- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Series: Predator Citites (Book 1)
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Press; Reissue edition (June 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0545222117
- ISBN-13: 978-0545222112
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 199 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Predator Cities #1: Mortal Engines (Predator Citites) Paperback – June 1, 2012
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Praise for Mortal Engines
"A page-turner, this adventure in a city-eat-city world will have readers eagerly suspending disbelief to follow the twists and turns of the imaginative plot." - Booklist
*"Exciting and visually descriptive." - School Library Journal, starred review
Praise for the Mortal Engines Quartet
*"Reeve's [Mortal Engines Quartet] remains a landmark of visionary... imagination." - School Library Journal, starred review (from review of Fever Crumb)
Praise for Fever Crumb
*"Reeve's captivating flights of imagination play as vital a role in the story as his endearing heroine, hissworthy villains, and nifty array of supporting characters." - Booklist, starred review
*"Beautifully written, grippingly paced, and filled with eccentric characters and bizarre inventions... this is a novel guaranteed to please Reeve's fans-and very likely broaden their ranks." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
About the Author
Top customer reviews
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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.
Characters are not one-note but could stand to have a bit more depth. The book also seems to struggle at times with tone. Much of the story is played lighter than the grim setting would suggest, which makes the few times the tone turns dark certainly not unwelcome but very noticeable.