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Infernal Devices (Hungry City Chronicles) Hardcover – May 30, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–Mortal Engines (HarperCollins, 2003) hit the scene like a lightning bolt, with its strikingly original vision of large traction cities moving across a post-apocalyptic landscape, gobbling up smaller municipalities and dismantling them for spare parts. Infernal Devices, the third book in the series, picks up the action almost 20 years after Predator's Gold (HarperCollins, 2004). Tom and Hester have settled in safe Anchorage-in-Vineland with their teenage daughter. Wren, however, thinks that Anchorage is a tad too remote and longs to have adventures like her parents. Opportunity presents itself when a mysterious submarine carrying a group of Lost Boys arrives in Vineland and their leader recruits Wren to steal a mysterious Tin Book. She is kidnapped and sold as a slave. While Tom and Hester set out to rescue her, others, including former adversary Anna Fang, resurrected as the evil robot Stalker Fang, also try to get the book. Reeve keeps the multiple plots moving with surprises, tragedy, and multiple betrayals, and while at first the pacing seems a bit off as the action moves from one group to the next, things speed up by the second half of the book. The final showdown that brings the various threads of plot and all the major characters together is breathtaking. The open-ended conclusion more than begs for an immediate sequel.–Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
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From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. The third exciting book in the Hungry City Chronicles is set nearly 20 years after events in Predator's Gold (2004). Tom and Hester have settled into the isolated, peaceful city of Anchorage, after Wren, their 15-year-old daughter, is bored and wishes to see more of the world, especially the traction cities. When Wren is kidnapped, she discovers that hair-raising adventures are not all they're cracked up to be, and when her parents charge to her rescue, old enemies and new ones block their path. The pace and the violence escalate to a thrilling climax and hint of more battles to come. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Hungry City Chronicles
  • Hardcover: 358 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (May 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060826355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060826352
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,053,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
It has been sixteen years since the events of Predators Gold, and the Traction City of Anchorage has been peacefully settled on the Dead Continent for years, undisturbed by the war that rages throughout the rest of the world between the adherents of Municipal Darwinism and a terrorist faction of the Anti-Tractionist League.

Okay, if you haven't read the previous two books in The Hungry City Chronicles, then you probably didn't understand a word of that sentence. To recap, Philip Reeve has created one of the most vivid and exciting fantasy worlds in recent fiction, a post-apocalyptic world where massive itinerant cities roam the wastelands, preying on smaller cities and static communities. Those that want to put a stop to this dog-eat-dog world, as well as protect their homelands from the predator cities and "bring back the green" are known as Anti-Tractionists. Though their goals may be noble, they have long since resorted to questionable tactics in order to see win the war, including resurrecting dead bodies as mindlessly obedient soldiers known as Stalkers.

With its multi-tiered traction cities, deep underwater complexes, floating aerial cities, and plethora of submarines and airships that travel between all three, it's only a matter of time before someone makes this series into a visually splendid film. But Reeve does more than create a fictional world that is right up there with (and perhaps even surpassing) the likes of Philip Pullman's
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spy Groove on December 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Peace and quiet at last in Anchorage-in-Vineland. Tom and Hester were able to bring up their only daughter, Wren, in relatively safe homeland.

But that only went till Wren's 16th year because, inheriting her parents' blood, she longed for adventure and at that moment, an old friend of Caul came to break the peace...

Meet again with older Tom and Hester, the threatening Stalker Fang, the undead Mr. Shrike, Lost Boys and the famous-charlatan-writer Nimrod B. Pennyroyal, and also new interesting characters like Wren, Theo and Dr. Zero.

Packed with action, tension, twist, love and drama (not like soap opera mind you). Great story!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Specklebang on March 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm amazed there is only one review and that review is negative so I want to balance this out.

There are 7 books in this series, 3 prequels and then the four primaries.

Mortal Engines
Predators Gold
Infernal Devices
A Darkling Plain

The prequels are:
Fever Crumb
A Web Of Air
Scrivener's Moon

This is possibly one of the best series in the categories of Sci-Fi and Steampunk. The characters do change as the time goes by. They aren't all likable all the time. This adds to the stunning reality of a concept that i so extraordinary and yet you can become immersed.

Do yourself a favor, read them in order, starting with the prequels.
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Format: Paperback
"Mortal Engines" was a triumph, but given the roaring success of that book it would be nearly impossible to produce a sequel that tops it. Philip Reeve managed that anyway in "Predator's Gold". After that dazzling display of literary bravado, Reeve had nowhere to go but down. Yet he decided to go up anyway. "Infernal Devices" is more than just a worthy successor to the first two books of the series. It climbs new heights and plumbs new depths in the universe of the mobile cities. What it finds there is nothing short of amazing.

Tom and Hester have spent fifteen peaceful years in the ruins of Anchorage, which came to rest on the long-abandoned shores of North America. They've raised a daughter, Wren, and carved out a life for themselves among the quirky inhabitants of the city. Now, however, other forces are afoot. The Lost Boys and the mysterious Uncle are still at work in their underwater citadel, and soon Wren will be caught up in their net. Tom and Hester will wind up on a rescue mission that takes them back to the arctic, then to the floating paradise of Brighton in search of their daughter.

Meanwhile, other forces are at play in other parts of the world. The Anti-Traction League has regrouped in the Far East under the leadership of Stalker Fang, and is waging a relentless war against the cities. The battles are many but successes are few for either side. A new character emerges who may change everything.

Reeve deftly juggles the two settings. In Brighton everything looks bright and shiny on the surface. Yet Reeve uses the scalpel of satire with amazing dexterity to expose the flaws in the system.
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Format: Paperback
This story picks up some 16 years after book # 2.
Book # 2 left me disappointed.
Tom's indiscretion precipitated the revelation that Hester's
character was not as transformed as I was hoping it was.
The death toll, relentless violence, as well as the
overall starkness of this make believe world made the
story less of an adventure & more of a depressing series
of events where no one's character survives the tests of
the the journey unscathed. There simply is no true hero to root for.
I was hoping to find that as time passed Hester had mellowed out
but she seems even colder & dislikeable is this book. I realize that
this is politically incorrect of me, but I really felt that the error lies in
the presentation of Hester's character. Whereas it is somewhat
acceptable for a man to be matter of fact in killing (in his role of protector),
it simply does not work to have a woman have that role.
I really enjoy the ingenuity of this world, but the adventure is muted by
the gravity of overwhelming seriousness of constant life or death
situations that I long for something more fun with characters that are
worth caring about.
I gave up 1/2 of the way through & skimmed the rest...it was just as I suspected.
I prefer Shelly Adina's Magnificent Devices series, it's more light hearted
adventuring fun read.
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