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Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet) Paperback – 3 Sep 2015
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Predator Cities: Mortal Engines
From the Publisher
Mortal Engines Quartet: Mortal Engines
- Classic new editions of Philip Reeve's, Predator Cities quartet to celebrate 15 years since first publication
- Brilliantly imagined, this is one of the greatest futuristic series ever written
- Over 320,000 UK sales of this astonishing series
Mortal Engines launched Philip Reeve's brilliantly-imagined creation, the world of the Traction Era, where mobile cities fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic future.
The first instalment introduces young apprentice Tom Natsworthy and the murderous Hester Shaw, flung from the fast-moving city of London into heart-stopping adventures in the wastelands of the Great Hunting Ground.
About the author
Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines was his first published novel. He is the author of many books for young people. Carnegie Medal for Here Lies Arthur. He lives with his wife and son on Dartmoor.
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The retro feel of the book, well rounded characters and the sheer imagery of traction cities trundling about the scarred landscape of the far future of our world was/is just brilliant. I was in my mid thirties at the time and it still made me sit and wonder. I can't imagine what it does to kids!
Great stuff. Perfect for kids with good imaginations and may generate them in those that don't!
Get it. Read it. Enjoy it.
Set in a post apocalyptic world way before it was even fashionable to write about crumbling dystopian civilisation, the story follows a young boy with nothing to lose, who suddenly finds himself at the centre of a very dangerous political war full of flying cities and looming disaster on every horizon. The characters are all as complex as each other with their own tales to tell. No one passes who isn't vital to the story and everyone seems so authentic it's hard to believe they've been made up, they are so beautifully flawed.
A great start to the 4 part series and recommended to anyone who enjoys children's books that don't dumb down themes, to the ilk of Phillip Pullman and J K Rowling.
Other reviewers have explained the argument, which is common enough: a deserving young man gets into trouble, and that brings him into a great conspiracy, and that makes him a hero, finding extraordinary characters along he way... this comes to a final climax where the characters will find their fate, and learn a lot about themselves and their world.
This book can be read by any reader, but I think that only people above 10 will be able not to get scared, and read a bit between the lines... And that is the best part. Reeve makes a parable of a post apocaliptic world, a dreg of enviromental catastrophe and war ravage. His municipal darwinism is a mockery of ultraliberal capitalism and its hopeless ramble about the world, wasting resources, destroying nature and people, to keep a corrupt social order alive. Reality is far worse than we think, in a world where the poor, the meek have no place.
There are constant references to other books (Shrike, for example)and that makes us older sci-fi readers the more happy
The comparison with Phillip Pullman and the Dark Matter series is unavoidable, and for me Reeve wins the day: more coherent universe, better narration, and clearer message if any.
This is a "children" book, but at the same time a sombre social distopia. I think this is the first time that a reader brings this genre (post apocaliptic) from sci-fi into children books. John Christopher's "Tripods" has also explored this theme, but then apocalipsis was brought by aliens.
I give it four stars because it is not a complete "round" story, and the adult reader could find some loopholes in the narrative, most probably to make the book more palatable for the younger public. But I'd gladly give it 4.5 stars. I'm buying all the series and would like my children to read them when they get older.
Although it's exciting, surprisingly it feels quite literary too. It's written supposedly for young adults, but like the 'His Dark Materials' books are fairly adult in actuality, and you won't feel too old for it if you're a grown-up (or, like me, a "grown-up"). For the most part the books are shortish and about the right length.
The first book in particular is a great introduction to the world and is a complete story without feeling deliberately open-ended. In addition, the sequels feels like they were planned at the same time as the first story and follow on nicely. I definitely suggest you DON'T read the backs of the following books before starting any of these!
Well worth dipping into the first book for a great slice of steampunk adventure!
8 / 10
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Most recent customer reviews
It isn't the YA novel. Which is also very good- just in case you're interested.