Author: Dee Shulman
Goodreads Link: Goodreads Description
Note: There are no major spoilers below. In fact, any possible spoilers do not even count, as you would have known this by reading the synopsis. You are safe to read on.
This book was really... compelling. I wasn't too convinced that I would like it at first, because the synopsis made me wary. How was a present-day girl supposed to have a romance with a gladiator who wouldn't even speak the same language? It didn't seem possibly realistic. I wasn't sure how this book would play out, but I picked it up and read on anyways, and I must say that I am glad!
I haven't read many time travel books, because ... Well I don't really have a solid reason other than that they never appeared in front of me, apart from a series my mother is reading. But it's really the underlying plot of a book that I like, not just one specific genre, even though I do tend to stay in the broad 'fantasy/secondary words' realm. But anyways. I am extremely glad I branched out a little bit, because this book is nothing but interesting. We're introduced to two main characters near the beginning: Sethos the gladiator, and Eva the troubled 21st century student.
The story goes back and forth between their points of view (Eva's in first person, and Sethos' in third -- which, in itself was quite interesting, as most books that switch points of view are either strictly first person or strictly third), giving us a detailed glimpse into their worlds, as well as nicely setting up the main plot. We learn about Seth's sickness and the people around him, giving us a good look at his life, and we learn about Eva's troubled home life and get to really know her character as she seeks out a school she fits into. I don't usually like to compare books to ones I have previously read, but before this I read and reviewed Immortal City by Scott Speer. In that book, though the plot is quite different, the point of view switches between both characters, and they are due to meet up at some point in the book. It happens rather fast, which, if you read this review you would know I felt disappointed at the lack of background we got on each character. It takes Dee Shulman half of Fever to bring the two protagonists together, which to some might seem like the story is bring dragged out, but I was refreshed. Both characters and their own individual plots kept me very interested and intrigued; knowing they were to meet up and seeing how it was all slowly laid out was incredibly interesting and I was glad for it. It allowed for me to really get to know each of the characters without rushing into the main plot, thus possibly rendering the story to feel unrealistic.
I need to take a minute here to fully appreciate the character of Eva. I will keep it short, as I don't want to give anything vital about her away, but I loved her. She might come off as a 'perfect' character: she's highly intelligent, beautiful, and talented. But she has some serious flaws that make her likeable. Also, she is relateable. Even if you aren't super smart (which I am not - school was never my thing), if you have a passion for something and feel you're constantly looking for someplace that will satisfy your craving for that passion, you can relate. That was how I related to Eva, even though I cannot relate to her immaculate intelligence or other talents, I know what it feels like to be constantly disappointed with what the world has to offer in regards to my interests. So in this way, I was glad she was relateable in some way to me, because I often have difficulties relating to main characters. Dee Shulman, I applaud you.
To me, this book felt very realistic. As I reached the ending, I was beginning to panic, because there were still so many questions that I (and the character) had, and it did not seem like it was at all possible to answer them. And I was right. When I finished reading, I hopped onto goodreads to see if there was a sequel, because if not I would have been extremely disappointed. Surely the book would not leave so many important questions unanswered like that! Luckily, after some research on google (all praise google) I learned that Fever is the first of a trilogy. So there will be two more books. I must say, I am very much looking forward to the next one! Hopefully we will not have to wait too long.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go out and buy this book!