Fever Crumb (Fever Crumb Series #1)

Fever Crumb (Fever Crumb Series #1)

3.5 10
by Philip Reeve

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A stunning, new novel by master storyteller Philip Reeve.

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.


A stunning, new novel by master storyteller Philip Reeve.

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 archeologist 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 (cont'd)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this exciting steampunk adventure, Carnegie Medal–winner Reeve takes readers to a far future that looks back at our era with a darkly humorous sensibility (how's “Blog off,” for an expletive?), while laying tantalizing groundwork for his Hungry City Chronicles quartet. Fever Crumb, a 14-year-old orphan, is the only girl ever accepted into the Order of Engineers and has been raised in seclusion by obsessively logical scientists in an enormous head, part of an unfinished statue of London's deposed ruler, the hated mutant “Scriven,” Auric Godshawk. But Fever's thoroughly rational nature is thrown into flux when she's sent into the bustling, violent city on her first job, working for an eccentric archeologist who may have discovered Godshawk's secret cache of scientific inventions. As invaders near the city's outer perimeter, the streets of London erupt in mob violence, and Fever finds herself proclaimed a mutant and pursued by an implacable enemy. Beautifully written, grippingly paced, and filled with eccentric characters and bizarre inventions (such as foldable assassins made of paper), this is a novel guaranteed to please Reeve's fans—and very likely broaden their ranks. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Rejoice! Reeve returns to the vivid, violent, steampunky world of his Hungry Cities Chronicles. In a still-stationary London, signs of the genocide that killed the mutant Scriven overlords are fading. Teenage Fever Crumb, orphaned in the Skinners' Riots and the only female raised by the eminently rational Order of Engineers, is recruited by an archaeologist who has found a hidden Scriven workshop. But nomads are moving in, Fever is beset by unfamiliar memories and civil unrest is once again taking over. Filled with humor ("blog," as in who gives a, is a swearword) and tackling issues of love, family and power, the author balances the occasional cheap laugh (the Hari Potter cult) or violent death with a finely wrought coming-of-age story starring an unlikely and occasionally unlikable heroine who (like Hester Shaw) becomes a figure of pathos and dignity. Bonuses: the start of Municipal Darwinism, Grike's origins and a glimpse of the real Great Quirke. An essential read for fans and a great entry point for newcomers to the world; here's hoping there's more to come. (Science fiction. 13 & up)
Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
In a post-apocalyptic London, technology has all but disappeared. A Guild of Engineers seeks knowledge and reason, frequently trying to unlock the secrets of the past and the seeming magic of the things we take for granted. A single girl has been raised by these Engineers. Fever Crumb knows little of who she was before she was adopted by them and knows less about the world outside their doors. When she is chosen by an archaeologist to assist him in a project, she is thrust into a world that is overwhelmingly dirty and irrational. She also finds herself almost instantly in danger, as her differently colored eyes mark her as a misshape. The common people of London believe her to be related to the Scriven, a non-human race that ruled London harshly until they were overthrown. Their fear puts a hunter on her tail, as Fever unearths answers to her past in the mysteries of the archaeologist's project. While Fever's insistence upon rationality distances her from the reader at first, she grows significantly throughout the story and allows many opportunities to empathize with and understand her. Many of the minor characters are vividly three-dimensional, and a tavern boy named Charley Shallow carries almost as large a role as Fever as he finds his way out of the tavern hole in which he has been suffering and faces decisions of right and wrong, life and death. The setting took a few pages to grasp, as it is set so far into the future that it resembles our past. Discerning readers will enjoy the details of today's popular culture that have evolved almost past recognition. The characters are engaging, the mysteries are intriguing, and the science fiction is wonderfully unique. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
VOYA - Lynne Farrell Stover
In post-apocalyptic London, foundling Fever Crumb lives in a bleak world where archeologists dig up ancient technology and engineers work to interpret their finds. She has lived most of her fourteen years with the group of rational engineers (think Mr. Spock) in a colossal sculpted head (think Statue of Liberty) built years ago to honor the last of the Scriven overlords, Auric Godshawk. The aristocratic Scrivens viewed themselves as Homo-Superiors, an advanced race deserving of privilege and respect. A predictable and destructive rebellion by disenfranchised Londoners has left the city free of Scriven dictatorship. It is into this uneasy environment that the overprotected Fever ventures on a mysterious assignment. Her hairless head and oddly colored eyes quickly draw unwanted attention. Because she is being hunted down as a possible surviving Scriven, Fever has little time to worry about the advancing Northern Nomads. Her quest has become twofold, that of self-discovery and survival. Working both captivating storytelling and social commentary, Reeve creates a future world of depleted resources and civil unrest. Sly humor and witty wordplay are perfectly interwoven into this bleak tale. Place names like Liver Pill Street and Hamsterdam create a chuckle. A conversational aside explaining that it is fashionable to name babies for physical ailments and the description of a room tiled with thousands of keyboard letters are delightful details offsetting occurrences of death and destruction. A prequel to the Hungry City Chronicles, this well-written book stands alone while leaving the reader wanting more. Reviewer: Lynne Farrell Stover
Children's Literature - Michael Jung PhD
Science fiction author Philip Reeve narrates the prequel to his popular "Mortal Engines Quartet" series, taking readers back several centuries before the original saga to a time when mankind had just recovered from devastating riots that reverted London to an almost medieval-Victorian lifestyle. Into this world is born Fever Crumb, an enigmatic girl raised by the Order of Engineers. Her belief in logic and reason is challenged when she learns her mind contains memories linking her to Auric Godshawk, a mutant Scriven overlord who once ruled the humans. But Fever has more immediate problems to deal with when she learns that the city folk, convinced she is also a mutant, have organized a witch hunt intent on her execution. Worse, the invading Nomads of the Frozen North are also closing in on London, with their own plans for the city—and Fever. As these diverse threats converge on each other, Fever must uncover the secrets of her past and learn exactly who she is—and where her true loyalties lie. Reeve proves a capable narrator for this audio book, which fills in some of the blanks to the plot of his "Mortal Engines Quartet" while also beginning a new saga that can stand on its own. Like many first installments, the book starts off slowly as Reeve introduces his new characters, but it takes off in Disc Three as the reader begins to learn the hidden histories of Fever's mentor, Auric Godshawk, and Fever herself. The audiobook ends with an unpublished excerpt from the book (also read by Reeve) as well as a brief afterward by Reeve in which he relates his writing habits, his reasons for writing the "Fever Crumb" books, and the development of Fever's name and character. Overall, it's a fascinating entry in the post-apocalyptic genre that science fiction fans will enjoy. Reviewer: Michael Jung, PhD
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Reeve's "Hungry City Quartet" (HarperCollins) remains a landmark of visionary steampunk imagination, with a future where traction cities roll about chasing down smaller cities, which they devour for parts in an exercise called Municipal Darwinism. Returning to this future, Reeve gives readers a story that takes place decades before the rise of the traction cities and examines the social and political milieu that led to that major societal change. Fever Crumb is the adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, and the only female member of the Order of Engineers. Taken from the safety of the Order into the streets of London, Fever discovers a world where bands of Skinners have virtually exterminated a mutant race of people with speckled skin known as the Scriven. Suspected of being a Scriven herself, Fever must elude capture while she searches to find out who she really is. The answers she finds have far-reaching implications for the future of the world. Reeve is not just an excellent writer, but a creator with a wildly imaginative mind. The future London setting of this story is well imagined and feels like a place Charles Dickens might have described had he been a science-fiction writer. Plot details such as the origin story of the resurrected cyborg Stalker Shrike will resonate with fans of the earlier titles, but this book can also be read independently by those who are new to Reeve's work. A must for any fantasy collection.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Fever Crumb Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 Years


Meet the Author

Philip Reeve is the bestselling author of the Predator Cities quartet and the award-winning Fever Crumb series. His other books include the highly acclaimed HERE LIES ARTHUR and NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS. He lives in Dartmoor, England with his wife and son. Visit him online at philip-reeve.com.

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Fever Crumb 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Jadn More than 1 year ago
 Fever Crumb's story plays out in a futuristic London, after the world had been destroyed by a nuclear holocaust.  As such, the manner in which the story is written is very British, however still unique with a flare of futuristic elements throughout.  This is the first book in a series of 3. In this book, we the reader get to know Fever, as she learns the truth about her history and what that means to her and the world.  There are many unique elements to this book and story that makes it an enjoyable read, as I was constantly surprised by how typical yet unique the environment is that Fever lives in.  I listened to this book, as an audio book, and because of this it was sometimes difficult to discern the Point of View, since the story shifted often between the characters.  This was somewhat distracting, to be in one characters thoughts one moment and then another the next moment. This is the reason why it did not quite make it to a 4 out 5, because in the beginning I was very often confused about whose perspective the story was being told from.  As for family friendliness, this is definitely geared for Young Adults, and I probably would not allow little children to read it, as it may be to graphical and scary for them, but could be read with their parents, so it gets a 4 out of 5 for family friendliness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First time reading Philip Reeve's work and very satisfied. Fever Crumb is a great read and plot. Fever Crumb is a combination of past, present and future. Also, what I liked about Fever Crumb that she is an empowering girl. Loved it and will continue reading books from Philip Reeve.
PlumPudding More than 1 year ago
Fever Crumb is an interesting read. I think, to be honest, it's more interesting than enjoyable, but it definitely wasn't bad. I feel as though Reeve cheated us on some great emotional impact and plot twists by the way he laid them out and wrote them, but some were still surprising enough. And though the ending was fairly lackluster, it was still an okay read.
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Young Fever Crumb was abandoned at an early age. Taken in by the Order of Engineers, Fever was apprenticed to be the first female engineer within the organization. She has learned many things under the tutelage of Dr. Crumb, and now a request has been made. A notable archaeologist, Kit Solent, has sought out Fever to help him dispel a myth. He has found a possible treasure trove of information, but the key to unlocking the secret lies within Fever's memories. Fever will be used as a tool to uncover the mysteries of Auric Godshawk - a prominent technomancer who was also a Scriven. The Scriven came to power once they discovered their genetic abnormalities. Someone believes that Fever is a Scriven and will do anything to eliminate her. Fever's logic and rationalism will be tested, and the one thing that she fought so hard to control will bubble to the surface. FEVER CRUMB, a prequel to the HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES, is an excellent novel that stands well on its own. Readers who are familiar with the "steampunk" genre will appreciate this novel, and how technology, or rather the lack thereof, is used throughout the story. I especially liked the main character, Fever. She is a no-nonsense type of gal - logical, straightforward, and unwilling to allow her emotions get the better of her; however, her façade does crack a bit as the story progresses. My hope is that Reeve will attempt to tie these books together, and then further develop the story of Fever. I will wait patiently for sequels!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GirlintheStacks More than 1 year ago
Weird. That is my first reaction to this book. My best description is a dysopain meets Madd Maxx meets post-apocalyptic novel. **shuddering** Fever Crumb is the youngest and only female in the Order of Engineers. Her life is about science, where emotions have no place. At the request of the Order, she is sent to live and assist Kit Solent, an archaeologist, with his dig. So begins the journey and self-discovery of Fever Crumb. Who is Fever Crumb and why are so many after her? What secrets does she hold? Is London on the verge of change? This is but a glimpse into what the novel holds. Did I like this book? Not really, not my genre. But was it good? I think it was. The plot is solid and the characters are well developed and believable, though I won't say they are likeable. Fever, along with a few minor characters, is distinguished from the others by her sense of compassion and self-appointed duty. Most were greedy and self-serving. I did like how the author portrayed the setting; bleak, education less and recessed technology. I picture mounds of trash, shambles built on ruins and ancient building with out roofs used as homes. Things that annoyed me in the book were the names of characters and places, like Bert @kinson, 'Bankmentside and the Stragglemarket. Though I suppose with this book it is fitting and goes with the setting. In the end, Fever is astonishing. I admire her character and the choices she makes. FYI: It is only after reading the book that I realized that this was a prequel to the Mortal Engines Quarter, which I have not read and have learned, has a huge fan base.