Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Fever Crumb

Fever Crumb

Philip Reeve
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Scholastic Press, 2011   ISBN: 978-0545222150

Fourteen years ago, during a tumultuous time in London’s history, Dr. Crumb, a member of the Order of Engineers, found an abandoned baby girl in a marsh. True to his kind, Dr. Crumb is not an emotional man because emotions are not “reasonable.” Nevertheless, he decides to take in the baby, who is called Fever. Now a young woman, Fever is an apprentice in the Order of Engineers, serving as Dr. Crumb’s apprentice. She has lived with the Order her entire life, and has had little contact with the “primitive” world that exists beyond the walls of her home.

Then Fever is given a job working for Kit Solent, an archeologist who used to be a member of the Order. For the first time ever, Fever has to walk the streets of London, and she has to cope with a world that is often irrational and strange. Fever has a bald head and eyes that are different colors, and her appearance quickly attracts the attention of those in the city who are still looking for the last of the Scrivens. When Fever was a baby, the Scriven overlords who ruled London were violently overthrown and deposed. Ever since then, Skinner hunters have sought out surviving Scrivers to execute them. Soon Fever is being tracked by one of the greatest Skinners of them all.

Meanwhile Fever learns that Kit Solent has made an amazing discovery. He has found a secret tunnel that the Scrivers created, and in an underground room there is a vault. Kit believes that the vault contains a valuable piece of Scriven technology that was built by the Scriven leader, Auric Godshank. He also believes that Fever knows the code that will open the vault door. As Kit shows Fever his discoveries, she begins to ‘see’ strange images in her mind. It is as if she has been to these places before, and yet that is not possible. Or is it?

In this futuristic novel, we are taken to a London that is on the brink of disaster, a world that is primitive in many ways. The threat of danger is never far away, and secrets are carefully hidden. Readers will be fascinated to find out who and what Fever really is, and they will be eager to discover what Auric Godshank was hiding in his underground vault.

Readers who have read and enjoyed Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet (called the Hungry City books in the United States) will be intrigued by this fascinating story. It is a prequel to the quartet, and it helps us better understand some of the situations and characters mentioned in the Mortal Engines books. At the same time, it begins the story of Fever, a character who is delightfully strange and curiously loveable. Readers will be eager to find out what Fever does next.



css.php