Friday, July 2, 2010
FEVER CRUMB Review
Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order. Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb-nearly the only person she's ever known-to assist archaeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven. The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated. All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London? Haunting, arresting, and astonishingly original, Fever Crumb will delight and surprise readers at every fast-paced, breathless turn.
The summary above does a great job with explaining the main premise of the book, though, to me, it made me question my want to read the book. The summary makes the book sound obscure, strange, which it is, but in a great way. Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve is set in a fictional future world in which society has turned back to more primitive ways, such as lighting candles for light. This future London is overwhelming and very well crafted. The key word to describe the setting is believable.
Not believable in the way that it can happen, but believable in the Hogwarts sense, where it is so far away from the normal, yet it is described in such a way that it fits. All of the locations in Reeve's novel, from Godshawk's Head to Kit Solent's house, are described perfectly to create an image in my mind. I don't know if everyone appreciates details as much as I do, but in reading, if I can't imagine what is going on or where the character is, I get bored. Never was I bored while reading Fever Crumb.
But not only were Reeve's descriptions finely crafted, but his characters seemed to leap from the page. Everything they said, everything they did, fell in line with who they were. There was no jumping the shark in this book. Fever, Kit, Dr. Crumb, even Bagman, all the characters were people I fell in love with. No Gary or Mary Sues either. Loved that!
And the plot, you might ask? Brilliant. I'm forced to compare Fever Crumb to another book here in order to make my point. Any of you read The Hunger Games? Yeah? Remember how hard it was to stop reading because whenever you reached the end of the chapter, something else was thrown in that made it impossible to stop? Yeah? Same thing with Fever Crumb. The book was intense, leading the reader on a winding tale of a future society. Like I said earlier, I fell in love with the characters and didn't want to let them go. They seemed real to me.
One more thing. Reeve is far from afraid to harm him characters, which I love! I hate reading a novel where everything is perfect and people don't get hurt. In Fever Crumb, characters are abused, and pushed in to more and more terrible situations, and I loved it!
If I may make a quick note. The only reason I picked up this book was because the cover was amazing. Beautiful. Though it's funny how I never noticed that Fever, on the cover image, had two different colored eyes until I read the part in the book. It's done so subtly.
Usually, I can find something to complain about during a book review, but I can't think of anything that stuck out to me that I didn't like in this book. There were several instances where a random @ sign was inserted in to a word, which was odd, but that's not the author's fault. One thing that did strike me as odd was that, after I finished reading the book, I discovered that it was the prequel to Reeve's Mortal Engines series. Though, I do have to note, there was nothing that I didn't understand because I hadn't read the other series.
Overall, I loved Fever Crumb. Perhaps it was the way the society seemed to echo a steampunk-esque feel, but I fell in love with every instant of Reeve's brilliant story telling.
You can view the (very short) book trailer below.