Philip Reeve

Mark Robson

Dragon Writer
Aug 31, 2004
Daventry - England
Anyone tried 'Mortal Engines' by Phillip Reeve? This is written to be a young person's story, but I loved the writing and the idea was fantastic. There's now a sequel called Predator's Gold, for which I'm waiting (not very patiently) to come into paperback.

The story is post apocolyptic. The oceans have largely dried up and all of the world's remaining cities have been rebuilt on huge traction engines, so they move around. The cities survive by eating one another! The main story focuses around London, which is now a seven tiered city, (with St Paul's Cathedral on the top level) but is not as big or as fast as the big metropolis cities that dominate what was Europe. Now the scientists in the city appear to have built a secret weapon and the city comes out of hiding.

This is such a great story, with wonderful characters - both heroic and villainous. I'd recommend it to anyone who isn't quite ready to grow up!:D
I think you'd enjoy it. I thought it was a great read. I'm not sure what the cover looks like in the US. It has a picure of a couple of characters in a sort of hot air ship on the front in the UK.:)
Lacedaemonian said:
Sounds great, if not straight of the back of the Dark Materials. My cup of tea anyway!
Trust me, this is NOTHING like Pullman's Dark Materials! But given the responses I've heard from others who I've recommended this to, I doubt that you'll be disappointed. :)
I'm reading Mortal Engines right now (checked it out from my library) and really enjoying it! Luckily, we have the next 2 books at my library also!
I've read the first two books in the series. I enjoyed the first immensely, and read the second happily.
I've read the first three, and need to get the fourth and final one from the Library.

They're very good books. Although I think it's a shame the main character changes in the third book (you'll see what I mean when you read #3 if you already haven't).
I just read Mortal Engines and it's good. It's an odd idea and well written. The cities come alive and you can see them stalking each other. Moving across the globe hungry and hunting. At the moment I'm trying to find the rest of the series since none of the bookstores have them though they all have Mortal Engines.
I think I saw one of Phillip Reeve's books (possibly this one, I'm not sure), on a promotion at Waterstones on Saturday - get the book for 99 pence! So for any UK Chronicles people out there, now may be just the time to find out if you like this. I didn't buy it as I'd already gone over my quota of new books for the day :-( , but after seeing the recommendations here I think I'll review that decision :-D
The local Tesco store has the fourth and final book (A Darkling Plain) for just under £4.

None of the others, though, so it's useless for anyone who hasn't read the first three.
I actually saw they same deal myself Patrick and subsequently purchased it!
I'm throughly enjoying it at the moment and the story goes along at a good pace.
Saw this offer again yesterday when I popped into Waterstones, so I'm now the proud owner of 'Mortal Engines', and look forward, after Mark's very positive review, to reading it, as soon as I've finished my current pile... :)
Saw this offer again yesterday when I popped into Waterstones, so I'm now the proud owner of 'Mortal Engines', and look forward, after Mark's very positive review, to reading it, as soon as I've finished my current pile... :)

Of all the YA books I've read in the last few years, this is still my favourite. I doubt that you'll be disappointed with your purchase, Patrick. It's a super book.
I'm so glad to see other people enjoying the quartet! He's a very gifted writer: I've been a fan for a long time. He wrote an epic fantasy type thing called Here Lies Arthur too. Hasd anyone read it? I'd love an opinion on it. He wrote another book called Larklight. It's meant as a children's book, but I picked it up anyway. It's very good, really; certainly incredibly imaginative. The sequel, Starcross, is out soon.
Hello, everyone, by the way. I'm a new member!
I've read the first two books of the quartet and throughly enjoyed them. They were so unrealistic but yet at the same time seemed so real.
Two years after actually buying it I have finally read Mortal Engines on holiday and was very impressed. Good young adult fiction is sadly wasted on the young.

Have ordered volume two from Amazon and hope it's as good as the first.

This is my first post by the way. Hello everyone.

I've almost finished Mortal Engines. I'm enjoying it, and I'm really impressed by (and jealous of) the ideas and imagination but...

The writing is irritating the hell out of me! I keep thinking 'why didn't his editor do something about this?!' Reading the other posts in this thread, I guess I'm in the minority, but the constant head hopping (even into the wolf's POV at one point) keeps throwing me out of the story. Plus I can't stand the switches from past tense to present tense. I see what he (Reeve) is trying to do with that, but in my opinion, it just doesn't work. In fact, I start reading those bits in past tense until I realise it's in present and then it just pulls me out of the story. Gah!

So yes. Good story. Bad writing. (Well, not bad, just not my taste.)

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