1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2013
This is really a single short story, with three embedded mini-stories. It only amounts to a 30 minute or so read, which I don't think is very clear from the description. The mini-stories aren't at all frightening, but I think that's the point - it allows for the juxtaposition between those fictional tales and the "terror" of the encompassing story. The more I think about it, the cleverer I think the structure of the work is. Still, it's a brief interesting distraction rather than something you ponder for days to come.
I'll have no trouble sleeping with the lights off tonight!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2011
The first thing that needs to be said is, these books, in my opinion, should not be taken too seriously. They are after all, first, to celebrate World Book Day, the second, they are tasters for the authors' main bodies of work.
Traction City - Philip Reeve. This lets us in on the basic setting for the bulk of the Mortal Engines series, and also allows us to see the loose, pacy writing style of Philip Reeve. It acts as a great teaser / tempter whatever, and I am sure many will be off to either Philip Reeve's page here, or on the bus to Waterstone's the second they put this book down. Ok, the story: a mad axeman of sorts (I know full well of course what he is, but perhaps it's unfair to go that far here) is on the rampage in the lower, rougher, dirtier denizens of rolling London. At the same time a suspected terrorist is apprehended, but is there a link? Read it to see. Back to the style; it's great that at times Mr Reeve abandons detailed descriptions, and it becomes a less is more caper. When you can pull of with aplomb calling a high tech weapon, 'An electric rifle thingy' then we know we have a great writer with us. Ok, take on board this is, as already said, a taster; it is not integral to events before or after, nor pivotal, you won't miss out if you never get this, but, it's a decent read in between the news and Corrie.
A Teacher's Tale of Terror - Chris Priestley. This is a different kettle of fish. The story features a character, a supply teacher, who turns up to teach for a day on one of those themed dressy up Victorian heritage days. He seems odd, out of place, sinister and unfriendly. He teaches a class, or rather, he reads stories to them, mild mysteries rather than true horror / terror. Of course things don't turn out quite the way you think, but - it's not that good, sadly. I simply do not know whether this is a 'Don't cast pearls ...' scenario and his 'proper' works are a gazillion times better, but, there is nothing here which would make many (in my opinion), do the scroll on here, or catch that bus to Waterstone's, ready with 'The complete unabridged works thus far of Chris Priestley, please, and make it snappy'. I am quite sure his main stuff is a gazillion times better, to be honest, but it is sadly not made apparent here. Three Stars methinks, and a tale you can sandwich in between Heir Hunters or those relentless real life medical emergency fillers, and Jeremy Kyle.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2011
I don't post reviews on Amazon to be honest but I feel the need to because there are a series of Sci-fi books that need a wider audience and more recognition (not that they havn't won awards anyway). This book is a short story written for World Book Day 2011 and set 20 years before Mortal Engines. I must say it was great to read a new story set in the time of the original books.
This is a good but brief (well it is a £!) introduction to the World of Mortal Engines (WoME) but as someone very familiar with that world it was still interesting, for me, and good to see a side to London I hadn't really seen before. it also acted as a slight tease for Scrivener's Moon and beyond possibly I thought. A pleasure to read all round! If you liked this then read Mortal Engines and its 3 sequels. The 3rd prequel Scrivener's Moon is out this year.
This a double book and the other story The Teacher's Tales of Terror was fun too!