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Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet) [Paperback]

Philip Reeve , David Frankland
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Sep 2002 Mortal Engines Quartet
Tom and Hester have been thrown together. Truly-thrown out of a city on wheels that's left them stranded and starving in the middle of nowhere while it hares off after its prey. Hester is desperate for revenge, and Tom is only desperate to get back on board his beloved London. This is a stunning literary debut from Philip Reeve. A novel that defies easy categorisation, it is a gripping adventure story set in an inspired fantasy world, where moving cities trawl the globe. Peopled with convincing and utterly likeable characters, this story is a magical and unique read.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Point; New edition edition (20 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439982227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439979436
  • ASIN: 0439979439
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Reeve is the creator of one of the most brilliantly inventive worlds in fantasy fiction. He won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize with his Mortal Engines series, as well as the Nestlé Book Prize - Gold Award and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. He has been short-listed for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award and the WH Smith People's Choice Awards. Here Lies Arthur won the prestigious 2008 CILIP Carnegie Medal. Philip Reeve was born and raised in Brighton, where he worked in a bookshop for a number of years while also co-writing, producing and directing a number of theatre projects. He is a talented illustrator and has provided cartoons for many books, including several titles in the Horrible Histories series, and the brilliant Urgum the Axeman books written by Kjartan Poskitt. Philip has been writing stories since he was five, and Mortal Engines was the first to be published.

Product Description


"Wildly imaginative, full of marvelous details, humor, and grand adventures." -- KLIATT --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite 22 April 2004
By nic
This book grabbed me with its opening sentence, as good books will, and it had me gripped right to the end. It's a wonderful story wonderfully told, packed with clever conceits and vividly depicted characters and set in a fascinating and imperfect future which recalls Victorian England in some ways and Mad Max in others. Readers who have enjoyed Philip Pullman's fiction are likely to fall for Mortal Engines hard and fast. Not only are the characters thoroughly beguiling, not only is the plot fast-paced and twisty, but there are *layers* here - just as the moving cities are built of layer upon layer. Reeve is also a wordsmith of no mean skill - there are phrases that leap off the page and force a person to pause and re-read and savour. Lovely.
Appropriate for readers aged 11ish upwards, I'd say, who are prepared to read something with more moral ambiguity than Harry Potter.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and dazzlingly brilliant 11 Feb 2004
In this unique and innovative novel, set a thousand years in the future, the surface of Earth has been corrupted beyond all recognition, and cities have been forced to mount themselves in order to catch ‘prey’ (smaller, weaker cities), which they digest, after a fashion, to help them survive. Tom Natsworthy, a young apprentice in London’s Guild of Engineers, yearns to go on adventures of the sort that his idol Thaddeus Valentine goes on all the time. However when a young disfigured assassin, Hester Shaw, tries to kill Valentine, Tom’s world is really turned on its head. He is forced to live on the ‘Bare Earth’, an idea totally alien to him, and he comes to learn more about his hero than he would have wanted. Though this may seem formulaic, Reeve injects a very welcome style of arch and knowing humour, to prevent any cloying sentimentality from creeping in. There are references to our culture today, however they are obscured by time; for example people in Mortal Engines believe that Mickey and Pluto are the animal-headed gods of America, much in the same way that we think of Anubis and Horus as gods of Egypt!
In Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve has created something startlingly original. The universe of ‘Municipal Darwinism’ seems fully formed within Reeve’s head, and its realisation is brilliant. For examples the concept of ‘Anti-Tractionism’ seems totally real within this universe, as do all the prejudices felt towards it by those who live on Traction Towns. Reeve has even created new terms e.g. ‘urbivore’, ‘scavenger suburb’ and ‘static settlement’ (what we would know today as normal houses). This is all played through with a brilliantly dry sense of humour (e.g.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give me MORE!!! 25 Mar 2007
This is a thumping good read. It's got everything that you need: High adventure, romance, revenge. For god's sake, it's even got Pirates!

Like so many of the other reviewers, I stubled upon this, without meaning to. I had been given book tokens, and was left with a pound to spend. The lovely man in the shop suggested this, and his selection was far superior to my own.

The writing is brilliant (if you like that sort of thing) with exactly the right word slipped in without you noticing so that the visuals are spectacular.

And the story leads you on it's not so merry dance through the crazy upside down world that Reeve has invented, sucking you in so that you hang on every plot twist and cliff hanger.

I am going to get the next one tomorrow. If you don't already have this, then go and get it.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've ever read. 27 May 2004
This exciting and enthralling book by Phillip Reeve has kept me from boredom during the most boring of times in my life, study leave(GCSE's). It would not have been my first choice of book but I will certainly continue to read the sequel and any other oncoming novels to be written in this style. The imagination and inspriration conjoured by Reeve to create the fantasy world like no other is the only reason you need to buy this book. The comic characters and numerous unexpected twists all make it the best book I've ever read.
The use of such descriptive language on apsects of the future fantasy make it a beleivable story and make you think how technologically advanced our world today really is. The hunting ground and "Thrill of the chase" will trigger the primal instncts inside you. Reeve has taken a story in the future and reverted it, in parts, back to prehistoric times.
If you liked Harry Potter but found it a little long winded and slow at times then this could be the perfect book for you. Hopefully you will enjoy the read as much as I have.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging conventions 21 Sep 2003
By A Customer
A excellent fantasy adventure that keeps you gripped to the end. Gritty and brutal in parts, it also has it's tender moments.What makes this book special though, is the way it challenges conventions of beauty and heroism. It does this not in a crass and overally moralist way, but through a well devised plot that takes you through the experiences of the main characters and the growth of their relationship. When Tom begins to realise his affection lies not with the beautiful girl he met so briefly, but with the badly deformed Hester who he has shared his adventures with, the reader too understands where this affection comes from. This is no Hollywood romance. Tom's dreams of heroism are challenged too when he dicovers the true cost of heroism and that their is no easy way to define good and evil. This story is inventive and exciting. Although the characterisation is not on a par with Phillip Pullman, I suspect this will improve as the sequels are written. If you are a fan of Pullman this is a must.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read.
This is one of those books you pick up and can't put down. Can't wait to find out what happens next. Read more
Published 1 month ago by suzanne
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good
It took me a little while to get into this book since I wasn't too keen on the writing style at first. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rachel Farmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
One of the best teenage fiction books out there, Mortal Engines is an epic story that inspires. It builds up a rich world like no other, and I felt - for the first time when... Read more
Published 1 month ago by AwesomeSauce
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing start, originality not well sustained.
I came to this as part of an undergraduate children's literature course. I think there is a role for dystopian science-fiction as commentary on the present day, for adults and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by LadyMustard
5.0 out of 5 stars Grown Ups
These are great books for children and adults alike so great for bedtime reading to your children. It will help develop imagination.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. S. Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!!
Bought this for my present course with the Open University as it is one of the set books for reading. I will definitely be buying the next 3 books in the series. Gripping stuff!!
Published 3 months ago by Lou M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant!!
Simply put, the most entertaining and complete sci fi vision for a very long time. Reeve writes with economy and wit, and the world he crafts is just wonderfully realised. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Having been a fan of Larklight for several years I was keen to read some of Mr Reeves other works. I was not disappointed! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Katie
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-written story
A well-plotted yarn with believable and well-rounded characters you can cheer for. I'm still trying to visualize cities on wheels chasing each other around the ruined Earth. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lynette Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
This is one of the best science fiction books I've read in a while and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by I love pandas
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