No spoilers in this review of Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. I give it three stars. If you’re looking for something unique and really out there, this may be just the ticket.
Here’s the premise: In a dystopian future where living on the bare earth was impossible, cities became mobile — even the big cities. We’re talking London-size. These mountainous metropolises roam the earth and devour other smaller towns for their resources. They live by a code called Municipal Darwinism. It’s a “city eat city world” out there.
If you can handle that crazy premise, you will probably enjoy Mortal Engines. I found myself somewhere between intrigued and skeptical. At times it was a little much. I love dystopian, but I constantly found myself saying, that could never happen. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “It’s fiction! It’s dystopian! It doesn’t have to be able to happen.” I agree, but I do need to believe it could happen in the world that is presented. And seeing as this is my world in the future, I wasn’t able to give it a 100% buy-in.
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The heroine, Hester Shaw, is seeking vengeance for her mother’s death. I enjoyed Hester’s character and her very interesting past. Her friend Tom is surprised by the recipient of Hester’s wrath. Tom, while clueless about the darker side of London, finds his world turned upside down when Hester teaches him the truth about his mobile city and especially those who run it. Together Hester and Tom will fight to right wrongs and to save other innocents.
I enjoyed the book and may eventually read the others. I have a few theories and unanswered questions that may gnaw at me until I do. 🙂
I saw the movie with a friend only days after finishing the book, and it was enjoyable enough. As always the film left out many details and even changed how a few events came about. I wasn’t overly concerned about these changes. My friend (who didn’t read the book), however, had many questions which the movie didn’t address. Luckily I was able to fill her in.
All in all, I think the book (and movie) will appeal to a niche audience who loves crazy world building. If that’s you, then I say go for it!
Let us know what you think about Mortal Engines in the comments! No spoilers on this page, please!
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