Friday, September 24, 2010


Fever Crumb

by Philip Reeve

To start, let me say that the post-apocalyptic setting is not one I am drawn to, and in fact it was the cover of this book and the description of it that drew me in - until I started reading, and found myself curious and, soon enough, invested in Fever's story.

Fever has always been told that she was found as a baby, and brought to live with the Order of Engineers, where she has been raised as one of them: logical, analytical, and dismissive of emotion. She ventures out into the world to assist an archeologist, who begins to turn her world upside down when he brings her to places that she remembers, in vivid detail, despite having lived her entire life with the Engineers. When she is spotted, with her mismatched eyes, by paranoid Londoners who believe her to be a remnant of the species who has lorded over them not long ago, she becomes hunted. Soon, her past, the city's past, and the strange memories become hopelessly intertwined, and she learns the truth about her birth, just as new forces invade the city. At the centre of the desires and fears of many and opposing forces, Fever managed to emerge safe, but thoroughly transformed.

Reeve is a skillful author who draws readers in quickly, building characters and setting up a scenario right away. The larger world around them comes out along the way, and was so fully imagined and so filled with clever details that I found myself becoming more and more curious about it. I am now on the lookout for more by him!

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I just learned about this prequel to a series that I finished today. The Hungry Cities Chronicles is a quartet of books set in a "post-apocalyptic steampunk future" where mobile cities prey on each other. It's very good. It enjoyed a lot of popularity in the U.K., but not so much in North America.
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