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Mortal Engines

December 26, 2018

Although a children’s fiction book, “Mortal Engines” by Philip Reeve, is so original that it will also interest teens and adults who like science fiction. I found it enjoyable and intriguing, full of action and adventure, and new ideas.

Over a thousand years ago, in what was known as the “60 Minute War”, mankind almost destroyed itself. Since then, the remaining humans have had to become nomads, roaming the lands searching for food.  To assist with this, they figured out a way to take their homes with them by putting their cities onto treads – known as Traction Cities.  The cities, such as London, are of various sizes. When they sight another city (or town, village or suburb) they capture it and capture the people for slaves, and use its resources and components to keep their own city going. Many of the residents have only ever known this life. However, there is a group known as Anti-Tractionists, who believe it’s time for mankind to live on the land in stationery cities again. They live behind a large wall, designed to keep the Traction Cities out.

Tom, a young Historian from London Museum, prevents a newly captured girl called Hester from assasinating the Head Historian, Valentine.  He and Valentine chase her, but she jumps off the city – and instead of being grateful for his help, Valentine shoves Tom off too!  Luckily, they escaped being crushed by the treads and there begins the adventure as Tom & Hester try to get back onto London – Tom because it’s his home, and Hester because she is determined to finish off Valentine, who murdered her mother, an archaeologist.  She had a component that London wanted to make itself the supreme City and deal with the Anti-Tractionists. All this while they are being persued by

Meanwhile, Valentine’s daughter Katherine joins forces with Bevis, a young engineer, to discover why Hester wants Valentine dead. And then to thwart the horrific and diabolical plan they discover.

Peter Jackson has just released the movie of the same name.  It will be interesting to see if he continues on with the remaining four books in the series.  – Natalie

 

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