Fever Crumb is a little strange.
She’s part of the Order of the Engineers, the only child (and the only woman) ever to dwell with the intellectuals. She has no hair, like all the others, and she has two different coloured eyes. She doesn’t believe in emotions or being irrational or wasteful. She is an Engineer, helper of Dr. Crumb.
Or is she?
Enemies are advancing on London. And enemies are advancing on Fever Crumb, though she doesn’t know why. The old Skinner, Bagman Creech, is watching her. Rioters want her dead. Dr. Crumb wants her safe. Kit Solent, a fellow archaeologist wants her to unlock a mysterious vault.
And what does Fever Crumb want?
In My Opinion…
Author: Philip Reeve
Genre: Post-apolyptic Science Fiction
This was my next pick off “books-to-read-if-you-love-the-Hunger-Games”. The other two I read off the list (Trapped and The Scorpio Races) were great. Riveting. Fresh. Gripping. But my next pick, Fever Crumb, just didn’t have the same effect on me. It took me several days to finish it and all the while I kept wondering why it made the list.
The story line itself was excellent. Thrilling. Well told. Extremely well thought out. Intriguing. One of my first (and remaining) thoughts was, “I would love to watch this as a movie!” It has the makings for one of the best Sci-Fi/fantasy movies ever. But the way it was told left me thinking those dark, critical thoughts that we aspiring-authors sometimes get…how did the author get away with that? Though, after researching the series a bit, I found out Fever Crumbis the prequel series for the Mortal Engines Quartet, which is apparently very famous, and (as rumours say) might be made into a movie soon. I’ll look forward to that!
For me, the story kicked off slow and gradually picked up speed, though not in a riveting way. I wanted to know what happened, because of the story, not the style of writing. The point of view swapped around a bit. After a while, you weren’t sure whose head you were going to be in, seeing everyone got a say or at least a paragraph here and there. I wasn’t impressed with that. Also, the prose came out a little passive at times and the sentences sometimes read rather long and technical.
I liked the characters and the description. It stayed crisp and clear and painted such a vivid, bizarre, mechanical world for the readers to enjoy. While the emotional layer wasn’t deep, the story had enough life to keep itself afloat. I liked Fever Crumb’s personality—how she always talked about being “rational” and “no time for emotions”. She truly was the spark of the series. I thought the setting came across really clear, not tangled or confusing as sometimes happens when you describe a post-apocalyptic world for the readers. There was a lot of back-story though. The characters narrated the past as Fever demanded, so we stay pace with her throughout the book. And the names! I loved the names (like Dr. Crumb, Wavey Godshawk, Kit Solent and Bagman Creech) and I loved the places and the little details.
All in all, I’m glad I finished the book, even if it doesn’t rate as a high favourite. I like reading new styles. I just found this a little dry in comparison to the other suggestions on the “what-to-read…” list. I found the ending sad but right all at once. I felt strangely satisfied when Fever didn’t end up where you thought she might at the end. It’s itching for its sequel. It’s worth a read, if just to glimpse the amazing world between the covers and not to dwell on the strangely unrivetting writing.