Mortal Engines – Philip Reeve

Mortal Engines – Philip Reeve

Wow, it is Thursday already? This week has seemed to fly by super quick. We might not have had another snow storm this week but we did have a freeze yesterday. Everything froze over. It was snowing, the really wet snow, and then the temperatures just dropped and everything froze. Here are a few pictures that I took with my phone, I did not want to risk taking my good camera outside in all of that cold and moisture.



That last image is of my grass…everything was covered in ice. I wish I could have taken my camera and gone out back into my woods. I bet I could have taken some fantastic pictures there. Nature, as brutal as it can be, is beautiful. I really love living in the country where I can see more of it…the woods, animals, etc.


Well, enough about the cold huh? Let’s talk about cuddling up with a good book.



Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet #1)

Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet #1)

Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet #1)

Author: Philip Reeve

Published: July 5th, 2018 (first published November 16th, 2001)

Publisher: Scholastic

Book Length: 336 Pages

Genre: Science Fiction (YA)

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

Buy the book: Amazon

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…

I’m sure many of you have seen the movie by now, I have, but the book is always better…well most of the time. In this case, I think listening to the audiobook was a mistake on my part. It was hard for me to focus at times and I did not feel a connection to much of the book.

This book has been out for a while now and undergone various cover changes. The one I have pictured is the most recent one that is listed on Goodreads. I think some of the other covers are great too but this one is my favorite. Maybe because I’ve already seen the movie. Psst…I read the book first though. I love this cover because we see London in its mighty power, ships flying to and from, with the sun shining at the top…foreshadowing! We see a person wearing a red face covering of sorts, staring at London, gripping their fist as they watch it pass.

As I mentioned above, I did have a bit of a difficult time getting into this book as an audiobook. I am not sure why but at times I just could not really connect with it. That being said, I did enjoy it.

This story does take a long time to really get into the details and pull me in. It wasn’t until about halfway through that I really felt I was invested. It might have had to do with narration, but it was more than likely just not engaging enough for me. I felt as if many events happened at random times but never really lead to any fruitful events. As we move through the story, the plot thickens and theme grows darker. The writing style is explosive almost, throwing new events in your face at every turn but seemed to level out as the plot moved along.

The pace was fast and with a choppy story and switching POV, it becomes hard to focus on or stay invested in. Near the end, the pace increased again and so many things were happening at once, many characters and places…sometimes I had to stop and catch my breath to gather my thoughts.

This was a unique story idea for sure! Traction cities, who would have thought of that idea…Philip obviously. But it is so new and original, really setting this story apart from others within the genre. Not only do we have traction cities, the larger ones ‘eat’ the smaller ones! It is a city eat city world between the pages of Mortal Engines.

The details provided were good, but I just couldn’t see it. It felt too unrealistic. How could a city as large as the one described as London be on traction? It just seems like it would break every time it tried to move. The amount of weight on top of it just…I have a hard time wrapping my head around that concept. I know, be open minded it is Sci-Fi. I am trying ok, but my logic is getting in the way.

Tom: I did not find this character particularly interesting. We do not see much development throughout the story and he falls kind of flat in my eyes. Maybe there is more development in later books.

Hester: I liked her character but it is hard to look past anything other than her appearance when every few sentences her ‘ugliness’ is mentioned. I wanted a description of what she looked like but all I got was constant reiterations of her disfigured, ugly face.

To be honest, each of the female characters were described according to their beauty or lack of it. That was a little upsetting. Thankfully they had good backgrounds and storylines that did not involve swooning for men. They had real motives and worked toward them.

Katherine: I really wish I was given more about her, she was one of my favorite characters.

This book was narrated by Barnaby Edwards. Now, since this was an audiobook, I like to talk a little about the narration as well. This was not one of the best. It felt as if he was trying too hard at times to pull the reader’s attention but that might have just been the story and the way it was grasping for my focus. With a non-monotoned voice, I did find myself engaged as much as I could be.

This is a unique book and a good start to a series. It could use some work but it is something that I might look into continuing with in the future. I do think that having seen the movie, this would be one case where I prefer the movie over the book. The characters are more appealing and the storyline flowed nicer and made sense. The movie also helped to clear up some of the jumbled world building. Overall, a good book with a fantastic steampunk spin on sci-fi.

Would you read this novel? Buy it or borrow it? If you have read it, what did you think?

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