If you are a steampunk fan, then you might already know about Philip Reeve and his Hungry City Chronicles starting with the first book Mortal Engines. Well, his new prequel to the series, called Fever Crumb, has us all excited over here at Scholastic.
So how to describe this awesome new book? We’ll start with the Head.
Fever Crumb, the main character, is raised in one. A giant head, I mean. Godshawk’s head.
It was built to be part of an enormous statue of Godshawk, the Scriven overlord that ruled distant-future London. When he was overthrown, this enormous statue was under construction and then abandoned. Not believing in waste, the Order of Engineers, a group of rational male scientists, moved in and made it home. Mr. Crumb, a young member of that order, found the baby Fever in a field and brought her home to be raised in the Head.
Now, for the visual: Fourteen-year-old Fever Crumb has mismatched eyes – one is dark brown and the other gray. Like the rest of the Order, she shaves her head every other day (they believe hair is unnecessary). Lastly, she wears an oversized red trench coat and “digger’s” boots. A unique look.
Combine her looks with her unconventional childhood (no toys, no make-believe, no fun – nothing illogical), and Fever is an odd bird, but one you can cheer for. She’s sheltered from the emotional turmoil that is outside her Head home by the orderly Order of the Engineers. But that all is about to change.
Fever is sent to apprentice with the once-promising archaeologist Kit Solent. The minute she steps out of the giant head that has been her home, major mayhem ensues and her adventure begins. Fever is chased by those who fear “scriven” – the dangerous group of people who once imprisoned London – because of her odd looks. She struggles to understand the illogical workings of the world, including Kit Solent’s emotional children. And she slowly realizes there’s more to her past, and the silvery scar at the base of her skull, than she’s been told.
This book is fast paced and often very funny, especially when Fever is amused or confused by something illogical, like cotton candy or odd sayings. And it takes a number of surprising, twisty turns, so stay on your toes when you’re reading. But be warned, it’s part of a series so the end doesn’t really end.
— Jessica, Scholastic.com Staffer