Review: ‘Mortal Engines’ by Philip Reeve

I read Mortal Engines a number of years ago, but never finished the series. Since I couldn’t remember much about the details in the first book (I only remembered that I liked it), I decided to re-read it before moving on to the rest of the series.

Synopsis: In a world where staying still will get you eaten, the cities of Earth have been put on wheels and tracks to hunt each other down and consume the dwindling resources available. Tom, an apprentice historian, finds himself touching earth for the first time when he gets left behind by his city after chasing the girl who tried to kill his hero. Hester Shaw, the failed assassin, isn’t the beautiful companion Tom would wish to have adventures with, but they must depend on each other for survival.

I find the concept of Municipal Darwinism absolutely fascinating. It’s a town eat town world out there, and the majority of the world’s population live on movable cities that need to constantly consume fuel to keep going. The main character, Tom, is raised to believe that this is the best and only way to live, but his beliefs are challenged on more than one occasion as he encounters new people and places. Just when he thinks he has something figured out, another piece of information throws his assumptions to the wind and he has to rethink everything he ever believed to be true.

Hester is probably my favourite character because she isn’t the classic femme fatale or damsel in distress. She’s not pretty, she’s not a trained assassin, she’s not even that social adept. She just wants revenge for the death of her parents and will do anything to make it happen. There is one scene in particular where she gets angry at Tom for saving her from a horrible fate that really hit me hard. Her hurt is so raw that she would be willing to die if it took the pain away.

I can’t wait to keep reading this series. This book could totally be read alone because the ending is pretty satisfactory, but I’m curious to see what happens to all of these characters after the very dramatic ending.

LC rating: 4half-stars (almost perfect)


2 thoughts on “Review: ‘Mortal Engines’ by Philip Reeve

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  1. I first read these books when they came out and was blown away – I absolutely loved them! I would love to do a re-read. Over the years I’ve acquired some of Reeve’s other books in this universe (The Fever Crumb Series) and never got around to reading them. This is definitely a timely reminder! Hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

    Liked by 1 person

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