In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Alvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia. The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks-refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister's offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister's son-cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful-and the way forward becomes less clear. Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he's willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
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"Listeners will be drawn into Carolinia, where magic is a virus that leaves survivors, including Noam Alvarez, with special powers. Noam, a technopath, is offered lessons by Calix Lehrer, the Carolinian minister of defense. Noam is right to be distrustful of Lehrer and his son, the bewitching Dara, to whom he is attracted. Narrator Michael Crouch injects Noam's and Dara's voices with suspicion that changes to longing as their relationship develops. Maintaining a steady narration and ably differentiating a multitude of characters, Crouch helps listeners follow the convoluted plot. His portrayal of Noam's inner battle over his romantic feelings and his desire to save himself and his people despite ongoing betrayals is riveting. Book 2 will be eagerly awaited. E.J.F. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"
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