A Web of Air by Philip Reeve

web of air
It’s been two years since Fever Crumb fled post-apocalyptic London and the Order of Engineers after finding out she had some dubious memories rolling around in her head that weren’t hers. But don’t let’s spoil that story, which starts here. In this second volume of the Fever Crumb series, Fever has taken a job with Persimmon’s Electric Lyceum, a mobile theater that desperately needs her lighting expertise and has provided a safe haven for Ruan and Fern, the two orphan children that she took under her rational wing. When the Lyceum stops over in the temperate vacation city of Mayda-at-the-World’s-End to stage a performance, Fever discovers quite by accident a mad young inventor named Arlo Thursday who claims to have rediscovered the ancient secret of heavier-than-air travel. But in world where big cities like London are becoming mobile military fortresses, with the only possible threats coming from above, such ideas are dangerous. Nevertheless, Fever’s engineering brain can’t help but fall in love with Arlo’s brilliant plans, and maybe even a little bit with Arlo. But when she uncovers a London-based plot to suppress air travel at all costs, Fever must decide whether to listen to her logical head or her traitorous heart when it comes to deciding Arlo’s fate. Upon finishing this book in one breathless evening, I have to ask: How do you do it, Philip Reeve? How do you write such inspired, edge of your seat adventure stories with exceptional world building that just seems to happen in throw away descriptions (Mayda is a city of funiculars, houses built on the side of cliffs that move up and down on rails using water ballasts–LOVE) and original characters that I’m deeply concerned for by page 10 that are less than 300 pages long? HOW? Start with Fever Crumb, get your paws on A Web of Air , and then be just as miserable as me as we all wait for word on Fever’s next big adventure.

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