July 16, 2013

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Ok, so there's a lot of Young Adult Dystopian themed books out there.  But I heard this one was pretty good, so I decided to give it a try.  I was not so impressed and there's a few things I wish I would have known before reading the book that I know now.

Fever Crumb is the first book in a trilogy.  But it's not actually the first book set in this future world.  Apparently, there's a whole other series that people recommend you read first in order to understand Fever Crumb's world.  But nowhere on the cover or description does it say that, so if you're like me, and start here, you probably won't care much for the series either. 

Fever Crumb is a young girl who's been raised by Engineers.  This means that she was taught absolute logic and no emotions and to help them with their scientific endeavors.  So when she is chosen to go outside their house to help another Engineer do archaeological studies, she is apprehensive, even though that isn't logical.  But everything outside is irrational, and because of her unique looks, the local population believes she is a dreaded Scriven (evolved human that was decimated by regular humans), and they would like nothing better than to eliminate her.  Add to that memories surfacing that make no sense, Fever is not sure how to adjust in her new world.

Fever is hard to like.  Because of all the cold logic she applies she doesn't exactly give you the warm fuzzies or even make you want to care about her.  That's ok, she's supposed to be that way, but it makes for an odd protagonist.  The man who raised her is also quite cold but I did like the Engineer that took her in to help with research.  He may have had selfish motives but he was kind to her.  And the Scriven, well we never really know their motives so I don't think they were developed all that well.  Sure we understand what they did, just not the why of it.

This book is hurried, with random description and facts thrown in.  It was hard to keep track of things.  Different technology was thrown in and the author acted like you already understood it and proceed to plow ahead with his story.  This might be ok if you had read his other series (and why at the beginning of this review I mentioned that little tidbit) but for anyone just entering in, it does not endear us to Fever's world.  Additionally, things happen to fast to be believable and I think the entire book happens over the course of only a few days.  As Fever would put it, it just isn't logical.  And the whole history of Fever's parents, well that was kind of unbelievable too.  The only thing I did like about the writing was the references to popular culture now.  Sure it was a little cutsie, but it was amusing.

I can't say I have any desire to continue reading this series or the original one that inspired it.  Which is unusual for me, usually I like to finish what I start.  But I just couldn't get into this book at all and was relieved when it was over.

Fever Crumb
Copyright 2009
325 pages

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