Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Review of Fever Crumb
Rating: 4 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Teenagers and adults with a sci-fi/fantasy/dystopian bent
High point: Fever Crumb and Dr. Crumb
Low point: Supporting cast
Reader maturity: 10+
Fever Crumb follows fourteen year old Fever Crumb as she's sent away from the only home she's ever known to work for a former Engineer. While away from her haven, she learns about her past and that she's more than she ever could have imagined.
After I received Fever Crumb for review, I discovered that it is intended as a prequel to the Hungry City Chronicles, which I have never read. I was concerned that I would be completely lost during Fever Crumb, but I needn't have worried. It stands alone perfectly well, and while reading the Hungry City Chronicles may enhance the experience, the novel is entertaining and explanatory enough to enjoy without doing so.
Being of a scientific bent myself, I chuckled several times during this book. The middle-aged male Engineers are dry and unintentionally funny. Fever herself has her moments of comedy; she's rational to a fault, which may seem absurd to the reader, but it's endearing. Having never struggled with emotions before--believing them to be useless--Fever makes a few mistakes as she works to figure out who she truly is inside after learning that the memories in her brain might not be hers.
The Scriven seemed to be a terrifying people, but the common folk of London were almost as terrifying in their intent of wiping out the Scriven at the expense of the innocents. I would've liked to have learned more about the Scriven and the Movement that opposes London, but those may be topics explored in chronologically later novels.
This is a great novel for younger readers; all of the so-called swearing is in futuristic terminology. For example, the denizens of London worship an ancient deity named Hari Potter. Fever Crumb is filled with such puns as everyday language for the common Londoners, much to my amusement. Older readers will enjoy the story as well; it's thoughtfully constructed and complicated enough to feel meaty. After this taste, I'm going to try and add the Hungry City Chronicles to my collection.
Title: Fever Crumb
Author: Philip Reeve
Genre: Teen Science Fiction
Book Source: Won an uncorrected proof from Goodreads.com