Book Title: Fever Crumb
Author: Philip Reeve
Genre: Science Fiction
Summary: Written as a prequel to Reeve’s Mortal Engines series, Fever Crumb follows the character of Fever, a young girl raised by Dr Crumb in the Order of Engineers. Her upbringing as a rational, logical person is put to the test when she is asked to assist in an archaelogical dig beyond the only home she has ever known. In searching for answers and knowledge Fever also searches for her identity and an understanding as to who – and what – she is while the city of London – and the world – approaches great change.
Favourite Scene: Fever travels on London Transport and wears an oyster shell around her neck; I love the allusion to the oyster cards used in London and how the practice has been appropriated for the novel! Reeve’s vision of how contemporary western culture is transformed in the future is truly fascinating.
Favourite Character: I love Fever however I would feel especially bias if I chose her as ‘favourite’ – not to mention a tad cliche! I found Bagman Creech to be a fascinating character; while he is the bad guy – and a genocidal one at that – he has such conviction and such a sense of ‘right and wrong’ that I couldn’t help but appreciate Reeve’s construction of a character whose ‘badness’ doesn’t make him bad.
Review: It’s no secret that I love Philip Reeve. I absorbed the four books in the Mortal Engines series in two days and spent a week afterward fretting over them and wishing they hadn’t ended. Reeve writes beautifully and has a strong voice which easily transports you far away when you open any of his novels. With Fever Crumb, Reeve’s vision of the future embraces (and criticises) the legacy that contemporary western culture will leave for the future. Fever’s journey continues in A Web of Air and Scrivener’s Moon thus her development as a character is not complete in Fever Crumb. Instead, Fever Crumb sets up the background for Fever’s continuing development of self alongside the development of London as it becomes the London depicted in the Mortal Engines series. She is a wonderful character and she is surrounded by equally detailed, brilliantly written characters – as opposed to stock-standard page-fillers who lack individuality and personal purpose! Read the books properly – Mortal Engines first, then move on to the prequels. Seriously. Pack tissues, turn off the phone, and let Reeve take you away.