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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent finish, 24 Mar. 2006
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This is the best out of the whole series. The second and the third had made me start to go off them and I only bought the book to complete the series. However this one was really good. The traction cities and the green storm are fighting more after stalker fang's death(who unknown to all has been resurectted by the lost boy, fishcake.) and Hester Shaw is still missing. Tom and Wren have been travelling in the 6 months since the experiences at Brighton and are surprised when Tom sees someone he recognises from London, of which he was the only survivor. They join a mission with the son of a traction town mayor and travell back to London, to look for more survivors... I'm not going to say more than that but it is really good and lots of stuff happens. Everything flows and there is not one boring moment. It finishes with all the ends tied up and you are left satisfied, but still thinking about it long after you have put it down.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic end to the series, 18 Mar. 2009
I just finished reading this book to my son (now twelve) last night. We read the final four chapters in one go, and by the end I could hardly keep my voice even enough to read out loud because I felt so emotional. On the whole the book was very good (as are all the books in the series) I personally found the start of the book a little slow, although maybe that was because my hopes were so high, and to be fair, my son didn't think it started out slow. Both of us agreed, however that from about half way through the pace was relentless - building up tension, excitement, and emotional attachment to so many varied and flawed but believable and lovable characters (even Pompous Pennyroyal and poor Fishcake). As other reviewers have said, the ending was so well done. A perfectly fitting conclusion to the epic Mortal Engines series. The ending is still resonating with me, so much so that it made me cry again when I was out walking my dog this afternoon, and I had to blame the wind in my eyes. The whole series is very good for reading aloud - teachers should consider it as a class read for this reason, because the language is very poetic, without ever getting in the way of the characters or the plot. I have to bow to Philip Reeve's brilliance - I don't think there's a better series for young people out there. My son and I are going to read Here lies Arthur next, although we might do a Marcus Sedgwick in between just to refresh our palattes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And now the end is near...., 26 Dec. 2007
This, as you will have gathered, is the last in the Mortal Engines quartet.
Knowing that this was the last one, made me want to go slow and savour each line of Reeves's wonderful descriptions of the flying machines, the whole new Earth that he has imagined and the feelings of all the characters.

However this book is impossible to read slowly. Each chapter leads you deeper and deeper. It demands "just one more chapter and then I will sleep... maybe" until you find yourself looking at the clock, noticing that it's 3 AM, and then you just sigh and say to yourself "look, I need to know what happens to Hester/fischcakce/wren/pennyroyal/theo/Tom".

And you DO want to know what happens to all of them. Phillip Reeve has done some magical writing and it makes you want to know what happens next, and you also know how each one of the characters feel. The end is achingly sad, and hopeful at the same time.

Of course, you can't read this one first, go and buy "mortal Engines" and read the other three before this one.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last of a series. The birth of a classic, 27 Sept. 2006
This is the last volume of the series that began with Mortal Engines, and marks the conclusion of an epic and brilliantly told story. I think it's also the best of the four books, and one of the best books I've ever read.

Philip Reeve rights beautifully and with a light touch: there are moments of really lovely and original descriptive writing here. The characters are complex and real, and you care a lot about what happens to them.

The story is cracking: it is very fast paced, and sometimes almost too exciting. It all takes place in a supremely well created world.

The final chapters are heartbreaking. I was really sad that the book had finished, but I will remember this book for a long time, and I think it will be read with pleasure by many people in this and future generations. A genuine classic.

.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for all, 25 April 2011
By 
Peter "I'm here because I need something to d... (Hassocks, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I suppose this review applies to all four books in the Mortal Engines Quartet.

It's pointless coming into A Darkling Plain without having read the first three installments. Unlike the first two, this one makes no attempt to stand up as a self-contained narrative. We need to be familiar with the characters, the environment in which they exist and the things they've done over the course of two decades.

Lucky for us, however, that the preceeding books were so good (the third being, in my opinion, the weakest of the bunch, but still enjoyable stuff).

Throughout the saga, Philip Reeve is very generous in allowing his characters to change, grow and - in some cases - become more flawed and unlikeable as the adventures proceed. regardless of how novel, rich and exciting his future vision of hungy cities and Municipal Darwinism might be, it's the continuous character evolution that keeps us hooked.

In this final tome, it's also become clear that Reeve is aware of Mortal Engines' potential as a movie franchise, as the language and structure become quite explicitly cinematic. If the rumours are true that an option of the series has been bought by Peter Jackson's Wing Nut Productions, this could have been a very sensible career move.

Regardless, the yarn is a ripping one from start to finish. We actually care about the characters. The sci-fi world that Reeve creates is novel and intriguing without ever feeling contrived. It's violent and bloody and gritty and merciless at times, but there's also some nice innocent humour there too (I especially liked the fact that we meet two brothers named Lego and Duplo). A Darkling Plain is more action-packed than its predecessors, but that's not a complaint - I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. The ending is emotional and moving. Sad, but also quite uplifting in its final pages.

Apparently, it's a good read for kids too - this reviewer is aged 39. I would never offer it as a bedtime read for my six-year-old, but as soon as he's old enough to handle books of that length and complexity, I'll give him strict instructions not to touch anything so violent and scary, while making sure to leave them carelessly lying around the house...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mature end to the series, 4 Oct. 2008
By 
John Brown (Belgium) - See all my reviews
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The world of Municipal Darwinism has grown old. The Green Storm is struggling with internal conflicts. The Traktionstadtgesellschaft is preparing for what might be a last-gasp attack. London is rising from the ashes, with a secret at its heart, and far away from everything else an ancient machine is reawakened by someone with two intertwined personalities, fighting with each other for domination. Tom is aware of his own mortality, Wren and Theo are entering a new phase of their relationship, even the Lost Boys are having to grow up and find independence.

Not only is the world of the book maturing, but the style and subject matter as well. This book should only be tackled after reading the previous three, and even with those under your belt there is a good chance you will confused. The subjects tackled, and the complex politics of the story raise this above a simple fantasy adventure to a real study of relationships, human motivation, and the position of the human race within our own world. All of this mean that I felt this chapter of the series was aimed at a more mature audience than the earlier books, and there is certainly a lot less humour than before (although one joke made me groan like no other in the series yet - you'll know it when you get to it).

The same characters from previous books reappear - in fact I felt that there were a few too many miraculous escapes and re-resurrections - and in most cases they are investigated and exposed in much greater depth than before. Tom and Hester's relationship runs like a thread throughout these stories and that thread is as strong at the end of this book as it was at the end of book 1. I particularly liked the development of the Stalkers' characters, and I wonder if Reeve had planned them to have such an important role when he started the series.

Overall this is an excellent book, although probably more succesful with a slightly older audience than the previous ones in the series. The final chapters are astonishing in the depth of emotion and characterisation, and demonstrate that Philip Reeve has not only imagined some weird ideas and funny names, but a whole world with its own history, peopled by fully-developed characters, which I doubt will leave anyone unmoved.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insanely good, 27 July 2006
having read and loved the first three in this series i was unsure as to whether ALL the plotlines could be tied up in this one. but they are, and in pretty spectacular fashion as well.

wren and theo have much of the storyline, but hester and tom are also ever present, and lots of their history is tied up here. Shrike seems to be much more human in this one, but he was always going in that direction anyway, so it's not that surprising. anna/stalker fang is back with a vengeance, and she's intent on destroying green storm as well as the traction cities, after oenone zero's betrayal. pennyroyal is also here once again, but he does get his comeuppance...to a degree.

i can't say much more about this without revealing too much, but suffice to say you will not regret reading it, and if you haven't yet read the others in the series you should really do so. right now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Excellent, 25 Jan. 2007
A fantastic ending to an awesome quartet, the ending of this book made me feel like i had just got home from a huge journey. There is some spectacular writing in this book, and the plot is fantastic, i reccomend it to absolutley everyone (as long as you have read 1-3!)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent, 16 April 2006
By 
D. J. Syme "donald" (Northamptonshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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I loved the previous books, and wondered if the final book could be anywhere as good. I need not have worried. With a multitude of plot lines all running at the same time, and hardly a moment take breath, this book has pace, a chance for empathy for the main characters, and even understanding of the motives of the 'bad' characters. There was a little tear in my eye at the end, not for the way the novel finished, but more because I had finished it!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good ending to an excellent series, 21 Feb. 2006
By 
Simon A. Wright "simonandsuewright" (manchester;england) - See all my reviews
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This is the last of the 4 novels of the traction cities quartet.As with all the rest it's very inventive and exciting.The characters are believable and continue to grow throughout the book and series.
The ending of the book/series is effective and neither mawkish nor contrived.
Overall highly recommended both individually and as a series.
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