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Scrivener's Moon

Scrivener’s Moon is the third book in the YA sci-fi/dystopia series Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve.

As it is the third book in a series, if you haven’t read Fever Crumb or A Web of Air – I’d strongly recommend not reading this particular review! Instead, you can click on the corresponding titles to read the reviews of the previous novels. Don’t ruin the surprises!!

Only read on if you’re up-to-date on the Fever Crumb series:

Fever has been brought back to London – and finds it very changed. And all the changes can be linked back to her parents, rational Engineer Dr. Crumb and the last of the Scriven race Wavey Godshawk. Instead of the city centuries upon centuries old, it’s now a place resting on enormous caterpillar treads – almost ready to become a moving, traveling city.

Never totally at home in London even as she grew up there, Fever is now even more ill at ease. Especially after the situation she left behind in the island city of Mayda, where the boy who loved her, Arlo, now believes she betrayed him.

To get away from a London that disturbs her, Fever sets off on a journey to the hazardous wastelands of the north where a rumored black pyramid exists. For the first time in generations it may be accessible – and may hold the secrets to the past, to Ancient technology – including Stalker brains and the Scriven race. She wants that information.

Along the way, she’s caught up in the middle of war and strong distrust – in which she meets warrior girl Cluny whose visions have led her to speak out against the mobile London. It forces Fever to confront what side she’s really on…

I really liked Fever Crumb, and then I loved A Web of Air. Scrivener’s Moon, however, was a bit of a mixed bag for me.

First off, I initially thought this was the last book in a trilogy – but apparently that’s not the case. There may be another book in the series. And unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to reread the two previous books, so I was a little lost at first, trying to remember exactly where Fever’s story left off.

As it continued, though, I began to get caught up. Again I was dumbfounded at the future that Philip Reeve has created with these novels – so unlike anything else I’ve read before in the way of sci-fi or futuristic dystopias. Incredibly intelligent and mature in tone.

Scrivener’s Moon definitely is suspenseful with constant assurances of the stakes as shockingly sad, sudden deaths take place to reiterate the danger. It makes it heartbreaking, stirring, and nerve-wracking.

But I also missed Arlo. I missed the quieter mystery and tension of our time in Mayda in A Web of Air. Scrivener’s Moon felt epic and had tons of twists and turns – and believe-you-me we get some serious psycho’s in the making scenes that wowed me – but…

Well, Fever undergoes some personality changes in this third novel that didn’t sit well with me. Others will disagree, I’m sure, but the new romantic plot and odd new emotions that Fever exhibits felt out of nowhere and discomfited an otherwise smart, edgy story.

I can’t really say more than that without giving stuff away… I liked almost everything in this book, but Fever’s character around halfway in started to morph in a way that seems irreparable – which makes me sad. In fact, Scrivener’s Moon was a pretty gloomy addition to the series plot-wise, as well.

I’d love to hear what you think!


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