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

by Philip Reeve

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1,520574,857 (4.02)124
Member:UnassumingReader.com
Title:Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet)
Authors:Philip Reeve
Info:Marion Lloyd Books (2009), Edition: 1, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Wishlist
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Work details

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (2001)

  1. 10
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    Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve (joririchardson)
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    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.
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» See also 124 mentions

English (56)  Dutch (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
This was this month's book club selection. I'd never have picked it up without that as an impetus. And I'm not sure I'll pick something similar up again either. This is set in a possible future, where cities have developed to a stage such that they are mobile, and predatory. ON the ravaged earth, there is an area that has stopped being mobile and settled down into static settlement, the so called anti tractionists. They are protected by a large wall, only London has a plan to break the wall down. The story follows three teenagers (I assume), Tom, Katherine & Hester, while the point that brings them together is Valentine, Katherine's father and head of the Historians. I'm not a teen, I'm not into fantasy (I assume it's fantasy, there's certainly very little of what appears to be science to support this hypothetical future) and I found it just a bit unconvincing. At time the writing was in the past tense, at other in the present, but there seemed little logic behind the use of tense. The characters were also not consistent. Tom & Katherine both sort of followed through, but Hester & Valentine had sudden about faces that left me thinking "where did that come from?!". I can't say I enjoyed it, but it wasn't awful, just not for me. ( )
  Helenliz | Mar 19, 2015 |
When I first started this it didn't really do anything for me so I put it aside for a while. Then, giving Reeve another chance, I picked it back up and this time I got into Mortal Engines enough to finish it quickly. The traveling cities that cannibalized the smaller ones was an interesting idea and the story would hold the attention of most teens in the 12 to 15 age bracket but I may not follow up with the second book in the series for a while if at all.
  hailelib | Feb 16, 2015 |
Teenager's book. My daughter's favourite. Fun read but story a bit thin and two dimensional for adult tastes. ( )
  jvgravy | Dec 22, 2013 |
A good, if slightly macabre read. The only thing that annoyed me was the use of the present tense, thought it was more than a little unnecessary. ( )
  wildeaboutoscar | Sep 20, 2013 |
This was really a cracking good read, and one which I sped through accordingly. Reeves has created a fully formed and intriguing world of the future, and, as it is often best to do, he has left a lot of questions unanswered. He is merciless with his characters, to the extent that many who would have seemed to be central to the ongoing plot are killed off in this first book. I'm certainly keen to get onto the second book, regardless.

The character of Hester is especially compelling, and Tom, though a bit wet, seems to have scads of that "unrealised potential" knocking about. It will be interesting to see where they go in the following volumes.

If I have one complaint, it is the shift into present tense which Reeves occasionally indulges in - I found it distracting and unnecessary. Not enough so, however, that's would mark it down in ratings terms. Four and a half stars, recommended. ( )
  Bill_Bibliomane | Aug 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Reeveprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

» see all 8 descriptions

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