Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve: Reviewed

10 March 2023
Philip Reeve’s "Fever Crumb" is a prequel to the Mortal Engines Quartet and serves as an origin story for one of the most enigmatic characters from the original series. 

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where technology and history are revered, "Fever Crumb" is a thrilling adventure that explores themes of identity, history, and the dangers of blind faith.

fever crumb concept art

The novel follows Fever Crumb, an orphan who has been raised by the Engineers, a guild of rationalists who believe in the power of science and reason. 

As Fever grows older, she begins to question her own origins and struggles to reconcile her own beliefs with the beliefs of those around her. When she is sent on a mission to help a group of archaeologists uncover the secrets of the past, she is thrown into a dangerous adventure that will challenge everything she thought she knew about herself and the world.

One of the central themes of "Fever Crumb" is the conflict between science and faith. The Engineers represent a society that values reason and knowledge above all else, while the Scriven, a ruling class of aristocrats, rely on a supernatural power to maintain their authority. This tension is explored through Fever’s experiences and challenges readers to consider the role of faith in society.

Despite being a prequel, "Fever Crumb" stands on its own as a compelling story. However, for fans of the Mortal Engines series, "Fever Crumb" is an essential read that provides valuable insight into the world and history of the original books. Reeve expertly weaves together the events of "Fever Crumb" with the larger narrative of the Mortal Engines Quartet, creating a cohesive and engaging story that adds depth and richness to the overall series.

fever crumb

Critics have praised "Fever Crumb" for its well-drawn characters, intricate world-building, and thrilling plot. The Guardian called it "a clever, complex and satisfying work," while Publishers Weekly described it as "a thrilling tale of intrigue, conspiracy, and adventure." "Fever Crumb" was also a finalist for the 2010 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.

In an interview, Philip Reeve noted that "Fever Crumb" was inspired by his fascination with the history of London and the idea of a city that could move. He also discussed his intention to explore the origins of one of the most mysterious characters from the Mortal Engines series and to provide a deeper understanding of the world and history of the Quartet.

In conclusion, "Fever Crumb" is a thrilling and thought-provoking read that explores themes of identity, faith, and the power of history. It is a prequel that stands on its own while also enriching the larger narrative of the Mortal Engines Quartet. With well-drawn characters, intricate world-building, and a thrilling plot, "Fever Crumb" is a must-read for fans of the series and a great starting point for readers new to the world of Mortal Engines.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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