4.5 out of 5 stars
I love Phillip Reeve and wish a thousand books were set in the Mortal Engines world!
Fever Crumb is a young orphan girl, raised in the no-nonsense (or emotion, or excitement…) world of the Guild of Engineers. Outside their confines, the London of an era before The Mortal Engines is a dirty, messy, and very stationary place. A revolution unseated the ruling Scriven class, but not the fear of them. When Fever finds herself apprenticed to Kit Solent, she begins to experience strange things: memories not her own, and feelings she might not want to ignore.
Fever Crumb is a great little action-filled novella, crackling with the steampunk vibe of The Mortal Engines. Yet it’s a new take on the world we know, a look back at how London came to be on the move. Fever is plucky and smart – Reeve knows how to write a strong female lead! She’s also out of touch in an endearing and almost hilarious way. Imagine Data from Star Trek when his emotion chip misfires, but in a post-apocalyptic London that is a wild mix of our past and future.
The story zips along: Fever recovers memories that she can’t possibly have, and that are infinitely valuable. Her past is revealed. Her life is endangered. Reeves’ bad guys are always either cartoonishly bad or endearingly misguided, and this book has both. As Fever tries to decide whether its best to be rational or right, so do we. We see the rise of a main character from The Mortal Engines, the backstory gently revealed.
This is a worthy successor to Reeves’ best-known series. It’s imagines a whole new world built in and among the London we think we know.