My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don’t remember where I first saw Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve, but I do remember being excited about a story about a female engineer. Being a female engineer myself, this was highly intriguing. I wanted to write a book about a female engineer (that book is still percolating in the back of my brain) but here was one already published. Needless to say, this book sat in my “to read” queue for three years before I finally got around to reading/listening to the story. I am happy to report that I was not disappointed.
I didn’t realize it when I first started Fever Crumb, but this book is a “prequel” to an already written series called “The Hungry City Chronicles” and am happy to say that it doesn’t matter if you’ve read any of those novels or not.
The world of Fever Crumb is rich, complex, and imaginative. It was kind of funny to think of a futuristic world where no one knows what an airplane or computer is yet alone how they work, there were even some technologies that we don’t have and may have in the future. Most importantly, I bought the idea that there must have been some cataclysmic happening that deprived humanity of knowledge and that we had to start from scratch again or at least nearly from scratch. But I was most intrigued by the concept of Fever and the Guild of Engineers. These men are more like mad scientists and inventors than engineers but it was fun to learn about their place in society and what their lifestyle was. I have to admit that my first thought was that these engineers were supposed to be like Vulcans (yes, as in Star Trek), men who suppress their emotions so they can surrender their minds entirely to logic and “rational” thought. Unfortunately, the word “rational” was overused for my taste. Being a very logical and rational woman myself, I found it got annoying to be constantly reminded that the engineers were “rational” and that everyone else was “irrational.”
I’m glad that I listened to this as an audiobook, I think I would have found the pace a bit too slow for reading and it would have taken me a long time. Again, the world was so rich with detail that I found myself enjoyed learning about what the people knew and didn’t know about the technologies that were “left behind” by technologically advanced human ancestors. I found the mystery of Fever Crumb captivating, though some aspects I was able to guess before the time was due. I also enjoyed the relationships that were built around Fever and the character development felt true to the world that had been created. I do wonder what is going to happen to Fever in her future and look forward to reading – I mean listening her next story.
This is a story about a girl who is abandoned as a baby and adopted by a man who is part of the guild of engineers. She is raised as an engineer and accepts it as her profession. On her first assignment in the real world she goes to a manor in futuristic London where she learns that there is a vault that has secret technologies and she realizes that she has memories about things that she shouldn’t understand.