Review: Fever Crumb

Review: Fever CrumbFever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Series: Fever Crumb #1
Published by Scholastic on May 5, 2009
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Pages: 326
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order.

Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb - nearly the only person she's ever known - to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven.

The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated.

All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

Haunting, arresting, and astonishingly original, Fever Crumb will delight and surprise readers at every fast-paced, breathless turn.

Fever Crumb is a prequel to Reeve’s Hungry City series, of which I have read the first book. Although Fever Crumb is well written and quite clever, I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I did Mortal Engines. The problem for me was that Fever is exceedingly difficult to relate to, which, admittedly, is as intended. Still, her own calm kept me from getting drawn into the story and really feeling for her predicament. This was one of those books where I simply didn’t care how everything ended up, even when Fever was in serious danger. However, I did appreciate Fever’s struggle to remain rational and emotionless in the face of whatever came her way (Yay! Spock reference!).

The best parts (for me) were the nifty references thrown into the future world Reeve has created. Early on, there is a mention of religious nuts worshiping their lord, Hari Potter. Now there is a religion I could really get behind. Haha. The British city of Battersea is spelled B@ersea. Little goodies like this are so delightful. They also force you to pay attention so that no hilarious little jokes pass you by.

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