- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 57 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Scholastic Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 31, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B076Q132R1
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Mortal Engines: Mortal Engines, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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For the plot line itself, the book quickly jumps right into the action, which has its own bit of excitement, but with that - a theme seen throughout the course of the book - there is a bit of a struggle with character development within the novel. The story is light enough for that to be ignored for the sake of appreciating the world that has been created here, but it does make you invest a bit less in many of the characters and leaves you asking why certain characters or moments were ever even inserted as they become more noise than contribution. That is not to say there are not plenty of interesting characters to appreciate, but you would just like to see those individuals developed a bit more.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable book, enough so that I picked up the sequel as quickly as I finished this!
UPDATE: Finished reading the sequel, Predator's Gold, which entertains but loses much of the novelty that carried the first one and continues to suffer from some of the same weaknesses. I will not be continuing the series after the second book.
Reeve is great at broad stroke world building. He creates the London traction city in a chapter or two. He shows us all of the levels, how it works, how people fit into it, and the larger world within which it operates, and he frames all of the major characters within the first 50 pages. After that we are off to the races on a high energy, twisty and marvelously colorful adventure.
And this is a marvelous adventure. Our hero is a bit timid but finds the swashbuckler within. Our heroine is tough, smart, resourceful, and on a mission. This is a fine team. Around and through them we meet a memorable cast of colorful and compelling allies and villains. This is ripping stuff. Lots of running, hiding, lurking, escaping, fighting, and derring do. I was a bit surprised by the level of violence, and not cartoon violence, in the story, but that's treated as a serious consequence of dangerous times and this is still, after all, a dystopian world tale.
So, I enjoyed this immensely and appreciated the high level of imagination and creative energy that went into building and then convincingly portraying this fascinating world.
Sadly, I can't say that I found the story to be nearly as compelling as the idea of it. I can't really put a finger on why I'm not enthralled. The idea is there, the action is there, but I guess the characters fall a bit flat for me. I am finding the book interesting, but not strongly and I've already started to lose interest in any of the sequels.
It's just missing the magic piece I guess.