood and gore are mentioned and described briefly; pain is described in detail. A skull is crushed with a hand, blood spray is mentioned and that the insides taste like red meat. Statutory rape and maintaining your own agency in an imbalanced relationship are explored. Sex and violence briefly combined when an abuser aggressively kisses his victim then bangs the victim's head into the wall hard enough to cause bleeding; pain and bruising are described. Also during a brief instance of eroticized choking. Description of a battle between armies mentions lots of casualties and describes large-scale destruction. Magical abilities are used to torture.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing, caressing, and undressing. No sex acts or body parts are described, but lube and condoms are mentioned. Sex is briefly combined with violence in an abusive relationship. Brief mention of past unsafe sex in nightclub bathrooms.
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"F--k," "s--t," "ass," "asshole," and variations of each. "Suck my d--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teen characters frequently drink, some under the legal age of 18 in this world. A couple of teens are alcoholics, which they eventually start to recover from. A few bad hangovers are the main consequences. A bar is an important setting. Brief mention of past drinking and taking pills in a nightclub. Mention that one character is always high. Several characters smoke, and one encounter romanticizes lighting someone's cigarette.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Victoria Lee's The Electric Heir is the sequel to The Fever King and continues the near-future science fiction and romance a few months after the end of the first book. Reading them in order is recommended to understanding the world and the characters more fully. All of the central romantic and sexual relationships are same-sex, and the main characters are positive representations for the LGBTQ community. Sexual and physical abuse are explored in detail, and the author provides a note and resources in the back for anyone who needs help, as well other potentially triggering topics like an eating disorder and substance abuse. Sex is never described, but there's kissing, caressing, undressing, and implied sex "afterward" a few times. It's also paired with violence a couple of times during erotic choking and physical abuse after aggressive kissing. Violence also includes killing and torture with magical abilities and real-world weapons, including a large-scale army battle. Blood and gore are mentioned and briefly described; pain is described in detail. Teens drink alcohol frequently; two characters are alcoholic but begin the process of recovery. A minor character is mentioned as always high. Several characters smoke cigarettes, and one scene romanticizes lighting another's cigarette. Strong language includes variations on "f--k," "s--t," and "ass."
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What's the Story?
THE ELECTRIC HEIR picks up the story begun in The Fever King about six months later. Noam has to assume Dara is dead after so long alone in the wilds of Quarantine Zone, and has to live with the guilt of abandoning Dara there. That's going to be hard to do since Noam has basically taken Dara's place as Chancellor Lehrer's new favorite. But Noam knows now; he remembers the terrible things Lehrer has done to consolidate and hold on to power. Despite virtually living with Lehrer, Noam decides he'll do whatever it takes to bring Lehrer down. He starts meeting with a secret society, leaking the truth about Lehrer to the public while planning a way to bring Lehrer down once and for all. But with Lehrer always two steps ahead of Noam, how long will it be possible to keep even the smallest secret safe?
Is It Any Good?
This intense sequel with plenty of action will continue to engage fans of varied genres, including dystopian sci-fi, romance (especially same-sex romance), and fantasy. It's a big undertaking at almost 500 pages, but the action, romance, and suspense keep the pages turning. Reading The Fever King first is recommended to understand the characters better and appreciate the near-future, post-apocalyptic setting. There are a few slow spots, some things are a bit repetitive, and there's one abrupt jump to a completely different place that some may find jarring while others will enjoy being kept on their toes.
A strong theme of recovery runs throughout The Electric Heir, most especially from sexual and physical abuse but also from illness and substance abuse as well. Author Victoria Lee provides content notes in the back where she lists potentially triggering issues such as these explored in the story. She also provides resources for those seeking help. These mature themes, intense violence, strong language, as well as a couple of incidents pairing sex and violence, make it best for mature readers.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the violence in The Electric Heir. Is it realistic? Does that matter? Is reading about it different from seeing it in movies, games, videos, etc? Why, or why not?
What about the sexy stuff? How did you feel about the main romance being between two guys? How important is diverse representation in media?
How do Noam and Dara cope differently with their abuse? Do the ways they cope seem realistic? If you or someone you know has been abused or still is being abused, check the back of the book to find places where you can get help.
- Author: Victoria Lee
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Skyscape
- Publication date: March 17, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 480
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle
- Last updated: April 22, 2020
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