Mortal Engines, by Philip Reeve: Review
London is on the hunt—one of the great Traction Cities that prowls the desolate Hunting Grounds in search of towns to devour. To young historian Tom Natsworthy, the mighty city is home . . . until his childhood hero, famed adventurer Valentine, pushes him down a waste chute to die in the wilderness.
There, alongside scarred and vengeance-seeking Hester Shaw, Tom discovers a darker plot beneath the facade of London: a deadly new weapon with the power to destroy cities and rewrite the world as they know it.
I don't know exactly what I expected going into this story, but I was very pleasantly surprised by Reeve's fascinating, unique, and complex world-building talent. The world as we know it is replaced in The Mortal Engines by a desolate world in which settlements are mobile, constantly devouring one another in a never-ending race for resources. This concept in itself is just so creative, and I loved discovering more and more of what this world looks like through Reeve's detailed, spellbinding style.
Reeve's writing is charming and captures his characters and world deliciously. I appreciated every one of his main characters and especially loved the relationships that develop between them, laced with humour and adventure. Several characters are revealed to be far more conflicted than they appear on surface level, and I truly enjoyed being surprised by the explosive and moving finale.
Content Notes: pagan deities are honoured in the Traction Cities, though it serves as more of a world-building backdrop than a foreground plot point. Swearing is kept to an absolute and tame minimum. Moderate violence is a component.
I was intrigued and impressed by The Mortal Engines as a refreshingly unique, well-written story, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the Predator Cities collection!