Plot and basic idea of the series - The three books by author Philip Reeve are set in the distant future, some thousand years in fact. They are set hundreds of years after "the great war" in which the "ancients" (that's us!), destroyed their world in sixty minutes. After this, cities have become movable, now named traction-cities; they roam the wastes of the world in search of smaller towns to eat.
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series (Mortal Engines and Predator's Gold), I must admit that I had very high expectations of this third book. Was I disappointed? Well, yes and no.
In a way I felt let-down before I'd even looked at the first page, since I realised that the two main characters from the first two books, Tom and Hester, would not be the same, as the book is set fifteen years after their initial adventures. However I felt that the author overcame this problem quickly. Although the first few chapters are centred on a new character, Tom and Hester's daughter - Wren, the book felt the same, and was as gripping as the previous instalments.
For me, the main attraction to the books is the world that Philip Reeve conjures. The books are set in the distant future, and although the breathtaking ideas are somewhat like a fairytale, they are in a strange way, believable.
The fact that the author creates a whole new world means that the reader needs to explore it. And the first two books are perfect for this, as the travels of Hester and Tom, allow you to see the many wonderful ideas that Philip Reeve has.
However this whole book mainly takes place in Anchorage, Grimsby and chiefly Brighton, which made me feel frustrated as there wasn't the chance to see more of the strange world.
The plot surrounding Anna Fang and Dr Zero is interesting, as is the whole idea of the Anti-tractionists and their war to make the world "green again". But the highpoint of the book has to be, the shocking, thrilling ending. The final chapters of the book, and indeed the final pages, are incredible, the twists and turns are unbearable, but left me waiting for the final book - A darkling plain.
Putting this book aside (if you can), and looking at the series as a whole, Philip Reeve's books are certainly some of the best I've ever read, which is why I bought this book the day after it was published. In his first book, Mortal Engines, he succeeds in painting an utterly original picture of the future. In a way it's partly science-fiction, and I say partly, because it's nothing like star trek, it has a completely unique feel to it, I myself am not a great fan of sci-fi, but I thought the books were amazing.
I really don't want to put anyone off buying this book, it, and the two previous tales make absolutely essential reading. On the whole the series is one to rival Harry Potter, absolutely brilliant. However be sure you buy the first two books as well, as you definitely shouldn't miss reading the whole story.
In my opinion the book is suitable for most between the ages of 12 and 16.