Thursday, 11 July 2013

Fever by Dee Shulman

Series: Parallon Trilogy, Book One
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Paperback
Published: 5th April 2012
Number of Pages: 416
Book: Bought
Genre: Science-Fiction, Romance, Thriller, Suspense, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Blog: Dee Shulman

A fearless Roman gladiator
A reckless twenty-first-century girl
A mysterious virus unites them…

AD 152
Sethos Leontis, a skilled and mesmerizing fighter, is unexpectedly wounded and lies dangerously close to death.

AD 2012
Eva is brilliant – but troubled.  Starting her new life at a school for the gifted, a single moment in the lab has terrifying results.

An extraordinary link brings Sethos and Eva together, but it could force them apart – because the fever that grips them cannot be cured, and falling in love could be lethal…

Can love survive when worlds collide and time itself is threatened?

“I had just reviewed my life to date, and it was a pitiful catalogue of failure.  I had managed to make a complete mess of everything.  I was a criminal.  I had failed at school - twice.  I had failed to make a single friend.  I had even failed to be loved by my own mother: quite an achievement.
Nobody really wanted me around.”
Eva is smart.  As in, off-the-scales smart.  So smart she's been kicked out of two schools.  On purpose. She couldn't handle the mundaneness of it all.  
But now... now she's terrified she's ruined her life forever.  I mean, what kind of future is there for a teenage hacker who has been expelled twice and has a criminal record?  That's why she jumps at the chance to attend St. Magdalene's Boarding School for the gifted.  It's a place where she can fit in, where she won't need to resort to insane measures to escape the boredom.
It's also there where a freak lab accident leaves her wrapped up in a mystery she is desperate to solve - a mystery that could have disastrous and dangerous results...
“Sethos Leontis's hopes were limited.  Although some irrepressible part of him hoped to live to see another day, he knew he had little control over his destiny.  A gladiator lived and died by the will of others.”
Seth is a gladiator, a retiarius – has been since he was taken as a slave and forced to fight.  He hates it, even though he's a phenomenal fighter – unbeatable.  Formidable.  No one can touch him – no one can get close. 
Well, until he's left seriously wounded and close to death.  His fever burns stronger and stronger until...
Somehow, against all the odds and rules of physics, the two of them meet, bond, fall in love.  But the link is as powerful as it is weak, as breakable as it is unshakeable...
I bought Fever either with birthday or Christmas money... I can't really remember.  Either way, it's taken me forever to get round to reading it, especially when the premise is so freaking awesome it blows your mind.  I mean, how cool?!  You cannot read that synopsis and not think: Whoa!  Well, I can't anyway.  I mean, it intrigued me: how the hey can it work, a gladiator and a twenty-first century girl?  I was desperate to read and find out.  And man it didn't let me down!  I had my socks blown off by this book - it was so addictive and just so much fun!  I stormed through it, loving every second.
Eva... Now, I will admit that her damned near perfection was a bit off putting, but how can you not love a girl who used her mum's credit card to order sweets, fizzy drinks, kittens and a puppy online when they're six and is a master hacker by the age of eight?  And I loved Eva's geeky side – all the nerdy bookish stuff.  I really liked her: she was shy and socially awkward, had family issues and was super-duper brainy.   But I just loved Seth instantly – he was so brave and strong and smart.  I loved his fierceness, his determination and stubbornness.  He was just so... yum.  How can you not love a guy with a fierce gladiator outer-shell and a yummy, sweet, sensitive chocolate centre?  You can't; especially not when his name is Sethos Leontis.
I really loved the supporting cast, and how they all managed to completely shock me.   I especially loved Eva's friend Astrid – she was just brilliant and totally cracked me up! 
I must say, I wasn't overly keen on the romantic relationships in this book.  They seemed kind of rushed to me.  It was like: 'Oh, I've just met you and know nothing about you but you are beautiful and I love you and I will die for you.'  Instalove.  Hello, my old foe.  I did, however, love the ideas behind the romances, especially the genius gladiator-modern-girl twist.  And I'll admit, it wasn't even really the romance between Eva and Seth that bugged me – it kinda made sense, given the former romance; AKA the one that irritated me.  Maybe in the next book more revelations or growth will take away that niggle.  But the friendships... Totally different kettle of fish.  The bond between Seth and Matt – so real and so sweet.  The two of them were just like brothers.  As for the whole friendship-fallout of Eva's... Well, it was completely believable.  We all know how bitchy and cruel teen girls can be.  Heck, my best friend of six years turned suddenly on my one day for no reason.  Which, of course, made me hate Eva's so-called 'friend' all the more: Eva didn't deserve it in the slightest and she's just so... innocent and vulnerable, you know?  
But, happy dance: split POVs!  I really loved that.  We got Eva's 2012 narrative in first person, letting us get into her head and be freakishly smart for a while.  And then we got into Seth's and sometimes even Matt's brains in third person, giving us an awesome insight into life in Londinium – Roman London – and the gladiator life... plus... something else too...  
Sorry for being all mysterious but I don't wanna give anything away...  Anyways, I absolutely loved the writing and the way we got so many different perspectives.  Plus, I just thought that Shulman had a great writing style and loved how she handled all these different times and settings.  
And now we get to the plot...  Oh.  My.  God.  I really loved it!  It was so exciting!  I can't say much because otherwise I'll give everything away, but I loved it.  It was so totally hooking and unexpected and different – and just so much fun!  I loved racing to find the answers and am absolutely desperate for Delirium!  I need more!
Plus, I just loved the settings – both current and historical.  I so badly want to go to St Mag's: it sounds amazing and I am desperate for that library!  And the Ancient Rome/gladiator world?  Just as awesome!  So flipping awesome!  And don't even get me started on... well, let's call it X.  X was just too cool and too super-duper-top-secret for me to talk to you about.  Heehee.  I love being evil.
Fever was so much fun and so much more complex than I thought it'd be.  All the genres and ideas just slotted together so perfectly. It wasn't perfect and the instalove did bug me, but it didn't matter because I really enjoyed the whole thing.  Fever was just so freaking addictive – at times I was wondering whether I was the infected, the feverish need I had to just read read read and find all the answers!  I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on Delirium – and recommend this to all of you who love time travel, Doctor Who ,romance, sci-fi, historical times and...  Ok, maybe I'll just recommend it to everyone looking for a fun read.  That seems easier.
Now.  When's Delirium out?

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow
Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore
Tempest by Julie Cross
The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading


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