From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up–The intrepid survivors of Mortal Engines
(HarperCollins, 2003) find themselves in another thrilling, action-packed adventure. In this "town-eat-town" futuristic world, cities on wheels continue to overpower and devour smaller or weaker cities. Tom and Hester are persuaded to take Pennyroyal, a renowned explorer and adventurer, aboard their airship as a passenger. When they are pursued and fired upon by Green Storm fighter airships bent on destroying all traction cities and city people, the teens are forced to land on Anchorage, a traction city in the Ice Wastes region. This once-wealthy city is now sparsely populated since the majority of its inhabitants have died of the plague. Freya, the last of the royal family line, is the unlikely ruler, a petulant girl of 16. She believes Pennyroyal's tales of having seen green, fertile areas in the otherwise "Dead Continent" of America and rashly decides that her traction city will go there. Hester's jealousy of Tom's infatuation for Freya's plump prettiness compels her to commit an act of betrayal that sets a series of events in motion that includes murder, intrigue, revenge, daring rescues, kidnapping, torture, "lost boys," and resurrection of the dead. This exciting and compelling novel unfolds at breakneck speed with abundant plots and characters but readers won't have any trouble following along. It has more humor and fewer deaths than its predecessor but the characters continue to find themselves in moral quagmires. Events from Mortal Engines
are referred to frequently, and although it's not essential to have read it first, it's recommended.–Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ
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Gr. 7-10. Reeve ratchets up the action and the violence in the sequel to Mortal Engines
(2003) as Tom and Hester, now in possession of the airship Jenny Haniver
, which once belonged to an agent of the Anti-Traction League, find themselves being pursued by League forces. Scrambling to escape, they head north and land on the city of Anchorage, a small, nonpredator city that traces its name back to old America. Anchorage's young ruler has decided that the wheeled city will make its way over the frozen wastes back to the Dead Continent, and the vicious predator city Arkangel is following along right behind. Add to that a gang of Lost Boys, recruited and trained to infiltrate and burgle cities while its leader, Uncle, foments more nefarious plans. Despite Reeve's frequent flipping back and forth to tell the stories of various characters, this vividly told novel, the second in the Hungry City Chronicles, is still easy to follow; it's also gripping enough to leave readers anxious to find out what's to come. Sally EstesCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved