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This review is from: Predator's Gold (Mortal Engines Quartet) (Paperback)
Set 6 months after MORTAL ENGINES, Tom and Hester have set up an air trading business on the Jenny Hanniver. On a visit to the Traction City of Arkangel, they pick up the historian Professor Pennyroyal and agree to take him to Brighton but are attacked en route by the Green Storm, a group of ultra-extremist Anti-Tractionists dedicated to the total destruction of the Traction Cities. With their airship severely damaged, they land in Anchorage, a once-great city that's been wracked by plague and is ruled by the spoilt but beautiful teenage Margravine Freya Rasmussen.
The residents of Anchorage tell stories of ghosts in the underbelly of the city and things are going missing from the houses and the palace and Freya takes the decision to move the city to the lost continent of America, where Pennyroyal has written of green areas surviving the Sixty Minute War. As an increasingly insecure Hester watches Tom and Freya draw closer together, Anchorage is sought by both the Green Storm and the city of Arkangel and Hester is driven to a desperate act that threatens everyone.
Reeves goes deeper into the emotional complexity of Hester in this book and in particular, her love for Tom, which is all consuming, not least because she believes it offers her a chance of redemption and her reaction to the threat posed by the selfish and naive Freya is a human one. Tom, by contrast, retains his naivety and if his attraction to Freya is dealt with a little too cursorily and his sudden irritation with Hester heart breaking, the desperation that drives his actions through the second half of the novel is all too believable.
The bitter Saytha returns, having resurrected Anna Fang into the Stalker Fang who she believes can lead all the Anti-Tractionists to victory against the cities. New characters are also introduced, notably the Lost Boys, burglars from the watery city of Grimsby who attach themselves to cities and use their spider cams to find things to steal. However Reeves loses none of his ruthlessness and his death count remains high, particularly towards the end when Hester's desperation brings bloody consequences.
The pace remains incredibly fast and the action unrelenting. It's a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish and I can't wait to read the next in this series.