Review: Mortal Engines

Series: Mortal Engines Quartet: #1

It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.

Soon the city was lumbering in pursuit, a moving mountain of metal that rose in seven tiers like the layers of a wedding cake, the lower levels wreathed in engine smoke, the villas of the rich gleaming white on the higher decks, and above it all the cross on top of St. Paul’s Cathedral glinting gold, two thousand feet above the ruined earth.

The strength of Mortal Engines rests on the fantastic visuals of the world building: cities on wheels, roaming across the landscape, tearing one another apart for scrap. Nevermind that it doesn’t really make a lick of sense… it’s fun! (But seriously: it doesn’t make sense.) That’s one reason that I think/hope that the upcoming movie is going to be pretty fun, just so long as they go all out on those cities. Also… there are cyborg zombies for some reason?

Characterwise, I never really feel much for any of the main characters, other than a bit annoyed at Katherine. I get that she’s young, but she’s remarkably naive up until the very end of the book. I have some hopes she’ll be better later. Tom… for a main character, I don’t really like or dislike him. He’s just there. My only real outstanding question by the end of the book: how in the world can he fly the airships?

Overall, I enjoyed the book well enough to read the sequels. Perhaps not immediately though? I am curious where in the world it can go from here…

“You aren’t a hero and I’m not beautiful and we probably won’t live happily ever after " she said. “But we’re alive and together and we’re going to be all right.”