Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fever Crumb

Fever Crumb (Fever Crumb, #1)Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fever Crumb was my first introduction to the writing of Philip Reeve. What a pleasant surprise to discover a new world, sans magic, but with a type of mysticism that borders on the Fantastic.

The story takes place in London a few thousand years after the collapse of the world as we know it.

The disastrous series of ecological and man-made events that destroyed our "ancient" human society is called the "Downsizing." Most of humanity perished, with entire countries being swallowed up by the sea.

This new world has a Victorian, Steam-Punk feel to it, with most people being illiterate and knowledge being kept in the hands of the few. Technology is almost completely lost. What is left of it is closely controlled and even feared, as it is assumed that it was technological progress which destroyed the ancient world.

The map of the Earth has been permanently altered. America is thought to be a completely dead continent. There no longer are countries like England or Italy but, instead, there are a series of cities in one of the surviving land masses called Europa. London is one such city.

In London, a mutant race of humans, called the Scriveners, has recently been overthrown after generations of claiming their supremacy over Homo Sapiens. They had ruled with cruelty and violence and the city is still raw from their influence.

This is the world into which Fever Crumb is born.

Supposedly left on the doorstep of the Order of Engineers when she was only months old, Fever is the only female to be taught the scientific ways of the Order. She has been raised by Dr. Crumb to be rational, unemotional, and methodically scientific. She has never lived anywhere or with anyone other than with the Engineers.

When a Doctor named Kit Solent comes to the order to request Fever's assistance on a Scientific endeavor, Fever has her first trip outside the safety of the Order's walls. A lovely girl with an unusual set of eyes- one brown, one gray- Fever sparks suspicion in the minds of the uneducated Londoners who see her on the streets. Anyone different could be a Mutation, like the Scriven scum who relentlessly ruled them for so long. It isn't long before the suspicion of the London Commoners turns to violence and Fever is forced into a most irrational adventure.

Fever Crumb is an excellent first installment in this series by Philip Reeve. Recommended to readers who like Science Fantasy, Dystopian Fiction, and Adventure. Ages 11+.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2)The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I fell in love with the Fairyland created by Catherynne M. Valente after reading the first book in this series. I was very much looking forward to another adventure! When I realized that this installment would be taking place in Fairyland Below (the Shadow version of Fairyland) I was initially disappointed. However, this proved to be another wonderful tale!

When September lost her Shadow in the first book, she never dreamed that her Shadow would become a nefarious force of its own. Self-named Halloween the Hollow Queen, September's Shadow is ruling Fairyland Below and is abducting the Shadows from everyone in Fairyland Above! The loss of shadows is draining the magic from Fairyland above, transforming it into an ordinary world!

September knows that she must restore balance to Fairyland but The Shadows want to retain their freedom. The only clue September can find that might help to restore order is an old legend of a Sleeping Prince. September travels to find this Prince, with the Shadows of her friends A through L and Saturday, but it just isn't the same as being with her actual friends. Friends and Enemies just aren't what September expects down in Fairyland below.

September is an excellent role model for young adults, especially young women. She isn't afraid to question what she finds unjust and challenge the norm. She is compassionate, brave and self-respecting. She is much more than just an ordinary girl from Nebraska. September is a fierce heroine whose adventures are unique and exciting. I highly recommend this series.

Ages 12+.