Reviews

Arc Review: The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee ⚡ A book about and for survivors

The Electric Heir

Goodreads – Amazon  – Book Depository

CW’s: Violence, Abuse, Attempted Rape, Drug/Alcohol Abuse, Death, Victim Blaming, Trauma, Genocide, Suicide

** for a more detailed list of content warnings see here; I also found a review with some chapter warnings for the abusive relationship.

Representation 🌷 Jewish Bisexual Biracial MC, Gay PoC Love Interest, Trauma

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. Let's Talk (2)

Arc Review

Thank you to Skyscape and Netgalley for providing me with a digital Arc in exchange for an honest review! All quotes featured are from the Arc and therefore subject to changes.

The Electric Heir was a lot darker and heavier than its predecessor (please read the trigger warnings above). Before I started reading this book I actually read through the Webtoon, as I don’t have a copy of The Fever King yet that I could reread. I highly recommend checking out the webcomic as well, it’s not finished yet, but updated every week and does a great job bringing the first book to live. Reading through it got me excited to read the big finale, and reminded me how much I love the magic system in this book! The Electric Heir feels different from the first book, but it definitely holds up and might even be better than the first book as it completely sucked me in this world!

The POV’s worked so well together ➽ Unlike in the first book, where we only get Noam’s perspective, the sequel gives us Dara’s POV in addition and that was exactly what I was hoping for. Noam and Dara are in very different places of recovery from Lehrer’s abuse, which opens up discussion about their experiences and how they can even deal with what happened to them. While Noam is still under the influence of Lehrer and attempting to bring him down from inside, Dara has at least physically escaped him and is now involved with the resistance. The book is about surviving abuse and how different people deal with it. The dedication itself says that the book is for the survivors of abuse, who maybe weren’t believed because their abuser was someone charismatic with a lot of power. It’s an ownvoices exploration of trauma, so definitely read the author’s note and the trigger warnings that apply, as I personally cannot speak on the representation.

Noam is trying to play the double agent for the resistance and at least partly still under Lehrer’s manipulations. He has a hard time coming to terms with the fact that he was abused and is using denial and justifications as a coping mechanism. Due to the fact that he feels like he cannot remove himself from Lehrer’s influence in order to help the resistance, he’s treading very carefully, which gave me a lot of anxiety as you always expect Lehrer to catch up on it. Noam has complicated feelings about Lehrer, that are often challenged by Dara ho knew Lehrer for a much longer time and has seen a lot of nasty sides he tends to hide. Overall, I couldn’t blame Noam for his decisions, he was trying to do the right thing and helping not only his fellow Atlantians but also everyone who was in harm’s way because of Lehrer. That took him very far as his sacrificing nature came out much more and made him question how far he was willing to go for his goals. His recovery and realizations about his relationship with Lehrer were very well-written, though I was constantly on edge when he interacted with the former.

Dara is by far my favorite character and finally being inside his head was really interesting. We see how he copes with what happened after this mistake and how he struggled, especially as he has to come back and fight against Lehrer, while still coming to terms with the abuse he went through. Due to being so well-known he’s also often left behind when the others are going out to their missions and can only worry, as he’s left in a more vulnerable situation now. I still love Dara’s humor and snark but also loved seeing his worries and insecurities, as we get a lot more background information now that we’re following him along as well. He hates feeling confined, while Noam goes out and endangers being discovered by Lehrer, especially as Dara knows exactly what he is capable of and how he could find out what they are planning. I definitely had the urge to give Dara and Noam a hug, as both of them are constantly on edge, fearing that Lehrer might end their whole plans before they’ve even begun and having to navigate their own past.

“Last Week Dara had asked Claire to bring him a houseplant. She’d come back with a tiny little pothos vine in a ceramic pot. Dara had positioned it near the window, and he was embarrassed to admit he’d taken to talking with the plant, one-sided conversations to fill the empty hours.”

Let's Talk (2)

In the end, I was rooting for both Dara and Noam to get their happy ending ➽ Things are complicated between them due to Noam’s relationship to Lehrer and the fact that he has to go back to him and his games. My heart was hurting for both of them, as they love each other still and are kept apart by what everyone feels like they have to do in order for this rebellion to succeed. Sometimes things get messy, but their relationship was honest and realistic, as both of them are recovering from trauma and involved in a highly dangerous mission, so it takes them time to find their way back to each other. In the end, I can say that I liked how things ended for both of them 💗

We finally get more solid supporting characters ➽ I critiqued this in the last book, as the secondary characters weren’t developed as well as the main characters, especially with the lack of prominent female characters. This improved a bit in The Electric Heir, as Ames gets a bigger role and is more present than I remember her being in the previous book. As Dara is a close friend of hers, we find out a lot about their friendship and shared struggles, while also finding out how much she supported Dara and is trying to do the same for Noam. I loved how a caring, supportive and protective friend she was, as that came through much more now. We also see a bit more of Bethany and Taye, as they weren’t as prominent and developed in the last book. Now we see how fierce Bethany is for a 15-year-old, even when Ames wants to keep the worst from her like an older sister. In the end, we also see more of Taye and that he’s a good guy and a real friend. The new rebellion cast was interesting, though I feel like we saw more of Leo, the bartender than Claire of Priya. But nevertheless, I loved the chaotic rebel squad that came together and also had a lot of fun moments that broke up the heartbreak and pain!

“Not interested like that.” Ames still looked confused, so Bethany added: “Interested. In a gay way. Because I’m gay.” “Oh.” […]
“Cool”, Ames added lamely. “Like … no, I mean it’s cool. Of course, it’s cool. Dara’s gay, so.” “Let’s not make this weird”, Bethany said.
“Nope, no weirdness here”, Ames said, and after a second she reached over and grabbed Bethany round the shoulders, pulling her in for a rough sideways hug.”

The plot was really good ➽ I wouldn’t say better as both plots were really solid, but this time the suspense and the intensity was heightened. The book, in general, is darker as we see more of the abuse that Noam is going through (and that Dara went through) and what Lehrer truly is capable of. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, as the cat and mouse game that Noam was playing with his involvement in the rebellion was intense and had me fearing for his safety, as we’re just dreading Leher finally getting suspicious and catching on. The stakes were definitely high and made for a fast-paced story that made it unable to stop with war, rebellion and other horrors going on. I read this almost 500-page book in about 2 days as I couldn’t put it down without knowing how everything turns out in the end. Like in the previous book, we also get some documents in between some of the chapters, which greatly added to the suspense and mystery, further illuminating Leherer’s past and doings. There were also quite a few twists that further intensified the finale.

IN CONCLUSION.The Electric Heir is a worthy sequel and conclusion to the Feverwake Duology! Gripping and intense, it discusses trauma, healing and how to take down an abuser in a power position. I might have liked this even more than the first book, so I highly recommend picking it up and also reading the ongoing webcomic of the first book! 💖

Let's Talk (1)Are you going to read The Electric Heir? Do you know a book that explores trauma? ⚡

 

7 thoughts on “Arc Review: The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee ⚡ A book about and for survivors

  1. This is such a fantastic review Caro and I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed this sequel so much! What I especially loved about this sequel is getting Dara’s POV, I just loved him so, so much ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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