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The Fervor

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A psychological and supernatural twist on the horrors of the Japanese American internment camps in World War II. 1944: As World War II rages on, the threat has come to the home front. In a remote corner of Idaho, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, are desperate to return home. Following Meiko's husband's enlistment as an air force pilot in the Pacific months prior, Meiko A psychological and supernatural twist on the horrors of the Japanese American internment camps in World War II. 1944: As World War II rages on, the threat has come to the home front. In a remote corner of Idaho, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, are desperate to return home. Following Meiko's husband's enlistment as an air force pilot in the Pacific months prior, Meiko and Aiko were taken from their home in Seattle and sent to one of the internment camps in the West. It didn’t matter that Aiko was American-born: They were Japanese, and therefore considered a threat by the American government. Mother and daughter attempt to hold on to elements of their old life in the camp when a mysterious disease begins to spread among those interned. What starts as a minor cold quickly becomes spontaneous fits of violence and aggression, even death. And when a disconcerting team of doctors arrive, nearly more threatening than the illness itself, Meiko and her daughter team up with a newspaper reporter and widowed missionary to investigate, and it becomes clear to them that something more sinister is afoot, a demon from the stories of Meiko’s childhood, hell-bent on infiltrating their already strange world. Inspired by the Japanese yokai and the jorogumo spider demon, The Fervor explores a supernatural threat beyond what anyone saw coming; the danger of demonization, a mysterious contagion, and the search to stop its spread before it’s too late.


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A psychological and supernatural twist on the horrors of the Japanese American internment camps in World War II. 1944: As World War II rages on, the threat has come to the home front. In a remote corner of Idaho, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, are desperate to return home. Following Meiko's husband's enlistment as an air force pilot in the Pacific months prior, Meiko A psychological and supernatural twist on the horrors of the Japanese American internment camps in World War II. 1944: As World War II rages on, the threat has come to the home front. In a remote corner of Idaho, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, are desperate to return home. Following Meiko's husband's enlistment as an air force pilot in the Pacific months prior, Meiko and Aiko were taken from their home in Seattle and sent to one of the internment camps in the West. It didn’t matter that Aiko was American-born: They were Japanese, and therefore considered a threat by the American government. Mother and daughter attempt to hold on to elements of their old life in the camp when a mysterious disease begins to spread among those interned. What starts as a minor cold quickly becomes spontaneous fits of violence and aggression, even death. And when a disconcerting team of doctors arrive, nearly more threatening than the illness itself, Meiko and her daughter team up with a newspaper reporter and widowed missionary to investigate, and it becomes clear to them that something more sinister is afoot, a demon from the stories of Meiko’s childhood, hell-bent on infiltrating their already strange world. Inspired by the Japanese yokai and the jorogumo spider demon, The Fervor explores a supernatural threat beyond what anyone saw coming; the danger of demonization, a mysterious contagion, and the search to stop its spread before it’s too late.

30 review for The Fervor

  1. 5 out of 5

    PamG

    Alma Katsu’s novel, THE FERVOR , is dark, intense, and disturbing, but contains important themes that are just as applicable today as they were in 1944. While this is fiction, internment camps during World War II and many instances of violence against those of Asian (and other) ancestry in America are a harsh reality. That is one of the reasons this is such a difficult review to write and do justice to the book. The story can be categorized in many ways. It is historical fiction, a medical su Alma Katsu’s novel, THE FERVOR , is dark, intense, and disturbing, but contains important themes that are just as applicable today as they were in 1944. While this is fiction, internment camps during World War II and many instances of violence against those of Asian (and other) ancestry in America are a harsh reality. That is one of the reasons this is such a difficult review to write and do justice to the book. The story can be categorized in many ways. It is historical fiction, a medical suspense, and a historical horror with a bit of folklore and supernatural suspense. The story follows four main characters living in different states and switches points of view between them. Archie Mitchell is a minister in Bly, Oregon, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, have been taken to an internment camp, Camp Minidora in Idaho, and Fran Gurstwold is a reporter in Ogallala, Nebraska. Archie wants to do the right thing, but he is somewhat weak and easily led by others. Meiko was born in Japan and brought up traditionally, but fell in love and married an American who is currently a pilot in the war. Aiko is intelligent, sees monsters and spirits, and was born in the United States. Fran is looking for a big story that will get her out of the women’s section of the newspaper. When a mysterious disease spreads among those interned as well those not in camps, the paranoia and the suspense rise. Strange doctors arrive at the camps and there are news blackouts. What unfolds is a mix of investigation, atrocities, folklore, threats, and violence. This well-written novel is thought-provoking. Katsu does a great job of intertwining history, mythology, and horror into a bleak, shocking, moving, and original story. It isn’t sententious but rather pulls readers in with compelling characters, different points of view, and individual motivations. My biggest quibble is that the story was somewhat slow in the beginning, but as it unfolds, the suspense built as did my frustration and anger that such a thing as internment camps could happen in the United States. Most of those sent to the camps were born in the US and were citizens, but they were considered a potential threat by the government without cause. While I have read about this before, it certainly was not taught in any of my history classes in school. Themes include racism, xenophobia, suppression of the press, medical experiments, honor, violence against those who are different than oneself, and much more. Overall, this was suspenseful, thought-provoking, and intriguing with fascinating characters and a situation that made me angry at the atrocities that still occur today. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, G.P. Putnam's Sons and Alma Katsu provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for April 26, 2022. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine. ------------------------ My review will be posted 3-4 days after it is published in Mystery and Suspense Magazine.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Another breathing, scary, strikingly mind blowing, epic story comes from Alma Katsu to give us more sleepless, insomniac long nights! Ugly face of WW2’s internment camps, impressive criticism of xenophobia and patriotism are told with an efficient blend of historical fiction based on real events, Eastern mythology, Japanese monsters called yokai and jorogumo spider demon and horror genre with paranormal elements! This book started a lot slow and I struggled to get into that story at the beginnin Another breathing, scary, strikingly mind blowing, epic story comes from Alma Katsu to give us more sleepless, insomniac long nights! Ugly face of WW2’s internment camps, impressive criticism of xenophobia and patriotism are told with an efficient blend of historical fiction based on real events, Eastern mythology, Japanese monsters called yokai and jorogumo spider demon and horror genre with paranormal elements! This book started a lot slow and I struggled to get into that story at the beginning but I loved Katsu’s previous works which pushed me dig more and enjoy the plot line. I have to admit, this is too dark and depressing journey for my taste. The apocalyptic vibes of the mysterious contagious disease affect the entire internees at the camp during Second World War and the slow burn high tension make you anxious to know what’s coming up next! Meiko and her daughter Aiko were taken from their home located in Seattle to be transferred to internment camp in Midwest when Meiko’s husband was enlisted to fight in Pacific. Mother and daughter try to survive against the earth shattering disease starts as a minor cold, evolving into spontaneous fits of violence and aggression which is caused by mysterious balloon type objects with Japanese scripts inserted surrounding areas. The doctors who were sent to the area act suspiciously which push Meiko to team up a reporter and missionary to understand the true and more ominous nature of the disease which connected with Japanese monsters Meiko has been told when she was a little kid. It seems like those nightmarish bedtime stories are not fictional! This book is totally worth your effort if you’re patient enough to see what will come after a little bumpy ride. Alma Katsu is definitely intelligent, observant, meticulous storyteller who can easily scare the living daylights out of you! I’m rounding up 3.5 stars to 4 shocking, horrific, exciting, bleak, unique, original, history meets mythology stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP PUTNAM/ G. P. Putnam’s Sons for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maiden Misty's Musings

    I really was looking forward to this book. So to have to give it such a low rating is disappointing. The first half was great and kept me engrossed in the story. In the second part it started losing steam, sadly. The storyline fell flat and I got bored. A lot of people seemed to have liked this one, so take my opinion as you will.

  4. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **3.5-stars rounded up** A minister takes his wife and some local kids for a picnic in the mountains. Mayhem ensues. A newspaper man and woman share a romantic interlude at cabin in the woods. An evil is unleashed. There's something out there and anyone who goes near it is putting themselves, and anyone they come into contact with after, at risk. Spiders, spiders everywhere, in the trees and in my hair... It's the 1940s and as WWII rages on, hostility towards individuals of Japanese descent in the U **3.5-stars rounded up** A minister takes his wife and some local kids for a picnic in the mountains. Mayhem ensues. A newspaper man and woman share a romantic interlude at cabin in the woods. An evil is unleashed. There's something out there and anyone who goes near it is putting themselves, and anyone they come into contact with after, at risk. Spiders, spiders everywhere, in the trees and in my hair... It's the 1940s and as WWII rages on, hostility towards individuals of Japanese descent in the United States is on the rise. Internment camps have been opened with some public support. While her husband, a military pilot, is off fighting overseas, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, get sent from their home in Seattle to such a camp in rural Idaho. With no other family to help them, Meiko and Aiko are on their own. They keep their heads down, hoping for a day when they can be reunited with Mr. Briggs and return home. They want their old life back. We follow Meiko and Aiko during their time at camp. There's an illness spreading there and Meiko suspects there is more to it than meets the eye. It starts out with cold-like symptoms, but quickly escalates making the infected anxious and violent; like things weren't bad enough already. We also follow the minister, Archie, as he deals with the aftermath of his ill-fated picnic on the mountain, as well as the newspaper reporter, Fran. Through these multiple perspectives the whole truth of the fervor is revealed. Katsu's signature style is on full display throughout this tale; melding historic events with Horror and supernatural elements. While the human-side of this story is horrifying enough, the supernatural elements involve yokai, entities from Japanese folklore, specifically the Jorogumo, a spider demon. These aspects were absolutely fascinating. The content of this novel provides a great opportunity for exploration of topics pertinent today, such as xenophobia and aggressive nationalism. Also, the whole idea of the illness and it's spread, the fear related to that; obviously, that's quite topical as well and left me with plenty to think about. I think those aspects will make this a great pick for book clubs, or just to discuss with friends. It's nuanced. We love that. I would describe this as a slow burn, however there are plenty of creepy elements and intrigue sprinkled throughout. This kept me compelled enough to keep going. I needed to find out what was going to happen. My slight critiques would be that I wished the Jorogumo would have played an even larger, or maybe more overt role, and the switching amongst the multple-POVs sometimes made it feel a bit disjointed. I did enjoy how it all came together eventually though. This novel absolutely solidified my belief that man is the most dangerous monster of all. I picked up on that same message in Katsu's earlier release, The Hunger, as well. Seriously, the things people are willing to do to one another when they're afraid... Overall, this was a strong novel. It's smart and explores a lot of really interesting and important topics. I continue to be impressed with Katsu's imaginative take on Historical Horror. It's so unique and refreshing. Well done! Thank you so much to the publisher, P.G. Putnam's Sons, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I have been highly anticipating this one and it did not disappoint. The Fervor releases this Tuesday, April 26th!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    This historical/horror story takes place during world war II when our Japanese/American people were gathered up like cattle and placed in internment camps with all their freedom taken away supposedly for their own safety while being continuously monitored to make sure they weren't spies. Meiko, daughter of a famous scientist and her young daughter Aiko are struggling to survive in one these camps even though Meiko's husband is an American pilot off fighting and risking his life in this war. In s This historical/horror story takes place during world war II when our Japanese/American people were gathered up like cattle and placed in internment camps with all their freedom taken away supposedly for their own safety while being continuously monitored to make sure they weren't spies. Meiko, daughter of a famous scientist and her young daughter Aiko are struggling to survive in one these camps even though Meiko's husband is an American pilot off fighting and risking his life in this war. In some of the camps a horrible illness is rapidly spreading without a cure while death will only be the end result for all of the Japanese/Americans who live in these camps while the disease is also spreading in small towns and affecting caucasian people who don't have any connections to the camp and also in the meantime the army and the FBI are secretly investigating certain strange events that are occurring simultaneously when people have come in contact with an unknown object or substance that has been unidentifiable to any of the innocent parties that have had the unfortunate experience of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The horror elements of the book involve the Jorogumo (a spider demon) and the costly effects when a person sees this demon although the demon takes the form of a beautiful Japanese woman in a bright red kimono holding her swaddled infant in her arms begging the person to help her baby. This is just a lead-in to other horror events that may take place within the story. Meiko had been brought up with all the Japanese folklore but never believed the stories passed down by her parents. Little Aiko has the gift or curse of being able to see the supernatural all her life so she has an understanding of many things the adults don't believe in. When Meiko finally comes down with the sickness it will lead to another discovery and more human injustice that holds much worse horror and fear than the supernatural could ever bring to any people of any race. First, I want to say what a talented writer Alma Katsu is and this was was an intriguing and thrilling storyline. The idea of a spider-demon mixed with historical fiction sounded too good to miss out on. I was so excited to read this book since I just loved this author's book "The Shuddering" which was a fantastic horror story. Normally spiders are one of my true nightmares so I was prepared for sheer terror The xenophobia and historical sections of the book were very well-done although I wish the supernatural elements would have played out more within the story. I felt the book started out very eerie and creepy while it didn't seem to follow through enough with the wonderful enticing folklore that I was so looking forward to. The true horror of this book was mankind which realistically speaking was much more terrifying than the supernatural could ever be. All in all the book was very intelligent and intriguing and I will continue to look forward to reading all of this author's books. I want to thank the publisher "Penguin Group Putnam" and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this terrific story and any thoughts or opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone! I highly recommend this unusual and creepy book and have given a rating of 3 1/2 FRIGHTENING AND SINISTER 🌟🌟🌟🌠 STARS!! Title: The Fervor Author: Alma Katsu Publisher: Penguin Group Putnam Publication Date: April 26, 2022

  6. 4 out of 5

    Miya (in a puddle of pain)

    Honestly I was expecting so much more from this. There are not many books (that I know of) that are set in Japanese internment camps. I wanted to read this right when I heard about it because of that. That part of history is so close to my heart. I liked how the author incorporated so many layers in the book. Racism, issues with biracial racism, cultural differences, toxic cultural conditioning, folklore, effects of war, history, etc etc. There really is so much between these pages. I know it mu Honestly I was expecting so much more from this. There are not many books (that I know of) that are set in Japanese internment camps. I wanted to read this right when I heard about it because of that. That part of history is so close to my heart. I liked how the author incorporated so many layers in the book. Racism, issues with biracial racism, cultural differences, toxic cultural conditioning, folklore, effects of war, history, etc etc. There really is so much between these pages. I know it must have taken time to weave all that in. I had a hard time keeping up with the multiple time lines, multiple locations, and multiple povs. I had to keep going back and forth remembering what was what and who was who. It slowed down about 100 pages in. I do think it is a good story. It has a lot to say. Anyone who grew up with Japanese folklore or scary tales will feel nostalgia. I would recommend it, but I would say be prepared for slow burn and power through the mid section of the book. I wanted to love this and give it a 5, but I'm sticking with 3.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann

    I'm so excited to share my reading experience of THE FERVOR at Cemetery Dance soon! I'm so excited to share my reading experience of THE FERVOR at Cemetery Dance soon!

  8. 5 out of 5

    La Crosse County Library

    This is the second book I have read written by Alma Katsu with the first being The Hunger. The story mainly has to do with the Japanese internment camps of WWII with a mixture of horror, which is interesting to read about since you can compare it to multiple adaptions. Off the top of my head, I remember a season of Teen Wolf and the second season of The Terror tackling the internment camps with some horror/supernatural type of twist. In fact, I liked the first season of The Terror so much This is the second book I have read written by Alma Katsu with the first being The Hunger. The story mainly has to do with the Japanese internment camps of WWII with a mixture of horror, which is interesting to read about since you can compare it to multiple adaptions. Off the top of my head, I remember a season of Teen Wolf and the second season of The Terror tackling the internment camps with some horror/supernatural type of twist. In fact, I liked the first season of The Terror so much that I read the book it was based on...which got me into reading The Hunger in the first place. The novel follows four different point of views that become connected one way or the other. Meiko and her daughter, Aiko, must survive in an internment camp after being betrayed by close acquaintances where they face ostracism from other Japanese prisoners due to the fact Meiko is married to a white military pilot serving in the war. Things take a turn for the worse when they realize something is running rampant through the population. Archie is a minister whose life and faith fell apart after an explosion took everything from him. He must battle his demons or succumb to the sickness and racism that seems to be gripping his whole parish and town. Jane is a journalist who starts to notice strange incidents and illnesses intertwined across the country. It doesn’t take her long to realize that somehow even the Internment Camps might be involved. The main characters race to get to the bottom of this wave of sickness before it is too late. The novel was different than what I expected. I kept comparing this novel with the author’s previous work I read. In The Hunger, the tone of the book was really heavy, dark and somber with all the characters in one large caravan. This story wasn’t quite as bleak, and the characters were spread out through the US. I guess the The Terror: Infamy spoiled me since I wanted to experience more of the story in the camp with more interactions on all involved there. The story felt a little less historical too compared to the author’s other works, but then again that could be because of the modern parallels she drew in the story. It was interesting to see the different takes on supernatural horror done with the internment camps. Teen Wolf had a Nogitsune, The Terror: Infamy had a Bakemono/Yurei, and this book had (view spoiler)[ a Jorōgumo. Well maybe. The book hints at that it could be or that it might not be as well. (hide spoiler)] . Another thing that I enjoyed in this book over the other book I read by the author is that I like the characters more in this one. I liked Fran as a character especially since she kept following the mystery despite all of the obstacles put in her path. The thing I disliked was how she was phased out of the story after a certain point. Archie was a bit of a coward and hard for me to like until the end. I enjoyed Meiko as a character with all of the struggles she went through, but at times, she felt cold with little personality. It could be a cultural thing, but even with her daughter the relationship felt different at times. Speaking of Aiko, I wanted more of her as a POV in the story. The differing views between her and her mother could have been great. (view spoiler)[ I was thrown for a loop when it came down to the explanation of the sickness. Was it more scientific or more supernatural? I understood that it came from the spiders, but was the lady in the kimono a hallucination or was it the actual demon and everything was a curse? At first, I thought the balloons could have been the ones that Meiko’s father originally used to test the winds, but then I surmised that these balloons were probably released intentionally by the Japanese military. Some other things I wondered about were why it seemed “The Fervor” caused white men to get whipped up into a racist mindset instead of death like the camp inhabitants. I also wondered about its effect on women in general since it didn’t really cover many female victims. (hide spoiler)] Overall, I enjoyed this story more than previous works I have read by the author. I like historical fiction with a mixture of horror so of course I enjoyed this book. I just wish there was a little more of the horror element. Outside of horror fans, I think someone who wants to know more about the era and Japanese internment camps would enjoy this without having to read through a nonfiction book. Find this book and other titles within our catalog.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I read this book in two sittings and during the night in-between, I dreamt about it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This is my second book by this author and I enjoyed this one just as much! I really like how she seamlessly weaves history with horror and fiction. This story is told with dual timelines. It primarily takes place during WW2, in the Japanese American internment camps. Meiko Briggs and her daughter Aiko are taken from their home in Seattle and sent to one of the camps. A virus begins to spread in the camp, causing cold like symptoms, fits of violence and aggression. It can even lead to death. Strang This is my second book by this author and I enjoyed this one just as much! I really like how she seamlessly weaves history with horror and fiction. This story is told with dual timelines. It primarily takes place during WW2, in the Japanese American internment camps. Meiko Briggs and her daughter Aiko are taken from their home in Seattle and sent to one of the camps. A virus begins to spread in the camp, causing cold like symptoms, fits of violence and aggression. It can even lead to death. Strange doctors arrive at the camp and Meiko is afraid. She knows something fishy is going on. Meiko teams up with a journalist as well as a missionary to get to the bottom of what is happening. They soon discover that something evil is among them, a demon who is intent on inhabiting their world. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this arc.

  11. 5 out of 5

    LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!"

    My thanks to Penguin Group/Putnam, Netgalley, and the always fantastic Alma Katsu! I loved this book! Am I allowed to love a book, yet be completely horrified? I think so. Unfortunately, people are stupid. I mostly identify with my Scottish side. What if war broke out between Scotland and the U.S? Sounds stupid, no? Not here in America. Some people seem to forget that we all came here on a boat, or plane. Putting Americans behind walls is dumb. I loved this story! Little Aiko was a fantastic char My thanks to Penguin Group/Putnam, Netgalley, and the always fantastic Alma Katsu! I loved this book! Am I allowed to love a book, yet be completely horrified? I think so. Unfortunately, people are stupid. I mostly identify with my Scottish side. What if war broke out between Scotland and the U.S? Sounds stupid, no? Not here in America. Some people seem to forget that we all came here on a boat, or plane. Putting Americans behind walls is dumb. I loved this story! Little Aiko was a fantastic character. The spider thing was only really strange in the sense that there were a few supernatural things that took place, with absolutely zero explanations for it. Still, another great book from this author! Also, I'd totally recommend her book "The Hunger." That thing rocked my footsies off!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Becky Spratford

    Star review in the January 2022 Issue of Library Journal and on the blog here: https://raforall.blogspot.com/2022/01... Three Words That Describe This Book: constant unease, multiple storylines. historical Draft Review: Katsu, [RED WIDOW] returns to Historical Horror, this time adding an extra dimension of terror-- Japanese internment. Told through multiple storylines in 1944, with key journal passages from Japan in 1927, the story follows Meiko and her daughter Aiko in an Idaho camp, Archie, a pa Star review in the January 2022 Issue of Library Journal and on the blog here: https://raforall.blogspot.com/2022/01... Three Words That Describe This Book: constant unease, multiple storylines. historical Draft Review: Katsu, [RED WIDOW] returns to Historical Horror, this time adding an extra dimension of terror-- Japanese internment. Told through multiple storylines in 1944, with key journal passages from Japan in 1927, the story follows Meiko and her daughter Aiko in an Idaho camp, Archie, a pastor from Oregon, and Fran, a freelance reporter from Nebraska, as they get entangled in the landing of balloons, with Japanese markings, across the American West, landings which are causing death and intense suffering. Katsu takes time to build depth and sympathy for the main players, while relentlessly moving readers through the thriller-esque storyline, bouncing around between perspectives and ending each chapter with cliff-hangers that beg the reader to keep going, until the characters collide for the final third of the book. The unease is constant, as past mistakes, anti-Asian racism, a mysterious illness, government cover ups, and Japanese demons permeate the pages, soaking readers in anxiety, and while there is a definitive conclusion to this story, the evil specter of racism isn’t going anywhere. Verdict: Katsu has no peer when it comes to atmospheric, detail rich, Historical Horror, but this volume is more unsettling than anything she has written before because the demons depicted on the page attack readers uncomfortably close to home. A must read by all, not just genre fans, but for those who want more Asian influenced Horror try the award winning anthology Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. I am bummed. I really wanted to love this one. I have been told forever that I have to read Alma Katsu's books. I will take another spin at another book by this author around Halloween time I think. The main reason why I gave this 3 stars is that the book felt too jumbled. I don't think Katsu did a very good job of us following Meiko, Aiko, Fran, and Archie. I get that Katsu wanted to show this time in A Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. I am bummed. I really wanted to love this one. I have been told forever that I have to read Alma Katsu's books. I will take another spin at another book by this author around Halloween time I think. The main reason why I gave this 3 stars is that the book felt too jumbled. I don't think Katsu did a very good job of us following Meiko, Aiko, Fran, and Archie. I get that Katsu wanted to show this time in American history and throw some horror in it, but the horror felt like it was an after thought. It didn't help that the ending just fell flat. I did love the afterword and Katsu explaining why they wrote this book (due to the rise of Anti-Asian rhetoric blooming all over the United States) and how they tied it into past sins that the United States has done when it comes to Asian Americans. "The Fervor" follows Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko. They are currently imprisoned in an internment camp in Idaho. Though Meiko is married to a white American who is currently flying planes against the Japanese, she is still seen as not American enough and a traitor in some ways to the fellow Japanese who are also imprisoned. Things go from bad to worse when people in the camp start to get sick and Meiko's daughter warns that the demons only she can see are telling her that something bad is coming. When Meiko realizes that things are tying back to something from her childhood, the book then shifts to a man named Archie who knows Meiko's husband, but who abandoned Meiko and Aiko to the camp. And then a journalist named Fran starts to investigate all of the goings on happening which seem to be part of a big government cover-up. I wish the book had followed just Meiko and maybe Aiko. Fran and her whole plotline could have been cut and nothing would have been lost. It feels like Katsu felt the same way since Fran is dumped towards the end and we get an info-dump about what happened to her. When the book starts shifts back and forth between the four characters along with Meiko's father's journals I just didn't know what was happening and or how to follow the many threads that the book dangles at you. Meiko felt very blank to me as a reader for most of the book. I got a better sense of Aiko and Archie which was a shame. Even Archie's terrible wife felt more developed. I wish the book had leaned on the supernatural/horror aspects more though. We hear about Jorōgumo and even get a small scene with the notorious demon, but it just felt like an after thought. The book really did show that the humans in the book were much worse. The setting of the United States during the 1940s does not show a rose colored world. Why I am always surprised when people are like those were the days. Sure they were, for white Christian people. Not so much for a lot of other people. The ending as I said fell flat. I just thought it needed something more or an epilogue that shows you where characters are after the end of the war.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lou Jacobs

    Alma Katsu crafts a masterful historical horror gem weaving two actual events into a soup with Japanese folklore and supernatural entities. The themes of the story rings even true today given the rise of Anti-Asian rhetoric and crime still persistent in our society. The internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II is a dark period in our history ( and rarely discussed in schools). Approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forcibly relocated and incarcerated in concent Alma Katsu crafts a masterful historical horror gem weaving two actual events into a soup with Japanese folklore and supernatural entities. The themes of the story rings even true today given the rise of Anti-Asian rhetoric and crime still persistent in our society. The internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II is a dark period in our history ( and rarely discussed in schools). Approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forcibly relocated and incarcerated in concentration camps in the northwest interior of our country. Disgustingly about 80,000 were American-born Japanese with U.S. citizenship ( Nisei and there children - Sansei ) - the rest were Issei, being immigrants born in Japan. This folly was obviously motivated by fear and racism. The second actual event that was somewhat fictionalized were the Japanese Fu-go balloon bombs….. these were actually launched as a weapon by Japan. It utilized the jet stream over the Pacific Ocean to drop these bombs with an attached incendiary device over Northwest U.S. & Canada cities … intended to instill fear and terror…. what is fictionalized is the presence of an attached bacteriological payload. Interwoven into the fabric of this story is Japanese folklore and swarming Jorogumo spider demons to instill supernatural horror. And the intermittent presence of an apparition, Kumo…. a whispering Japanese woman dressed in traditional kimono and carrying a baby. Our story follows Meiko and her daughter Aiko into the Idaho internment camp of Minidoka. Aiko drew pictures like a child possessed .. of diabolic creatures, based upon Japanese folktales. Intertwined with the everyday life of Archie, a pastor in Bly, Oregon (who also knew Meiko and her husband ) … with his pregnant wife and a group of children on an idyllic picnic, until they come upon one of the balloon bombs …. that explodes with disastrous results. And Fran, a reporter from Nebraska, who is chasing down the story of the exploding fire bombs and the resultant governmental cover-up. Eventually all of their lives will collide with escalating tension and dread. To make matters even more absurd … Meiko is married to a white American flyer, actually engaged in flights against the Japanese army. During the course of exposure to the balloons, Americans and primarily internment prisoners are becoming sick … with chills and fever, escalating into seizures, and fits of violence, aggression and often followed by death. Interspersed are chapters devoted to the journals of Aiko’s scientist grandfather , Wasaburo. …. laced with folklore and inventive science discoveries. Alma Katsu proves to be a marvelous storyteller, as she weaves a complex and twisted tapestry of suspense, paranoia and dread, while exploring honor, racism and xenophobia and medical experimentation. This is my first foray into the ouvre of Alma Katsu and demands exploration into her earlier award-winning work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Irene Well Worth A Read

    Japanese folklore and American history combine in this historical horror fiction set during World War II when President Roosevelt had people of Japanese descent, most of whom were American citizens taken from their homes and incarcerated in internment camps. The fear mongering and ignorance that breed hate groups and racism are accurately portrayed. The story is told from alternating points of view and mainly follows Meiko and her daughter who are forced to live in one such camp when a mysterious Japanese folklore and American history combine in this historical horror fiction set during World War II when President Roosevelt had people of Japanese descent, most of whom were American citizens taken from their homes and incarcerated in internment camps. The fear mongering and ignorance that breed hate groups and racism are accurately portrayed. The story is told from alternating points of view and mainly follows Meiko and her daughter who are forced to live in one such camp when a mysterious illness begins to spread, Fran, a newspaper reporter who will risk her life to get to the truth, and Archie, the minister who is too easily swayed by his wife. The horror aspect has only a minor role in this novel so for that reason I would be more inclined to recommend it to fans of historical fiction. I would have liked more of the jorogumo, which is the shape shifting spider demon that makes a brief appearance. It was still a compelling story with lots of action and loads of suspense. I received an advance copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Did I mention I don't like spiders????? Alma Katsu took a totally different direction with this book. This took me a little bit of time to get into but once I did, Katsu had me or maybe the spiders did. This book which was inspired by the Japanese yokai and the jorogumo spider demon. Yes, you read that correctly. This book also involves internment camps, relationships, WWII, mysterious illnesses, aggression, and the government. Ever see the movie, The Blob? Touch a weird substance and it begins t Did I mention I don't like spiders????? Alma Katsu took a totally different direction with this book. This took me a little bit of time to get into but once I did, Katsu had me or maybe the spiders did. This book which was inspired by the Japanese yokai and the jorogumo spider demon. Yes, you read that correctly. This book also involves internment camps, relationships, WWII, mysterious illnesses, aggression, and the government. Ever see the movie, The Blob? Touch a weird substance and it begins to take over...This book begins with a journalist and her boss/lover off in the woods, when oops, touched it! Note to self - never touch what you can't identify! Plus, if you see something, think twice as it might not be real...or is it? I enjoy how her books all have a supernatural element and how she utilizes mythology/folklore in this book. There is tension, mystery, creepiness, and some horrific scenes. I found this book very easy to visualize and it played out in my mind like a movie. That says a lot about her descriptions and imagery. 3.5 stars Thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, G.P. Putnam's Sons and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    I found this to be very creative how the author took true events from history and wove them with Japanese folklore, resulting in a horror-filled nightmare. This was quite unsettling but I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to see what’s up next for this author. *Thanks Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for kindly approving an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    There are different levels of scary right? Humans are, as far as I'm concerned the highest level of scary as compared to any monster, ghost, demon, etc. Racist shotgun-wielding humans are at the tippy top of the scary level because their hatred makes absolutely no fucking sense. So as a warning to those who may read this because you are looking for a good scary book with a jorogumo like I was, the yokai was the least scary thing about this book. Oh, and it was excellcent. The year is 1944, Meiko There are different levels of scary right? Humans are, as far as I'm concerned the highest level of scary as compared to any monster, ghost, demon, etc. Racist shotgun-wielding humans are at the tippy top of the scary level because their hatred makes absolutely no fucking sense. So as a warning to those who may read this because you are looking for a good scary book with a jorogumo like I was, the yokai was the least scary thing about this book. Oh, and it was excellcent. The year is 1944, Meiko and her daughter Aiko are living in a Japanese internment camp while Jaime, Meiko's white husband is doing his duty as a citizen of the U.S. and fighting over the Pacific after Jaime's best friend betrays them. Besides having a white husband Meiko is also issei (a Japanese immigrant to Japan) unlike most of her other neighbors in the camp who nissei or first gen Japanese American, this fact combined with her white husband and a tangled past with one of the Japanese leaders of the camp means Meiko and her daughter are looked down upon by their neighbors. It doesn't help that Aiko has become obsessed with yokai drawing terrifying images of the Japanese demons over and over again. One day a U.S. Army Truck shows up and Aiko warns Meiko that there is a demon in the truck and people will die. Meiko doesn't believe her daughter, of course, but as the people around her start to sicken and tempers flare Meiko realizes that something is very wrong in the internment camp and it will be up to her to stop it if she is to save herself, her daughter, and her people. Katsu uses the idea of people being infected with hatred through the bite of a spider brilliantly, weaving the tale of Jorogumo into the rampant hatred the Japanese faced during WWII. By telling th story interchangeably between Meiko, her husband's best friend, and betrayer Archie, her daughter Aiko, and Fran a woman way ahead of her time she is able to paint a picture from several different points of view in terms of the decision to place American citizens in internment camps and how that affected those in the camps and those who choose to follow the crowd instead of doing the right thing. She also brings up many aspects of internment that were internal to the Japanese; the class differences, the Japanese viewing interracial marriages very much the same way white people at the time did, and the cultural propensity to simply follow orders and the internal struggles that came from these things individually that may be new to many Westerners. The only thing that I have a complaint about is that I *really* was looking forward to Jorogumo being unleashed and that's not really what happened so I didn't get to read a book about Yokai wreaking havoc in the Pacific Northwest (that place I call home) however this was such an important comment on how fear and ignorance leads to hatred and how quickly those things can spread that I'll forgive the author for getting my hopes up. This also was clearly a work that was extremely personal to Katsu and I appreciate her taking the time to write something so close to her own family and I appreciate her family members for allowing her to share their story with us even in a fictional manner. I want to thank Netgalley and the people at Penguin Group for the eArc to this exceptional book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    April

    I just finished an egalley of Fervor by Alma Katsu (pub date Apr 26th). I gave it 5 stars. Let me add that the storyline is a nice blend of Historical and Folk Horror. It's slow paced, not very scary or gory but ... spiders and egg sacks... Katsu is definitely making a political statement that can be paralleled w/ today's violence against Asian Americans. I found the characters to all be intriguing and real for the time period. The writing flows well through different narrators, times and places I just finished an egalley of Fervor by Alma Katsu (pub date Apr 26th). I gave it 5 stars. Let me add that the storyline is a nice blend of Historical and Folk Horror. It's slow paced, not very scary or gory but ... spiders and egg sacks... Katsu is definitely making a political statement that can be paralleled w/ today's violence against Asian Americans. I found the characters to all be intriguing and real for the time period. The writing flows well through different narrators, times and places so if that bothers you skip this. This is my first book by Katsu but she says in the afterward, which is also very informative, that this book is different than her others. Overall I liked it a lot but I'm biased as a huge fan of History and Supernatural horror.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

    *4.5 Stars You could say that she has a niche; you could also say that she has a knack for that niche – a real niche knack. Alma Katsu inserts horror into historical fiction – she takes actual events from the past, creates a fictional narrative into the event, and then scares the living daylights out of you. She is a pro at this. The Fervor was personal for Alma Katsu. As a Japanese American, she was able to get a firsthand account of what was really going on at the internment camp from people who *4.5 Stars You could say that she has a niche; you could also say that she has a knack for that niche – a real niche knack. Alma Katsu inserts horror into historical fiction – she takes actual events from the past, creates a fictional narrative into the event, and then scares the living daylights out of you. She is a pro at this. The Fervor was personal for Alma Katsu. As a Japanese American, she was able to get a firsthand account of what was really going on at the internment camp from people who were on the inside. I think that we can all agree that this was a dark time in our past, all the scarier because it really wasn’t that long ago that citizens had their rights taken away from them for no other reason than their race. What I find even scarier is that we seem to be moving back in that direction, making The Fervor not only terrifying but relevant. Katsu told her story through a fantastic cast of characters, she allowed us into their deepest, darkest thoughts and created a connection between her readers and her characters. There is a supernatural/horror aspect to The Fervor, but in all honesty, this takes a back seat to the horror that people inflict on other people (that is always the scariest – because it’s true). I went with the Audible version of The Fervor. Two Japanese narrators were used, this upped the authenticity of the story being told; Traci Kato-Kiriyama and Louis Ozawa did an excellent job. The only complaint that I have is that since a cast was used instead of one narrator, they could have added a third narrator to cover some of the other characters, like the bigoted sheriff, then again, I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s, fair is fair.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    *I received an advanced copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* The Fervor by Alma Katsu is set in 1944 and is a great blend of historical fiction and folklore. I’m a sucker for mythology and folklore of any culture and I love how it is inspired by the Japanese yokai and the jorogumo spider demon. The cover is absolutely stunning, love the pinks and purples not something you'd typically see on a horror novel. This is my first novel by Alma Katsu and her writing has *I received an advanced copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* The Fervor by Alma Katsu is set in 1944 and is a great blend of historical fiction and folklore. I’m a sucker for mythology and folklore of any culture and I love how it is inspired by the Japanese yokai and the jorogumo spider demon. The cover is absolutely stunning, love the pinks and purples not something you'd typically see on a horror novel. This is my first novel by Alma Katsu and her writing has grabbed a hold of my hand and is pulling me into this story. It has multiple POVs and I found it pretty easy to keep each person clear in my mind. Meiko and her daughter Aiko who are both in a Japanese internment camp. Fran, a reporter who is digging into a mysterious string of explosions that are being covered up. Lastly, Archie, a preacher who was affected by an explosion. Though I did know a little about the Japanese internment camps on US soil, history isn't my area of expertise. It's so sad to keep seeing the same theme play out over and over again. Read this book, it is well written and thought provoking

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lezlie The Nerdy Narrative

    THE FERVOR is the very first book I've read by Alma Katsu. I've seen so many highly rated reviews for her previous novels, THE DEEP and THE HUNGER, but this is the one that snared me with its synopsis and demanded that I read it. I am ever so glad! Our timeline is 1944, the midst of WWII and the setting is mostly Idaho, where our main characters Meiko and her daughter Aiko are interned in a (prison) camp for the simple reason being they are Japanese. Yes, if you were like me and NOT taught in sch THE FERVOR is the very first book I've read by Alma Katsu. I've seen so many highly rated reviews for her previous novels, THE DEEP and THE HUNGER, but this is the one that snared me with its synopsis and demanded that I read it. I am ever so glad! Our timeline is 1944, the midst of WWII and the setting is mostly Idaho, where our main characters Meiko and her daughter Aiko are interned in a (prison) camp for the simple reason being they are Japanese. Yes, if you were like me and NOT taught in school that the great country of America, Land of the Free (if you're white) and Home of the Brave (because you're the one holding the gun) ripped all people of Japanese descent from their homes and put them in internment camps because they suspected them of being spies. Even American-born Japanese were seen as threats. The historical aspect alone is horrifying. If you think that's what makes this a horror tale, boy are you in for a ride because Katsu spices it up by including Japanese folklore inspired by the jorogumo spider demon. I was constantly checking my clothing and surroundings, let's not even talk about the number of times I sword I felt something feather-light on my hands/arms. Meiko and Aiko lives peacefully with their neighbors in a camp in Idaho for many months as the war wages on. Until. It starts as a simple cold. No concern needed, right? Except the cold morphs into fits of rage and aggression, leading to fights and in some cases, murder. The disease runs rampant throughout the camp bringing with it a team of "doctors" to investigate its origin....or maybe something else? I read this book in two sittings. I was enthralled by the historical aspect, learning things I had never heard before because it's not taught in our schools. My white parents and grandparents certainly never shared it with me. How sad it is to learn about our country's past from a fictional book? I loved that Alma Katsu enlightened me while also weaving in Japanese folklore, which has always fascinated me. I immediately secured her other two books and will be reading those very soon! This is one of those times where I not only loved the book, I fell in love with the storytelling ability and writing style and have a new auto-buy author on my list!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    3.5 ⭐️ // CAWPILE rating 6.57 Interesting plot, interesting characters, mediocre execution. For what this story was, I was hoping for something super creepy and unsettling. Unfortunately, by the end, I felt pretty underwhelmed. I liked the multiple character storylines and watching how they weaved together. Meiko & Aiko, a Japanese mother and daughter imprisoned in an internment camp, Archie, a white minister with a recently deceased family, and Fran, a female journalist digging into a mystery th 3.5 ⭐️ // CAWPILE rating 6.57 Interesting plot, interesting characters, mediocre execution. For what this story was, I was hoping for something super creepy and unsettling. Unfortunately, by the end, I felt pretty underwhelmed. I liked the multiple character storylines and watching how they weaved together. Meiko & Aiko, a Japanese mother and daughter imprisoned in an internment camp, Archie, a white minister with a recently deceased family, and Fran, a female journalist digging into a mystery that’s been plaguing the country. I loved the supernatural aspects and the Japanese folklore that was brought into the story. Really interesting and prompted me to do some google searching so I could learn about some stuff. Loved that. However, even with these things I really liked, I was never genuinely excited to pick up this book after setting it down and the way it was all brought together, it read only moderately creepy, with a few gross moments thrown in. I did enjoy this book overall, but it was just an ok read for me. Nothing amazing. ***Content Warning: Spiders are a big part of this book so if you have arachnophobia, keep that in mind before picking this up. Thank you to NetGalley & G.P. Putnam for the advance reader copy, for review. Much appreciated! Watch my reading vlog here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJCP6...

  24. 4 out of 5

    OutlawPoet

    Just when I started reading this, an old family friend passed away. She, her parents, and four sisters has spent some of their childhood interred at Manzanar. History isn’t that far away. In The Fervor, Alma Katsu reminds us that history is very much still relevant and the reader recognizes many parallels to today’s ugly xenophobia and racism. The story meshes history with a supernatural twist. It’s scary, heart-breaking, and completely engaging. I loved our characters and was completely enmeshed in Just when I started reading this, an old family friend passed away. She, her parents, and four sisters has spent some of their childhood interred at Manzanar. History isn’t that far away. In The Fervor, Alma Katsu reminds us that history is very much still relevant and the reader recognizes many parallels to today’s ugly xenophobia and racism. The story meshes history with a supernatural twist. It’s scary, heart-breaking, and completely engaging. I loved our characters and was completely enmeshed in Katsu’s world. She truly has become one of my favorite authors and this read is not to be missed! *ARC via Publisher

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    The Fervor is told from the viewpoint of four different narratives: Meiko and her young daughter Aiko who are living in a Japanese internment camp; Archie, a pastor from their previous home town who suffers a devastating loss right at the beginning of the book; and Fran, a determined and resourceful reporter who senses an important story. However, Meiko is responsible for the majority of the narration. The story is a really wonderful blend of historical fiction, a mystery, and Japanese legends. The Fervor is told from the viewpoint of four different narratives: Meiko and her young daughter Aiko who are living in a Japanese internment camp; Archie, a pastor from their previous home town who suffers a devastating loss right at the beginning of the book; and Fran, a determined and resourceful reporter who senses an important story. However, Meiko is responsible for the majority of the narration. The story is a really wonderful blend of historical fiction, a mystery, and Japanese legends. I did not expect this to be an epidemic-themed horror novel, and I found the narrative of looking at how history repeats itself very sobering... as it always is. The story tells us about Meiko and Aiko's life before and while interred at the camp, and how their experiences are even more unique because Meiko is a Japanese woman married to an American man and Aiko is half-Japanese and half-American. We learn about Archie's life and struggles with his grief and remorse for actions he regrets. And we get to know the spunky and independent Fran who refuses to back down despite obvious dangers to her life and freedom. As Meiko has continually felt like an outsider after marrying a white Air Force pilot and coming to America from Japan, she notices how Americans have been more freely expressing anti-Asian sentiments since the bombing of Pearl Harbor and racist language and actions have grown even worse as the spread of a frightening epidemic is blamed on Japanese-American citizens. Meiko acknowledges that both Japan and America believe their people to be superior, but she makes this very appropos observation: It wasn't as though one race was superior to all others was alien to her--It wasn't, because Japanese were raised to believe that they were better than others. But in Japan, where there was effectively only one race, one people, you could at least see how that notion had happened. Whereas America was made up of so many different kinds of people, you'd think they'd have gotten used to each other by now. How exhausting it must be here to hate everyone who was different. The characterization throughout the story is excellent, and it felt like I was learning a lot about an era before my time, some of which I didn't realize until reading the author's Afterword. This is a complex story and I found it hard to put down. I loved how the chapters switched to different narrators and I always wanted to know more about what was happening to them in their part of the story. I would recommend reading this book without a lot of advance information and expectations because it is gripping and sad and sometimes magical, but it's good to be surprised. There is, however, one description I found in a review that I want to share here because it so aptly explains one of the critical parallels the story creates. Inspired by the Japanese yokai and the jorogumo spider demon, The Fervor explores a supernatural threat beyond what anyone saw coming; the danger of demonization, a mysterious contagion, and the search to stop its spread before its too later. Kate's review from thelibraryladies.com. I highly recommend this book to everyone. And another excellent review to read after finishing the book is written by Nicole Yurcaba and can be found at sourthernreviewofbooks.com.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Putnam for allowing me to read this ARC! Content Warning: death, murder, violence, racism, xenophobia, misogyny. In 1944, the war is still raging on, and Meiko Briggs has been forced to live in one of the many interment camps popping up all over the US. Although her daughter, Aiko, is American-born, it makes no difference: they are Japanese, and therefore, automatically suspected of being spies, no matter how farfetched that sounds to anyone with common sense. Th Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Putnam for allowing me to read this ARC! Content Warning: death, murder, violence, racism, xenophobia, misogyny. In 1944, the war is still raging on, and Meiko Briggs has been forced to live in one of the many interment camps popping up all over the US. Although her daughter, Aiko, is American-born, it makes no difference: they are Japanese, and therefore, automatically suspected of being spies, no matter how farfetched that sounds to anyone with common sense. They're just struggling to get through each day, desperately wanting to go home, when a strange outbreak begins at their camp -- Camp Minidoka, Idaho. This bizarre disease corrupts the minds of those it infects, making them violent and paranoid. Meanwhile, Fran Gurstworld, a journalist, is hoping that she might be getting her big break when she discovers something odd in the woods around Lake Ogallala. As she begins to think that perhaps everything is connected to the illness at the interment camps, she also quickly realizes just how dangerous it is to get involved in something the military might want hidden. Only Meiko, with her past on a mysterious island in Japan, holds the key to both unraveling this mystery and saving the lives of those afflicted. It's not all that common to find an author who is able to seamlessly capture a dark period of American history and incorporate elements of the supernatural. I'd previously been interested in reading Katsu's The Hunger, a paranormal-slash-thriller take on the infamous expedition of the Donner Party, but somehow, I'd never gotten a chance to actually read it. I'll be making it a priority now, as I was so impressed not only with Katsu's simple, evocative writing, but also with her ability to bring to life a historical time period and her effortless way of making the mundane frightening. At the heart of this tale is Meiko and her daughter and, subsequently, their Japanese culture and heritage. Katsu weaves in many tales of yokai -- Japanese demons, some malevolent, some mischievous -- and other Japanese folktales, with an emphasis on memory and familial history. I loved Meiko from her very first chapter: she's sensible and down-to-earth, but she also encourages her daughter's creativity and doesn't shy away from telling Aiko about Japan and the beautiful pieces that make it a whole in Meiko's memory. While Meiko is Issei, born in Japan and having immigrated to America, Aiko is Nisei, a first-generation American. She's also biracial, half-white, and Katsu beautifully shows us how this impacts Aiko and her interaction with others in her community, and on the other hand, how people perceive Meiko because she was born in Japan and is therefore just as othered as Aiko is, but for different reasons. There are two other characters that get POV chapters: Fran, the spunky journalist, and Archie Mitchell, who knew Meiko and Aiko (as well as Meiko's husband, Jamie) before they were forced into the camp. I greatly enjoyed Fran's chapters, as her character takes no shit from anyone, particularly men, and is determined to make a name for herself. She's also Jewish, and I think this aspect of her life helps to bring about a connection between her and Meiko. Archie, on the other hand, mostly grated on my nerves, but I think his character arc serves a very specific purpose and does it well. By the end, I felt that all of the characters' journeys were fully-realized, and their arcs were satisfying. The plot moves quickly, and I struggled to put this one down, eager to see where this wild journey would take us next. I did feel that the ending was a touch abrupt, and that we might've benefited from seeing a bit more of the aftermath, but in all honesty, that's really my only complaint. The rest of it is frightening, touching, unnerving and brilliantly put-together. Katsu makes mention in her author's note of how we are seeing the same things happening over again, and how little it seems we sometimes learn from our histories and pasts. America, as we all know, has its own extremely dark issues, and the internment of Japanese people during WWII is one that is perhaps little discussed. It's particularly relevant at the moment, when we are seeing such a rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans, "justified" and "explained" by the COVID pandemic. Once again, hatred seems to be at the forefront of White America. It doesn't matter how senseless it is: it's pervasive. We can only hope that, perhaps, newer generations will continue to make strides in their fight against injustice and discrimination. And that we might begin to learn from the mistakes of history. Highly recommended!

  27. 5 out of 5

    David

    The Fervor is an eye opening look at an ugly time in American history.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heather Freeman

    Katsu is, in many ways, the current master of historical horror, and this certainly does nothing to dethrone her. It starts with an absolute bang, and it keeps that horrifying mood throughout, even when it hits a more elegiac and slower pace. Overall, I particularly appreciated the novel's commentary on anti-Japanese bigotry and the horrors of extreme patriotism and xenophobia, and i appreciated the familial roots Katsu grappled with by focusing on the WWII internment camps. The way she weaves J Katsu is, in many ways, the current master of historical horror, and this certainly does nothing to dethrone her. It starts with an absolute bang, and it keeps that horrifying mood throughout, even when it hits a more elegiac and slower pace. Overall, I particularly appreciated the novel's commentary on anti-Japanese bigotry and the horrors of extreme patriotism and xenophobia, and i appreciated the familial roots Katsu grappled with by focusing on the WWII internment camps. The way she weaves Japanese monsters and mythology into a true American horror story is expertly done and so effective, though the effect is often very dark and depressing. Overall, this is an amazing horror novel.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adamsfall

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really wanted to like this one. It started out strong and drew me in, but jumping from 4-5 different POVs from chapter to chapter broke that immersion fast. I didn’t feel like I was getting time to get to know of soak in any one persons story. The horror elements seemed forced in. There were a couple supernatural moments throughout the book and each one was creepier than the last… and then there was no payoff. There were a half a dozen times where the plot progressed because something just “happ I really wanted to like this one. It started out strong and drew me in, but jumping from 4-5 different POVs from chapter to chapter broke that immersion fast. I didn’t feel like I was getting time to get to know of soak in any one persons story. The horror elements seemed forced in. There were a couple supernatural moments throughout the book and each one was creepier than the last… and then there was no payoff. There were a half a dozen times where the plot progressed because something just “happened,” seemingly out of nowhere. Characters showed up at just the right time, the daughter had the grandpas journals the whole time, the pastors racist wife was a ghost that delivered spider silk to their front door as an antidote? The commentary on racism and hate were the real horror here, as those are very real and seen every day in this country. I think Alma Katsu did an incredible job bringing in the experiences of her family and other Asian Americans from the time period and how they were treated and how they’re still treated today. This was the strongest part of the whole book and I think would have been more impactful if we’d only seen it from Meikos point of view or other POVs from the camps. Lastly, the biggest disappointment was the anticlimactic and abrupt ending. The good guys were cornered in the forest by a group of white nationalists, some of whom were cops, and were saved at just the right moment by the FBI. The book just kinda… ends. Good guys saved from bad cops by more cops. Woo. I’ll still be there buying anything Alma Katsu puts out on release day, but I just couldn’t get over some of the messy plot elements, the coincidental story advancement, too many POVs, and an abrupt and lackluster ending. Giving this one ⭐️⭐️ for the racial and historical commentary.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul Preston

    Similar to other Katsu books. A terrible real life situation made worse by supernatural and additional man made horrors. Great characters come together through intertwined tales that keep the mystery and intrigue alive.

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