Thursday, August 31, 2017


Fever by Deon Meyer
Grove Atlantic: 9/5/17
eBook review copy; 544 pages
ISBN-13:  9780802126627

Fever by Deon Meyer is a very highly recommended post-apocalyptic thriller, survival tale, and coming-of-age story, set in South Africa.

Fever opens with Nico Martin at age forty-seven writing his memoir, beginning with "I want to tell you about my father's murder." Then the story jumps back in time to when Nico was fourteen. He and his father, Willem, are driving a truck filled with supplies, looking for a safe place to live after the population was decimated by the fever, a devastating coronavirus that wiped out 95% of the Earth’s population in just a few months. Willem and Nico make their way to the town of Vanderkloof, a town Willem knew before the epidemic, and one that he feels will be a good location to start a new society.

It is in Vanderkloof that the town of Amanzi is founded and survivors make their way to the town. Meyer introduces a wide variety of people as the town grows. There are struggles and challenges to be faced between factions within the town and from threatening biker gangs from the outside. As he discovers what he views as his father's weaknesses, Nico discovers his strengths and comes to the realization that he is going to be his father's protector. It is in this changed post-apocalyptic world that Nico recalls the beginning of his rite of passage to become the man he is destined to be, while he remembers his father, the man he loved who was murdered.

Integrated into the plot are parts of transcripts from the recorded personal stories of survivors. This historical record not only tells the detailed stories of others, it also adds to the richness of the narrative, expanding the background information of what the reader knows. These personal views from other survivors also tell about events from different perspectives.

This is an extraordinary novel with wonderfully executed characters and a compelling, intelligent plot. The characters are all well developed, fully realized with a complexity and depth that is to be admired. Meyers sets his characters into a detailed, intricate plot full of tension and formidable obstacles and opponents making this sweeping epic novel a page-turner that will keep you up way-too-late finishing. The ending was a surprise, but perfect. I didn't have a clue until it was almost over.

Additionally, Meyers did research into several areas of his novel ( a list of further reading is included) making the narrative a great combination of facts and fictional storytelling. Along with other readers, I do enjoy a well-researched novel, fiction or nonfiction. It always adds an astute depth and intricacy to the plot. 

An absolutely perfect stuck-overnight-at-the-airport book or, more accurately, a stuck-glued-to-the-pages-where-ever-you-start-reading-it book.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grove Atlantic.

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