Long before the days of Mortal Engines, London is poised on the brink of apocalypse. Huge armoured fortresses are advancing across the wastelands - a new and terrifying kind of enemy. The city is days away from ruin. Buried in London's past is a secret that may save it. But only one key can unlock it - an odd-looking orphan named Fever Crumb. Set centuries before the events of Mortal Engines, Fever Crumb's paralysing mission will make your heart stop.
In this exciting steampunk adventure, Carnegie Medal winner Reeve takes readers to a far future that looks back at our era with a darkly humorous sensibility (how's Blog off, for an expletive?), while laying tantalizing groundwork for his Hungry City Chronicles quartet. Fever Crumb, a 14-year-old orphan, is the only girl ever accepted into the Order of Engineers and has been raised in seclusion by obsessively logical scientists in an enormous head, part of an unfinished statue of London's deposed ruler, the hated mutant Scriven, Auric Godshawk. But Fever's thoroughly rational nature is thrown into flux when she's sent into the bustling, violent city on her first job, working for an eccentric archeologist who may have discovered Godshawk's secret cache of scientific inventions. As invaders near the city's outer perimeter, the streets of London erupt in mob violence, and Fever finds herself proclaimed a mutant and pursued by an implacable enemy. Beautifully written, grippingly paced, and filled with eccentric characters and bizarre inventions (such as foldable assassins made of paper), this is a novel guaranteed to please Reeve's fans and very likely broaden their ranks. Ages 12 up.