The refugees from Fervor have made their escape from the island with Elliot Masterson’s help, only to find that there is nobody waiting on the Mainland to lead them to the sanctuary of Elevation as promised. Now they have to scramble to make their own way there, unassisted. At the same time, Elliot and the ex-Control, Royce, remain on Fervor with the Languorite, searching for Elliot’s nephew, additional children yearning for escape, and more answers to the puzzle that the scholars have created via their strange experiment. Will Sam and his friends reach Elevation and discover what has become of the latents, while evading capture by the scholars? Will Elliot find Malcolm and help others to reach freedom from Fervor, with minimal casualties? Only time will see if they achieve their objectives and eventually manage to reunite. It turns out, however, that time is not on their side.
The second book is always the make-or-break book for me: do I bother to continue with this series, or pretend the first one was a stand-alone? I am happy to say that I will be continuing to read this series by Chantal Boudreau.
It was so long since I read Fervor that I had to reread the first novel. Boudreau tries to subtly recap the ending of the first book, but it just wasn’t enough to jar my memory. The series centers on a conscripted “house-family,” consisting of a Teller, a Fixer, a Keeper, a Watcher, a Finder, and a Control, who can now communicate with their minds through “the Connection.” As Sam, the narrator of Fervor, meets the rest of their assigned group, several of the children begin to question the secrecy surrounding their new psychic abilities, as well as the loss of some of their other physical senses.
In Elevation, the group is split into two locations, so there are now two POVs: Sam’s and Royce’s…Royce, having been rather antagonistic throughout much of Fervor, was an interesting choice for the second perspective, but it gives the readers a personal and raw view of his inner struggles to adjust to all the recent upheavals in his life. While Royce struggles with Elliot’s plan to help more of the children escape from the island of Fervor, Sam is besieged with the emptiness of Elevation, far removed from the Connection.
Sam, along with four Controls and three of his housemates, are searching for the adult latents they are expecting help from. The group of eight refugees is divided into two small groups, unable to agree on a plan of action when the latents fail to meet them at the rendezvous point, and soon split up. After parting with the Controls, Sam makes psychic contact with a girl named Grace who is being manipulated by drugs and forced to hunt down the eight children. She soon becomes an important character without making an actual physical appearance.
Royce and Elliot hide out at the High Barrens, and recruit another house family to leave the island. One of them is a Teller, who surprisingly is able to work around her Directives, and is quite willing to leave with them. Some Controls also join Royce and Elliot, although they are reluctant to work with the others, harboring the same resentments as the first group of Controls that left Fervor.
I LOVED the new characters, and I thought the intrigue and suspense was incredible, but I had a bit of trouble trying to follow the color scheme that Sam discovers in some secret files. The colors hint at what each child’s psychic skill set involves. The first 15% of the book was a tad on the slow side for me as well, but once it picked up in momentum, the story really took off.
I can’t wait for the third installment, Transcendence, when the fugitives from Fervor will join forces with the rebel latents from Elevation to confront the scholars and their experiment with genetic manipulation.