book cover of The Fervor
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The Fervor

(2022)
A novel by

 
 
The acclaimed author of the celebrated literary horror novels The Hunger and The Deep turns her psychological and supernatural eye 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 Midwest. 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 the horrors of the supernatural beyond just the threat of the occult. With a keen and prescient eye, Katsu crafts a terrifying story about the danger of demonization, a mysterious contagion, and the search to stop its spread before it's too late. A sharp account of too-recent history, it's a deep excavation of how we decide who gets to be human when being human matters most. 

Genre: Horror

Praise for this book

"Is there anything the brilliant Alma Katsu can't write about? The Fervor is an utterly compelling combination of the historical novel, the medical thriller, and the supernatural scarefest. It's also a hauntingly moving meditation on prejudice and suspicion that feels like it has as much to say about our present moment as it does about the past. This is sure to be considered one of the best, most original novels of the year." - David Bell

"A chilling, inventive supernatural thriller about a mysterious outbreak in a Japanese American internment camp during the frenzied nationalist days of World War II. The story is propulsive and dense with spidery scares, but the greatest horror comes from the deep resonance between this shameful episode of our history and the news we read every day." - Steph Cha

"I'm in awe of Alma Katsu's uncanny ability to take historical fiction and infuse it with something so dark and otherworldly. I read this book in two sittings and during the night in between, I dreamt about it. A supernatural story with true heartache." - Jamie Ford

"The Fervor is set in 1944, but it's about the world we live in now - and that's terrifying." - Stephen Graham Jones

"Masterfully written. Rich in historical detail and packed with complicated, compelling characters, The Fervor is a frightening reminder that those of us in the present are always on the cusp of repeating the sins of the past." - Riley Sager

"The Fervor is heartbreaking, beautiful, and unputdownable. It turns the mirror of the past on the present, showing us what we could become if fear is allowed to defeat sense. It's a masterful accomplishment which will stay with me for a long time." - Catriona Ward

"A haunting, harrowing slice of historical horror conjured by a masterful storyteller." - Chuck Wendig


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