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Review: Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines Series Prequel #1)

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines Series Prequel #1) 

From the front flap of the dust jacket

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. At a time when women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only girl to serve in the Order. Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb to assist archeologist Kit Solent with a top-secret project. The assignment involves a mysterious room that once belonged to Auric Godshawk, the last of the Scriven overlords, and Fever must help unlock it.  The Scrive, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people.

As Fever’s work begins, she is plagued by memories that are not her own, and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. All Fever knows is what she’s been told: She is an orphan. But whose memories does she hold? And why are there people chasing her, intent on eliminating her? Is Fever the key to unlocking the terrible secret of the past?

My Rating:4 out of 5

Bookshelf: Yes

How I got it: Bought

This prequel is set quite a few generations before the Hungry City Chronicles begins – before cities become Traction Cities. There are quite a few references that foreshadow events and characters from the rest of the series, and readers not familiar with the series may not understand these references.  Fans of the Hungry City Chronicles will find the familiar, fun and descriptive writing style of Reeve, along with the random references to Ancient History (our present time). There was one in the first twenty or so pages that made me laugh out loud. I mean it’s one thing to smile to yourself while reading something entertaining, but quite another to giggle out loud. 

The first part of the book was a little slow, but it picked up quickly.  I didn’t care too much for the character at first, but as the story went on, Fever grew on me and I was cheering for her towards the end of the book. The gadgets and inventions are as interesting as ever, though not as plentiful as others in the series.

This can be read without reading the Hungry City Chronicles, but keep in mind that you may not pick up certain details in Fever Crumb that you would have if you read the series beforehand. I personally wouldn’t recommend reading Fever Crumb before reading the Hungry City Chronicles, but since the series is so hard to find in the States, if you want to start with Fever Crumb you’ll still be ok. The Hungry City Chronicles should be available in libraries, but, as of right now, it’s out of print in the States. (Scholastic was supposed to put out a reprint this year, but it hasn’t happened yet.)

The Hungry City Chronicles is composed of Mortal Engines (#1), Predator’s Gold (#2), Infernal Devices (#3), and A Darkling Plain (#4).