After drifting through life longer than he should, Zach Logan is suddenly forced to make an impossible decision: either lose the right to inherit the family fortune or prove to his patriarch that he’s the kind of alpha who will make the family proud. That means joining the Top Dog survivor competition. It’s the kind of event where people end up dead or maimed, but the rewards are vast.
For Sebastian Gage, the Top Dog challenge is equally personal. As an omega forced to live under the thumb of laws written by alphas, he wants a chance to finally be independent and to turn traditionalist rule upside down. If someone wins the Top Dog Challenge three times in a row, they’re crowned an alpha for life. Seb has won twice already. One more win will see him named alpha and, if he can do that, he’ll finally have the clout to challenge the outdated omega laws. He doesn’t intend on meeting Zach or having to deal with the powerful and terrifying connection between them. They may be wolves, but their animal sides have been latent for centuries. No alpha or omega can truly bond anymore and they certainly can’t shift. But in the middle of an unforgiving jungle, Zach and Seb might find themselves shattering more than a few preconceived notions.
Fever is the first Latent series and it’s one of those books that does a lot of things right and a few things wrong. But let’s start with the positives first. Think of Fever as a cross between Survivor and Hunger Games, but leaning more towards the latter. Contestants have to make their way through a dangerous jungle, reach a city, and then ultimately fight for the championship. Fever sees us as far as the city and presumably the next book intends to pick up the story from there. There is an intensity to the action and the consequences feel believable for the characters. There are no good deeds or acts of kindness; everything comes with a price and the cutthroat nature of the competition is well depicted.
It’s a little hard to see Zach and Sebastian as a true romantic pairing. There’s definitely a fated mates pull upon them and I never saw any real relationship development. Instead, there’s a healthy dose of lust with grudging respect and, while it lacks the kind of depth I prefer, it manages to work all right for this couple. Hopefully in the next book we’ll see a bit more growth from both characters and their relationship.
There are times when the entire competition starts to take on slightly ridiculous overtones and there seem to be something sinister at work in the background. This part of the plot wasn’t overly developed and didn’t feel necessary. There’s already enough happening with regards to the competition and having jungle mercenaries thrown into the mix seemed like overkill. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen frequently or the slightly bonkers plot of Fever could have tipped into seriously silly territory.
Overall, I found Fever surprisingly enjoyable. I wasn’t sure I would connect with either Zach or Seb at first, but the intensity of the competition drew me in and kept me focused squarely on their race to success. There’s a strongly developed story here and, while it goes overboard occasionally, it’s generally paced and structured well. I’m certainly looking forward to the next in the series!