Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Scrivener's Moon  Audio

Scrivener's Moon Audio

Philip Reeve
For ages 12 and up
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Sarah Coomes
Scholastic Audio Books, 2012   ISBN: 978-0545465960

Two years ago, during a time full of turmoil, Fever Crumb left London and joined a group of traveling performers. Her new life was very different from the one she had when she was an apprentice Engineer; she was surrounded by irrational people who did irrational things, but it was a life that was comfortable enough.

   Now Fever is back in London, brought there by her parents, Dr. Crumb and Wavey Godshawk. Both of Fever’s parents are involved in the creation of the new London. Instead of being a city full of temples, slums, miles of streets, and countless houses, the new London has been built on a metal platform, and under the platform there are caterpillar tracks. Buildings have been arranged on a series of metal tiers, and in the not too distant future this traction city will move. London will no longer be threatened by glaciers because it can travel south. Instead of having to wait for raw materials to come to the city, the city will be able to travel to the source of the raw materials that it needs.

   Being an Engineer who embraces logic and rational thinking, Fever should be delighted with the new city, and yet she is not happy. So, when word comes to the city that a crack has formed in the wall of an ancient and mysterious black pyramid that lies to the north, Fever is delighted to accompany her mother on a journey of exploration. Wavey is convinced that within the pyramid lie the answers to so many of her questions about the Stalkers, and about her own people, the Scrivners. Wavey is the last of her kind and she wants to know why her people came into being in the first place.

   The journey north is uneventful until they arrive at the headquarters of Rufus Raven, London’s ally. They enter Raven’s traction castle and soon discover that Raven no longer supports London, he no longer believes that a traction city is a good idea. Instead, he has made peace with the nomadic tribes and has listened to the words of a girl prophet who has told everyone who will listen that she has had visions of the new London. In her visions the traction city is a monstrous thing. She, and those who believe her words, is convinced that traction cities will damage and harm humankind.

   Wavey and Raven are imprisoned, and when they manage to escape, Wavey is killed. Fever manages to get away, though she is badly wounded. Luckily, she is found and is taken in by a group of mammoth riding nomads. One nomad in particular takes a special interest in Fever, a girl called Cluny. It turns out that she is the prophet who is turning people against London. Much to her surprise, Fever discovers that she and Cluny have something in common. Both girls have devices in their brains that were put there by Auric Godshawk, Fever’s grandfather.

   Wanting to better understand the devices and how they work, the girls decide to travel to the black pyramid. Since the pyramid was built by the ancients, by the people who must have built the devices that Auric Godshawk used, surely within the pyramid they will find some answers to their questions. To her amazement, Fever learns that the ancients were flawed, even though they had so much technology at their disposal. They made terrible mistakes that lead to an event that changed the world.

   In this final title in the Fever Crumb trilogy, we finally start to figure out why Fever’s world is the way it is. The reason for the existence of the Scriveners is revealed and we come to appreciate that perhaps the nomads are right. Perhaps a massive city that moves from place to place on wheels is a bad idea. As the story unfolds it is especially interesting to see how Fever changes over time, how she starts to let go of some her rational Engineer ideas. Instead, she chooses to feel emotions and to show her love for others.

    Beautifully narrated by Sarah Coomes, this audiobook title is gripping and memorable.