162. Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve (Canada) - (USA)
Fever Crumb, Book 1

Pages: 385 pages
Ages: 12+
Finished: Aug. 13, 2010
First Published: 2009 UK (Apr. 1 2010 US)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA, Science fiction, post-apocalyptic
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:

That morning they were making paper boys.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading: The plot was intriguing and this is my type of book.

A foundling baby girl found by the Order of Engineers, a male society, is taken into the fold and raised to be one of them. The baby came with a note stating her name is Fever and since Dr. Crumb found her it was reasonable that he was the one who took the main caregiver role. 14 year-old Fever is now being sent off to assist an archaeologist, Kit Solent, in his home but when she arrives there she starts having memories of the place that are not her own. Kit seems to expect something from her and the memories become stronger. When riots hit the city, people come after her looking to kill her. She must escape but whose memories is she taking with her?

This is the first book I have read by Reeve and I wasn't aware that this was the beginning of a prequel series to another series he has already written until I had started the book. That information does not hinder the reading of this book at all, though I'm sure others who have read the Mortal Engines series will probably have insider information that I am unaware of that may make the reading experience more enjoyable.

I did enjoy the story. It is unique. Set in a future earth, so very far in the future in fact that our current time now is known as the Ancients and bits and pieces of our technology are traded and collected even when they are rusted pieces of junk. But anything that actually still works is highly prized and valued. Otherwise this future world is more or less of a medieval nature in culture and custom. Fever is a completely likable main character and I took to her right away. She grows as a person throughout the book starting off timid from a sheltered almost monk-like childhood. As she enters the world outside her boundaries she slowly gains confidence and a voice, strength, determination and becomes more in control of herself while shedding her timidity.

My main problem with the book was that the plot line was slow. It started off well and interesting and then just seemed to lag for me. It took me a lot longer than it should have to read the book. I never totally lost interest but I often wanted it to hurry up and "get on with it!" When the pace picked up and the plot was advancing I was hooked but my interest did come and go. The ending was fast paced and went in an unexpected direction. It feels to me that book two will take Fever to meet many new characters and I'm certainly interested in where all the threads that have been left hanging will continue so I will be reading book 2. I'm just hoping the pace will be more consistent.


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