Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review: Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: April 2010
ISBN: 9780545207195

Source: Library

Fever Crumb 

Fever Crumb has grown up knowing she's an orphan.  Being raised by Dr. Crumb to be the only female engineer has also set her apart.  But her first assignment to aid an archaeologist with a project leads her into trouble.  Not only is she accused of being a Scrivener (a nonhuman race who once ruled the city of London), but she's also having memories and thoughts that aren't her own.  The worst part is, how can she know if she's a Scrivener or not?  And will it matter to the hunter who's sworn to rid the town of all Scriven?

Things I Liked:
What a fun and original story!  I loved the setting and feeling.  It was futuristic, but it also felt very much like steampunk, with some historical elements mixed with old fashioned technology.  The unique place and time, as well as the unique characters and dynamics of society was what made this book so delightful.  The story itself was very good too - kept you guessing, wondering who Fever was and why she was experiencing strange memories.  I will definitely be getting my hands on the Hungry City Chronicles soon! Here are some favorite parts:

"During the Scriven era there was a fashion for women to name their children after whatever ailments they suffered from while they were pregnant.  I have heard of people named 'backache,' 'Diarrhea'..."
"I knew a man once called Craving-For-Pickled-Onions McNee." p44
There were big lumbering cargo hoys like herds of sauropods, but Ruan's favorites were the gaudy, speedy tinker barges and traveling fairs.  Half the size of the sluggish hoys and twice as fast, they were painted in a million lurid shades, decked out with flags and chrome, and mirrors, and hung each night with strings of saffron lanterns.  Dizzy op-art spirals whirled on their wheel hubs, and their exhaust stacks were striped like gypsies' stockings.  And along their sides, in cutout letters as high as house fronts, they wore their names... p 79
Perhaps he realized, there at the end, that immortality wasn't won by designing engines, or building sky-high statues, or stuffing your thoughts into other heads, but just by keeping your children and their children safe, so that they could carry something of you on into the future.  Not your opinions, or your silly memories of pools and parties and kissing people in parks, but the deeper memories, written in your genes; the shape of a nose, the curve of an eyebrow, the little habits and mannerisms which endure through families, through history. p 294
Things I Didn't Like:
There were sometimes so many new things going on and strange words to describe them that I became lost.  It is something most science fiction or high fantasy worlds deal with, I think.  But, I caught on soon enough and enjoyed the rest quite a lot.

Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve (Fever Crumb is a prequel to this series)

Leviathan and Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

s-factor: !
while almost all is in futuristic language, some is still recognizable

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
some action violence and intense scenes

Overall rating: ****

What kinds of crazy things would you envision for humanity thousands of years from now?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I thought Fever Crumb was entirely unique. I don't think I've ever read a book quite like it. And the language was gorgeous!

  2. I've had FEVER CRUMB on my shelf for awhile, but I've been avoiding it for some reason. Sounds like I need to cut that out and get reading. Thanks for the review!

  3. Stephanie, it was kind of in a class of its own, wasn't it?

    Susan, definitely pick it up.

  4. The Hungary City Chronicles, are utterly fantastic reading. As good as Fever Crumb it, they're even better!

  5. Darren, I just need to buckle down and get them already!

  6. I haven't heard much about this one, but I'm curious now. I've long admired the cover, but your review is what has finally sold me. Thanks!

  7. Small Review, I'm so glad! I hope you like it.


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