by 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.
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 singled out by city dwellers, who declare that she is part Scriven. The Scriven, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated. All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan.
Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? (description from author website)
So, a while ago I had picked up the first book in the Mortal Engines quartet, but just wasn't in the mood to tackle it then. So, when I was looking for something to listen to in the car and saw that we had Fever Crumb available I was excited, but got even more stoked when I realized it was actually the first in a prequel series to the infamous Mortal Engines.
The futuristic steampunk setting to this series is really intriguing. The idea of variations of human species made things really interesting and played up the socio-economic dynamics that built tensions in London. Trying to guess Fever's origins as she herself is trying to reason things out made the story feel more intimate and she's a great, strong character that I'm definitely interested to read more about.
This book sort of embodies a lot of the things I really like about the steampunk genre: the mix of old and new technologies and societal expectations and mores, the imaginative possibilities of how things might have developed differently, and the discoveries characters have to make within these interesting setting frameworks.
I listened to this as an audio book and found it well done. I hope that I can sneak the second book in some time between review titles.