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Infernal Devices (Mortal Engines Quartet) Paperback – 3 Sep 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Age Range: 10 - 16 years
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1 edition (3 Sept. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407152122
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407152127
  • Product Dimensions: 39.6 x 2.4 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Praise for the Mortal Engines series
* "Exciting and visually descriptive." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"A page-turner, this adventure in a city-eat-city world will have readers eagerly suspending disbelief to follow the twists and turns of the imaginative plot." -- Booklist
"Big, brave, brilliant." -- Guardian (UK)
* "Reeve's [Mortal Engines Quartet] remains a landmark of visionary... imagination." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"Phenomenal . . . violent and romantic, action-packed and contemplative, funny and frightening." -- Sunday Times (UK)

Praise forthe Mortal Engines series
*"Exciting and visually descriptive." --School Library Journal, starred review
"A page-turner, this adventure in a city-eat-city world will have readers eagerly suspending disbelief to follow the twists and turns of the imaginative plot." --Booklist
"Big, brave, brilliant." --Guardian (UK)
*"Reeve's [Mortal Engines Quartet] remains a landmark of visionary... imagination." --School Library Journal, starred review
"Phenomenal . . . violent and romantic, action-packed and contemplative, funny and frightening." --Sunday Times (UK)


Praise for the Mortal Engines series

*"Exciting and visually descriptive." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"A page-turner, this adventure in a city-eat-city world will have readers eagerly suspending disbelief to follow the twists and turns of the imaginative plot." -- Booklist

"Big, brave, brilliant." -- Guardian (UK)

*"Reeve's [Mortal Engines Quartet] remains a landmark of visionary... imagination." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"Phenomenal... violent and romantic, action-packed and contemplative, funny and frightening." -- Sunday Times (UK)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Philip Reeve is the bestselling author of the Predator Cities quartet and the award-winning Fever Crumb series. His other books include the highly acclaimed HERE LIES ARTHUR and NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS. He lives in Dartmoor, England with his wife and son. Visit him online at philip-reeve.com.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
All perfect and professional. Thank you
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Innovative thinking. A real twist on possible life in an alternative future
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Format: Paperback
Infernal Devices, by Philip Reeve, is the third book in the author’s Predator Cities Quartet. This is a series of fantasy adventure stories aimed at young adults but enjoyable for all competent readers.

In this instalment, Tom and Hester have settled in the now static city of Anchorage where it came to rest on the Dead Continent, presumed sunk by all who knew of its existence. Their daughter, Wren, was born here and has known nothing but a peaceful if rather lonely existence in her fifteen years. Having grown up listening to the tales of her parents’ adventures she dreams of experiencing some excitement for herself.

Caul, the former Lost Boy, inadvertently presents her with opportunity when she stumbles across a secret meeting he attends in the dead of night. She turns thief in exchange for passage away, but when events turn deadly, ends up being sold as a slave.

Appalled by this unexpected reminder of their past, Tom and Hester set out to rescue their child. Assuming that she will have been taken to the Lost Boys’ hidden headquarters at Grimsby, Caul goes with them. He wishes to be reunited with Uncle, the closest he has ever had to a parent. This desire the young burglars feel to belong to a mum or dad has been their undoing. Wren is not the only freshly captured slave.

The action moves to the pleasure city of Brighton where the wily Pennyroyal continues to spin his web of deceit. Unbeknownst to all, just as Tom and Hester launch their rescue attempt, powerful forces are about to be unleashed. The Green Storm has set its sights on Brighton, although its stalker leader is not telling her minions why.
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Format: Paperback
First a warning - do not attempt to read this book unless you've read the previous two books in the series: you will be extremely confused! And now a warning for those who have read the other books: this one is a little different to start with. It's a long time since the action of the previous books, and there's a new character - Wren, daughter of Hester and Tom. She's a typical teenager, rebellious and wanting her own life, and to break free from the constraints of Anchorage, a city stuck on the Dead Continent.

Things soon start happening and the action picks up, but it's not the same as the first two books. There isn't the sparkle and invention of the previous volumes. It moves quite quickly, but with no particular driving theme. I was quite disappointed, but kept reading, because I've heard that the 4th book is very good, so wanted to make sure I got through this one.

Then halfway through everything changes: from the scene where Pennyroyal and his wife Boo-Boo are having breakfast Reeve seems to find his old voice and creativity again. I was laughing out loud at some of the ridiculous names, and the references to other books and films come back again. Philip Pullman is mentioned, but in disguise, and Reeve takes a swipe at modern art as well, in the guise of Anthony Gormley. This is great for adults reading these books.

The plot also picks up, with various threads coming together to a very exciting last third of the book. Reeve is back on form with some major surprises, as well as bringing out some themes which you feel he's been building on since the first book, particular concerning the fearsome Stalkers.

Again, plenty of quite gory deaths, which some may find inappropriate for younger readers, but overall, by the end of the book I was very impressed and impatient to read number 4. So stick with this one, it's worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
After the excellent Mortal Engines and Predator's Gold, Infernal Devices seems like nothing more than a cheap filler before the quartet's conclusion. Perhaps as a stand-alone book I might have taken more kindly to it. But when put beside its two predecessors, it suffers badly.

Reeve seems much more inclined to be humorous in Infernal Devices, as if deciding he should do a turn being Terry Pratchett. But rather than amuse as intended, this 'wit' kept lifting me completely out of the story. A vessel called the Visible Panty Line might seem quite quirky in draft form, but I couldn't convince myself anything like this would happen in a real, believable world. And this is just the start of it. There are gags running throughout, so that after dealing with the weighty and serious issues of the first two books of the series, you are left wondering what the hell is going on.

Also I would note that the character of Tom nettled me beyond belief. I can quite appreciate how Reeve has tried to balance Hester's callousness with something softer and more palatable. But this castrated christ-like individual??? He reminded me of some sort of neutered Hugh Grant saying 'Golly gosh' and 'Really, we shouldn't step on insects - they have feelings too." Perhaps I'm being overly harsh. But I thought the first two books set such a high standard that this is something of an insult to the reader. Indeed I had the impression throughout that it was simply a cash-generating exercise knocking a fine trilogy entirely out of shape.
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