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Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet) by…

Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet) (original 2001; edition 2009)

by Philip Reeve

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1,650634,363 (4)138
Title:Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet)
Authors:Philip Reeve
Info:Marion Lloyd Books (2009), Edition: 1, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Wishlist (inactive)

Work details

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (2001)

  1. 10
    Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding (Jannes)
    Jannes: Airships and high adventure in a post-apocalyptic and retrofuturistic word. Also, air pirates.
  2. 10
    Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (Rubbah)
  3. 10
    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (Maid_Marian)
  4. 10
    Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve (joririchardson)
  5. 11
    Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Jesh1721)
  6. 00
    The Teacher's Tales of Terror / Traction City: A World Book Day Flip Book by Chris Priestley (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Traction City features a young Anna Fang, who subsequently has a major role to play in Mortal Engines and its sequels.
  7. 00
    Worldshaker by Richard Harland (Maid_Marian)
  8. 00
    Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (Enyonam)

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English (61)  Dutch (1)  All (62)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
An interesting concept of mobile cities roaming a post-apocalyptic world. The writing is good, but a bit flat. It could be a great movie. ( )
  dougcornelius | Jan 27, 2017 |
I was at the library yesterday. Dissatisfied with the 'new' fiction and nonfiction offerings on display, I began browsing the racks. I learned long ago that adult readers who avoid YA are doing themselves an injustice, so I wandered through that section as well. It's how I found this book. I've discovered that books ostensibly written for young adults can have interesting settings, insightful themes, excellent characters, intricate plots.... Surprisingly, I have found many that were less 'juvenile' than books written for adults (especially those that sacrifice all of the above for graphic violence, sex scenes, and plots that are little more than thin strings tying together a series of fights and explosions). The blurb on the flap of this one showed promise.

It is set on a far future, post-apocalyptic Earth. Many great cities have become mobile, raised up on tracks to roam the land in search of other cities to 'consume'. London is one of these. It's pretty big, but it too can be prey to larger cities. When the minions of London's misguided and ethically challenged mayor discover an ancient super-weapon, a series of events unfold that call into question the limits of self-protection, and what means can be justified to achieve ones' goals.

I won't say I found this a great book. The physical impossibilities and engineering improbabilities of having cities wandering around on wheels and tracks (at up to 100 mph) prevented me from getting into the setting. I don't know if this is supposed to be some kind of metaphor for urban sprawl, but it was just a bit too absurd to easily suspend disbelief. I also wasn't thrilled with the prose style. There are bits in which it switches from past tense to present tense for nor obvious reason. That said, the characters are well-drawn, their motivations make sense, and the story proceeds quite logically to a satisfying conclusion. It kept me reading and I enjoyed it. What more could you want? ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
  Lunapilot | Jul 19, 2016 |
Thousands of years after the "Sixty Minute War" which more or less destroyed civilization, people have survived by living in traction cities. Since then some tractions cities have grown huge and they chase and "eat" smaller cities. The Anti-Traction League oppose this Urban Darwinism and contend that there is no need anymore for the traction cities, people can live on the earth's surface again. Suspension of disbelief is essential to get anywhere with this YA offering, but I found the characters compelling, the setting amusing, and the story fun and read right through it. As it's a quartet I've ordered the next three through interlibrary loan since our little library doesn't have it. **** ( )
1 vote sibyx | Apr 30, 2016 |
All I can say is that five years after reading it, the images from this book haven't left my head. I need to read it again to give a better review of the actual story, writing, etc. But the world building was certainly vivid! ( )
  A.E.Wasp | Apr 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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Philip Reeveprimary authorall editionscalculated
Frankland, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060082097, Mass Market Paperback)

London is hunting

The great Traction City lumbers after a small town, eager to strip its prey of all assets and move on. Resources on the Great Hunting Ground that once was Europe are so limited that mobile cities must consume one another to survive, a practice known as Municipal Darwinism.

Tom, an apprentice in the Guild of Historians, saves his hero, Head Historian Thaddeus Valentine, from a murder attempt by the mysterious Hester Shaw -- only to find himself thrown from the city and stranded with Hester in the Out Country. As they struggle to follow the tracks of the city, the sinister plans of London's leaders begin to unfold ...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:20 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In the distant future, when cities move about and consume smaller towns, a fifteen-year-old apprentice is pushed out of London by the man he most admires and must seek answers in the perilous Out-Country, aided by one girl and the memory of another.

(summary from another edition)

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