By Philip Reeve
Scholastic Press, 2009. 325 pgs. Young Adult
In a future London where technology from past eras is ancient and mysterious, Fever Crumb is a orphan girl who has been adopted and raised by 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 claim she is a member of a hated race known as Scriveners. All Fever knows is that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Fever's past could be the key to a secret that lies at the heart of London.
This is the first of three prequels to The Hungry City Chronicles. The story was engaging, many of the characters were interesting, and some elements of the story I found very meaningful and sometimes even heartbreaking. Unfortunately, I didn't care very much for the main character. At one point in the book when she is afraid of losing her identity, I thought to myself, "That wouldn't be so bad." I did enjoy the post-apocalyptic world and the scattered, fragmented references to our present day culture, such as a religious group chanting, "hari, hari potter."