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.
I loved this. I want the TV series, without even having read the following book. This is how awesome (YA) fantasy can be.
Mortal Engines shows the reader a world a couple of hundred years into the future. A lot of the world has been run over by water and the remaining parts are pretty much lifeless. Cities have to hunt down towns and villages for sustainment: wood, iron and so on are fuel for the ovens that make the city move (because not moving is a risk, even if you’re the biggest around), inhabitants are ‘adopted’ and put to work.
Tom is just a lowly assistant, but he hopes to one day become someone, to contribute to the city of London. Just like his hero, Thaddeus Valentine. When Valentine turns out to have some bad sides and Tom is dropped into the wasteland of the earth’s surface, the heroic part of the unlikely hero story starts.
Tom discovers that the city authority has been keeping information from its people, that not all activists are terrorists and sometimes there is just no easy way out. Philip Reeve manages to build a fascinating yet terrifying world, add some Messages without being preachy and top it off with loads of fun.
Mortal Engines – The Hungry City Chronicles, Philip Reeve, HarperCollins 2001