Mortal Engines Review

  • Author: Phillip Reeve
  • Series: Mortal Engines Quartet #1
  • Genre: Sci-fi/Dystopian
  • No. of pages: 336
  • Dates read: 29.05.19 – 10.06.19
  • Rating: 4 stars

I didn’t know much about this story going into it, I had watched the trailer for the movie and that was about it. I am so happy that I have found this series!

Plot: London is a city on wheels – a future city like you’ve never known before. In the terrible aftermath of the Sixty Minute War, cities which survived the apocalypse became predators, chasing and feeding on smaller towns. Now London is hunting down its prey, getting ready to feed. But as the chase begins, Tom uncovers a secret – a secret full of deadly consequences. Soon he is plunged into a world of unkillable enemies, threatened by a weapon that will tear his life apart.

First of all, the setting was unlike anything I have read before. I loved the world-building of the city of London with its many cogs, levels and pipes. It had a massive steampunk feel to it, the city felt like it was just patched together with what was available. Reeve did an amazing job in painting a picture for you of London and all the other places that we visit. I just fell in love with this messed up world.

The characters in this book were incredibly varied. I loved seeing Tom turn from coward to hero, becoming the hero he dreamed of being. I loved Hester’s character the most, she was a woman with a goal and was unwavering! (Ignore the fact her goal is to murder someone.) Katherine was such a beautiful and hopeful character and you just want to see her succeed. The female characters especially lift quite a lot of the male characters up in this story which was great to see!

One thing I didn’t love, there is probably a reason behind this, was the emphasis on Hester’s “ugliness”. She has a scar which haunts her everywhere she goes and I felt slightly uncomfortable whenever she was referenced as ugly or disgusting by all the male characters she comes into contact with, it’s a sign of trauma in her life and it’s something that should be dismissed as ugly and unworthy of someone’s time. But there is probably a deeper meaning to this but I had to say it.

I loved the different POV’s we got throughout the story, we were watching many different sides to this big narrative! We got Katherine’s journey of discovery, Tom’s journey of survival and Hester’s journey of revenge. All very different journey’s so it made for an incredibly interesting read and very dynamic plot!

The romance that brewed in this novel worked well for me. It wasn’t too over-empowering but also developed enough so you didn’t think it came out of the blue.

I loved the theme of loss that flows its way through the story. While I can’t say too much due to spoilers, nearly every character has experienced, prior to the story or during the story, some element of losing something and now has to deal with that loss. It was a theme that follows you from page to page.

My final point would be that it felt very much like a standalone novel, someone the actions and plot points felt very final to me rather than the pathway to a second novel. So, I am interested to see where Reeve goes with the series, as it’s quite unclear to me.

The next book I will be reviewing is The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell. A more light-hearted and fun novel. I am still re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as I am typing this but there will be a blog post about that book as well.