Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Fresh off the Scriven genocide, the people of London are twitchy about folks who look a little different. Fever Crumb is as unique as they come-with a shaved head, two different colored eyes, and a face that is both beautiful and ugly. At 14, she leaves the safety of the Order of Engineers, whose members had raised her, and soon learns the truth about her mysterious origins. As an infant, she was implanted with the essence of Auric Godshawk-the loathsome leader of the mutant Scriven-who longed for immortality. Now she must find her own way in a world peopled by those who would destroy her or use her for their own ends. Why It Is for Us: Fans of Reeve's "Hungry City Chronicles" will devour this first book in a prequel series, which promises to describe the birth of the rolling cities. The uninitiated will delight in being introduced to one of the finest scribes of post-modern science fiction writing today.-Angelina Benedetti, "35 Going on 13," BookSmack! 7/15/2010 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-Fever was adopted as an infant by the Order of Engineers in a future London. The only female, she is raised by Dr. Crumb almost as an experiment in the training of women (who are not thought capable of logic). Dr. Crumb agrees to send Fever out to assist an archeologist on a clandestine undertaking. While on the mission, Fever discovers a great deal about the world in which she has been born and some things about her own background. Philip Reeve's riveting story (Scholastic, 2010) will be recognized by fans as a prequel to "The Hungry City Quartet" (HarperCollins), but it stands entirely alone. Set in the London of an uneasy, warring future, Fever and other memorable characters come brilliantly to life through the author's resonant narration. At the novel's conclusion, Reeve's shares a deleted chapter from the print version (it made the book too long) which provides greater insight into the characters' world and their motivations as well as the author's writing process and the impetus for his work.-Maria Salvadore, formerly Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* Set some centuries before the Hungry City Chronicles, yet still well into the future, this prequel series opener stars young Fever Crumb, reared by the Order of Engineers in the massive head of an unfinished statue, to operate with a slavish devotion to logic. (In one delightful scene, a group of engineers pours out of the head's nostril door like a highly educated sneeze ). Uncertain of her heritage, as well as the source of the memories invading her mind, Fever embarks on a rather typical quest of discovery with anything-but-typical trimmings. London is a nearly medieval backwater, where relics of ancient technology hint at a time thousands of years ago when people still understood how to make circuit boards and microchips. Reeve's captivating flights of imagination play as vital a role in the story as his endearing heroine, hissworthy villains, and nifty array of supporting characters. Although there's all manner of foundation work to gratify readers familiar with the world introduced in 2003's Mortal Engines (including the genesis of Municipal Darwinism and the origins of a very familiar figure), Reeve has crafted a swiftly paced story worthy of standing alone, both in terms of where Fever's adventure may lead her next as well as the connections to the Hungry City Chronicles. It may not be possible for Reeve to ever fully explore this world, but that shouldn't keep him from trying, hopefully in many books to come.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Time to meet Fever Crumb, an orphaned girl who had been taken in by a sect of Engineers, in this prequel to Reeve's Hungry City Chronicles. Fever is sent to work with archaeologist Kit Solent, and begins to remember a life that is not her own. Occasionally, the author is the best person to narrate his or her own book (think Sherman Alexie reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), and this is certainly one of those times. From the straightforward, even tones of the Engineers to the growly cockney speech of Bagman Creech, Reeve voices his characters with care and skill. Reeve's narration brings his delightful wordplay, humor, and nuances of description to the forefront, expanding his wonderfully imagined steampunk England and highlighting Fever herself as a strong girl finding her way in a topsy-turvy world. An unpublished excerpt and an interview with the author are bonuses that will delight Reeve fans. angela j. Reynolds (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
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) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.