Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

I should have known immediately from the rave reviews given by Booklist and ALA and School Library Journal that this book would be no good. But, I read it anyway, and learned the hard way – the book was no good. The writing style was, perhaps, a little better than a lot of the YA material out there, and there were some funny moments. Not laugh out loud funny, but smirk a little bit and then yawn funny. There was language, crudity, and some seriously creepy stuff – dead humans rebuilt into zombie warriors resembling Edward Scissorhands? A baby girl whose grandfather implanted a device into her brain that contained all his own experience and knowledge? A group of humans called Skinners who do just that – flay the skins off of their humanoid, slightly mutated enemies and fly them like banners throughout a future London? Really?
Finally, the book lacked any resolution. We follow Fever (the title character) as she leaves the place she was raised among emotionless scientists, learns about her mysterious background and begins experiencing strange memories (which we later discover belonged to her nonhuman grandfather), then finally learns who her parents were. And then there's an attack on London. And then the mayor of London and the attack leader have a fistfight. And then Fever's brain implant gets zapped and she stops having someone else's memories. And then she gets in a boat and leaves. And then she philosophically wonders who she really is and who she wants to be. The end.
I think the book was trying to portray war and prejudice in a negative light. There certainly was enough of both in the book - humans tried to destroy the superhuman mutants, and then the superhuman mutants retaliated and brought war against the humans. But that message was haphazard at best, unresolved, and so buried under the author's overimagined future world that it was obscured.

I didn't like it.

1 comment:

  1. UGH...just what we need! Talking down to children in a way to inculcate them into our personal agenda. blaaaah...
    I will skip this one then.
    OH! I finally found the first Traveling Pants. Go me.