Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
In the years beyond the 30th century, after life as we know it is destroyed in the Sixty Minutes War, the world is divided into three: the Static communities, who live in farms and buildings firmly stationed on the earth, the aviators, who travel the Bird Roads in the sky, and the Traction Cities, the giant cities on engineered wheels who live by the Municipal Darwinism — the big cities devour the little cities for their resources. And the biggest Traction City of them all is London, on the move for larger hunting grounds and more resources.
Living in London are two very different young people — Tom, a Third Class Apprentice in the History Guild, and Katherine, an upper class noble daughter of the famed archeologist Thaddeus Valentine, whom both of them adore for his bravery and exciting exploits. Yet after London destroys the small town of Salthook whilst the three of them are touring the Gut (t... Read More
Philip Reeve(1966- )
Philip Reeve is a UK author and illustrator. You can read excerpts of his novels at THE HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES Website or THE LARKLIGHT Website. Or learn more about teh author at Philip Reeve’s website.
The Hungry City Chronicles — (2001-2011) Young adult. These are published in the UK first. Publisher: London is hunting. The great Traction City lumbers after a small town, eager to strip its prey of all assets and move on. Resources on the Great Hunting Ground that once was Europe are so limited that mobile cities must consume one another to survive, a practice known as Municipal Darwinism. Tom, an apprentice in the Guild of Historians, saves his hero, Head Historian Thaddeus Valentine, from a murder attempt by the mysterious Hester Shaw — only to find himself thrown from the city and stranded with Hester in the Out Country. As they struggle to follow the tracks of the city, the sinister plans of London’s leaders begin to unfold…
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve
We Will Unleash a Storm that will Scour the Earth.
It had been a while since I'd read Philip Reeve's first installment in the Hungry City quartet, and so my memories of the events that happened in Mortal Engines were a little hazy. However, nothing could make me forget the imaginative post-apocalyptic world that Reeve had created, in which massive Traction-Cities trundled across the wastelands according to the laws of Municipal Darwinism; eating any smaller city that crossed their paths. There was a massive death-toll by the end of the book, in which many of the principal characters had been killed (to the point of desensitisation), but our protagonists Tom and Hester managed to ride off into the sunset in the battered old airship "Jenny Haniver."
Infernal Devices by Philip Reeve
It has been sixteen years since the events of Predator’s Gold, and the Traction City of Anchorage has been peacefully settled on the Dead Continent for years, undisturbed by the war that rages throughout the rest of the world between the adherents of Municipal Darwinism and a terrorist faction of the Anti-Tractionist League.
Okay, if you haven't read the previous two books in THE HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES, then you probably didn't understand a word of that sentence. To recap, Philip Reeve has created one of the most vivid and exciting fantasy worlds in recent fiction, a post-apocalyptic world where massive itinerant cities roam the wastelands, preying on smaller cities and static communities. Those that want to put a stop to this dog-eat-dog world, as well as protect their homelands from the predator cities and "bring back the green," are k... Read More
A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve
Whatever becomes of us, we’ll be together…
I read the first installment of THE HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES back in 2003 with Mortal Engines and now I finally come to the end of the four-part story with A Darkling Plain. There is still a prequel to enjoy, but for all intents and purposes, this is the last chapter of Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw's adventures in a world filled with airships, traction cities, predator suburbs, static communities and terrifying animated human corpses fitted with robotic parts called Stalkers. With the title derived from Matthew Arnold’s "Dover Beach," (“and we are here as on a darkling plain, swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night”) a line which perfectly encompasses the tone and content of the story, Read More
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Fever Crumb is a prequel of sorts to Philip Reeve’s fantastic HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES, which started with Mortal Engines. I say “of sorts” in that it’s set in the prehistory of the HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES world, but far back enough in time that Fever Crumb doesn’t act as a direct lead-in to the larger series: instead of giving us more of the same characters, it sets up the major concepts and incipient events of the series. Though it’s set earlier, I recommend beginning with the later books, because while I enjoyed Fever Crumb, the HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES have a much stronger impact (think starting the NARNIA series with The Lion, the Witch and th... Read More
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
I loved every second of The Hungry Cities Chronicles, and knowing that there was a prequel in the works helped ease the sorrow that came with concluding the original four-part series. Though it is still set far into the future, "Fever Crumb" takes place what could be several centuries before the start of Mortal Engines. The Sixty-Second War doesn’t seem to have happened yet; instead the characters refer to a sinister sounding event known as the Downsizing. This isn't a post-apocalyptic world, but it's certainly heading that way, and the human population has long since forgotten how to wield the technology known to the Ancients.
London is the large but seedy backdrop to the proceedings, recently liberated from the tyranny of the Scriven, a group of genetically mutated humans whose short but brutal reign is still recent history to the citiz... Read More
A Web of Air by Philip Reeve
You Can’t Murder the Truth!
The second of the prequel trilogy to Philip Reeve's wonderful Hungry Cities series continues Reeve's imaginative, exhilarating, unpredictable story of life in a post-apocalyptic world where seagulls have rudimentary communication skills, people live in houses that can be hoisted up and down hillsides, and an ominous event known as the Downsizing has left technology beyond the understanding of the human population.
In this brave new world lives Fever Crumb, an engineer who has left the city of London in order to join the traveling theatre known as the Lyceum, escaping her newfound parents and caring for two children orphaned during the course of Fever Crumb. Though she enjoys her independence, she feels that her talents are wasted in lighting t... Read More
A Web of Air by Philip Reeve
I’m a huge fan of Philip Reeve’s Hungry City Chronicles, a series that has always seemed under-hyped and underappreciated to me. The first four books, beginning with Mortal Engines and ending with A Darkling Plain, are simply fantastic, set in a far future after the world has been destroyed by war and where Traction Cities roam the planet consuming all they come across (including smaller cities). More recently, Reeve has plumbed the depths of the world just on the cusp of entering the mobile city era. Fever Crumb, the first of the prequels, was a good start, with rich characters and an interesting multi-stranded plot (I gave it 3 ½ stars), but it was not quite as strong as the original series. With the second of the prequels, A Web of Air, Reeve has fully ... Read More
Scrivener’s Moon by Philip Reeve
What is to Become of Fever Crumb?
Once again I come to review a Philip Reeve book, and once again I'm astounded to find that no one else seems to have anything to say about it. It's also gotten to the stage where it is getting harder and harder to write coherently about Reeve's books when all I want to do is squee indiscriminately. Every time I open a book in THE HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES, I know without a doubt that I'm in for a fantastic read, and I'm running out of words to describe how wonderful I think they all are.
Scrivener’s Moon is the third book in the prequel trilogy to the original HUNGRY CITY quartet, following Fever Crumb and Web of Air. Set in a post-apocalyptic world after a mysterious event known as the ... Read More
Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve
Here Lies Arthur is a YA deconstruction/demystifying of the King Arthur legend. And a pretty thorough demystifying at that. Philip Reeve doesn't simply knock Arthur down a peg or two from chivalric magic-sword-wielding king of the Round Table, say, by making him simply a Roman general or an English chieftan who rallies the locals against the Saxons. No, Reeve takes him all the way down; in this incarnation Arthur is a small-minded petty brigand whose major qualities are that he is: boorish, rude, not too bright, vulgar, untrustworthy, unruly, violent (including beating his wife), crude, and (literally) murderous.
In short, there is almost nothing redeeming about him. In fact, take out the “almost” — there is nothing. What he does have is Myrrdin (Merlin), a charlatan of a magician but a master of manipulation and propaganda. Myrrdin is also a man with a v... Read More
No Such Thing as Dragons by Philip Reeve
No Such Thing as Dragons, by Philip Reeve, is aimed at a somewhat younger group than his excellent Mortal Engines series, though it has moments that might be a bit beyond that younger target audience.
Set in a medieval time period, No Such Thing as Dragons follows a young mute boy named Ansel who is sold by his father to Brock, the famed itinerant dragon-slayer. As Ansel soon learns, however, Brock doesn’t much believe in dragons, though he does believe in the rewards that come with pretending to slay them. Eventually, the two make their way to a mountain village where something is terrifying the villagers. Is it an actual dragon? A different beast? Something else entirely?
Brock and Ansel, joined unwillingly by an old con-man acquaintance of Brock who was pretending t... Read More
Larklight — (2006-2008) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Arthur (Art) Mumsby and his irritating sister Myrtle live with their father in a huge and rambling house called Larklight… that just happens to be traveling through outer space. When a visitor called Mr. Webster arrives for a visit, it is far from an innocent social call. Before long Art and Myrtle are off on an adventure to the furthest reaches of space, where they will do battle with evil forces in order to save each other — and the universe. A fantastically original Victorian tale set in an outer space world that might have come from the imaginations of Jules Verne or L Frank Baum, but has a unique gravitational pull all its own…
Goblins — (2012-2013) Ages 9-12. Publisher: This is a wild world of magical creatures and heroic adventure from the extraordinary imagination of Philip Reeve. The squabbling goblins who live in the great towers of Clovenstone spend their time fighting and looting. Only clever young Skarper understands that dark magic created by a vanquished sorcerer is rising again. From the lands of men come fortune-seekers — and trolls, giants, cloud-midens, boglins, swamp monsters, tree-warriors and bloodthirsty goblins are swept into a fabulous magical conflict to thrill all fantasy fans.