Tuesday 18 December 2018

Book Review: Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (YA/Fantasy/Steampunk)

Title: Mortal Engines
Author: Philip Reeve

Publication Date: 2018 (2001)
Birthday Gift

Emerging from its hiding place in the hills, the great Traction City of London chases one terrified little town across the wastelands. If it cannot overpower smaller, slower prey, the city will come to a standstill and risk being taken over by another. In the attack, Tom Natsworthy, Apprentice Historian to the London Museum, is flung from its speeding superstructure into the barren wasteland of Out-Country. His only companion is Hester Shaw, a murderous, scar-faced girl who does not particularly want Tom's company. But if they are to make it back to London before Stalkers or hungry cities get them first, they will need to help each other, and fast. If Hester is to be believed, London is planning something atrocious, and the future of the world could be at stake. Can they get back to London before it's too late?

I came to the book of Mortal Engines after having seen the film, and it was certainly interesting to discover what changes the film made from the original text. In many cases, I can see why they did what they did, as it worked better for the screen that way. However, other instances seemed unnecessary. It was particularly fascinating to see what they did with Valentine, as his character is all-out dark in the film but rather more morally grey, and thus relatable, in the book, which I liked a lot. Overall, Mortal Engines is a fun tale with a brilliant premise, memorable characters, and excellent world building. The prose was easy reading, and I raced through it in a single day. Based on this first book, I would be interested to read the rest of the series in the future. 4.5 stars.

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