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Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet) Paperback – 3 Sep 2015
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"Wildly imaginative, full of marvelous details, humor, and grand adventures." --kliatt
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a distinct break in tone in this collection - which I discovered afterwards is due to this being a collection of Lem’s collection ‘Fables for Robots’ with a couple of other stories on robots from Lem’s other writings tacked on at the end.
The early tales are, as you might imagine, from their source collection ‘Fables for Robots’ fairy tale like and enchanting tales of a universe of robots in a universe free (mostly) of humans. I have never come across anything like them in SF. Lem is very much the author who could pull that idea off well, and he does so.
The tone then changes for the tacked on stories at the of the collection but be very grateful that they are tacked on as one of them, ‘Mask’, is the most memorable, and haunting tales of the whole collection.
There isn't a single word which doesn't add to the atmosphere, tension and emotion of the unfolding story. Every character evokes some response from the reader and the physical, social and psychological desperation of the towns is effectively conveyed through Reeve's appropriate, but not excessive, description; in fact, in some cases his brevity adds to the stark and bereft circumstance.
Listed as a children's book this is a prime example of the higher standard demanded by children from modern literature. Any adult would take something away from this story. It's brilliantly written and ultimately demonstrates the disappointment that the young so frequently experience when adults fail them; their resilience is empowering to readers.
This is a great book, not one to be rushed though because there's so much to enjoy.
Appropriate for readers aged 11ish upwards, I'd say, who are prepared to read something with more moral ambiguity than Harry Potter.
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.Read more ›
Comparison to Potter and Pullman abound in other reviewers comments but I feel that it should be compared to Gibbson and Sterling as it has many themes that echo thorough out the works of both authors but Reeve fails to shy away from the effects of the characters actions.
Some obvious reverences to science fiction ideas Though the character of “Shrike” is the direct descendant of a “Terminator” it is perhaps the most Human of all the characters and will be held in my imagination next to chitty-chitty-bang-bangs’ Child catcher for shear menace.
The Plethora of secondary characters (found so often in epic “quest” tales) are all exquisitely drawn, all complete with individual motivation.
And in many ways that’s is what this book is about . Not only what drives Cities to tare up their roots (and Routs) But what Drives societies to survive and through that, Survive as individuals. Always at a cost to their humanity.
Sold by most of the other reviewers as a book for the TEEN market (what ever that is) I cant recommend this enough to people of all ages. Go on Read it.. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was passed to me by my sometimes reluctant to pick up a book teenage son with the words ‘you should read this, it is very good’. I concur. Read morePublished 25 days ago by neverimitate
Great book. I don't bite my nails, but I bit them during the closing chapters of this book. Great characters. Love them. Then hate them. Then the heart breaks for them. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age (Penguin Modern Classics)more than this one, but there are gems within and many stories conclude on a very bitter note (the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Durham James
Nothing wrong with book, but needed rather than wanted, for a course, so didn't choose to read it.Published 6 months ago by LD
Fast paced, fantastic story that grabbed me from the first page and never let go. Great characters who I grew attached to and genuinely cared about. Loved this book.Published 9 months ago by Holly Turner
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