Monday 11 March 2013

Book Review- Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Title: Fever Crumb
 Author: Philip Reeve
Series:  Fever Crumb #1
Published:  5 May 2009
Length: 326 pages
Source: Sarah!
Other info:  This got shortlisted for the Carnegie!
Summary : 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?
Review: Scriven are speckled, pale, speckled creatures, who ruled London for years. A baby girl is left on a doorstep, with a label explaining that “her name is Fever”. She grows up as an engineer, the first female one, until she is asked to go and help someone. Kit Solent, archaeologist, wants Fever to help him with the treasure trove he’s found. Why? Because he thinks that she’s the one who can be used to unlock the secrets of Scriven Auric Godshawk.  Also, there are people who believe that Fever is a Scrivien herself, and are willing to kill her for it.
This is the first I’ve read of anything to do with Fever Crumb or the Traction Cities series. I like the idea of the walking cities, but we weren't quite there yet. Instead we get a world that isn’t typically steampunk due to its lack of technology, but is definitely distinctive. There’s lots of clever references to today’s world, with Fever’s world being built on the remains of outs in terms of language and culture.
The scriven are a subspecies who, after believing themselves to be superior, took over London and ruled it until the humans revolted. The plot with  Charley and Creech attempting to kill fever was a good plot  What was more interesting was the history of the Scirven and their interactions with the humans, especially the backstory with Doctor Crumb and Wavey, the Scriven princess.
Fever was a bit annoying at the start. Because her upbringing made her aloof and uncaring for art and fun. I did warm up to her with time though. I really liked the fact that she was clever and inquisitive, and I liked seeing her discover her own secrets.I also  really liked Kit for some reason. I would have liked to get into the characters heads more.
Plotwise, it changes tack quite a bit. I think that the climax of Londoners vs Movement was good, but not amazing. Other plot points were really fascinating.
I have no knowledge of the Hungry Cities main series. I can’t comment  on Fever Crumb’s effectiveness as a prequel. As a prelude to another time set of this world, with a lot more things developed, I’ll definitely read Mortal Engines one day.

Overall:  Strength 3 tea to an original steampunkworld I'd love to see more of.

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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