Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeves: Review

Mortal Engines book review

A steam punk tale of revenge, technology and the old ways

Soon to be a all conquering film directed by Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson, Phillip Reeves novel explores a world where London is a high flying town, looking to take over the world through an evil invention called MEDUSA. It examines the idea of expansion of national power at the expense of individual liberty. But also what Darwinsm as it is a city eat city world in this future universe created. In the novel this kind of Darwinsm being named municipal Darwinsm.

The plot resolves around a young historian apprentice called Tom and a girl called Hester Shaw. They come into contact with each other to Hester seeking revenge against the Head Historian Valentine who she attempts to kill. However, Tom stops her in which he reveals an unusual scar across her face, Hester stating the scar is Valentines fault. Tom confronts Valentine only to suffer the same fate as Hester as he is thrown off the air bound city that is London. Hesters revenge however will have to wait. As the trio, along with Valentines daughter and pet wolf, Katherine and Dog, become embroiled in a massive plot, involving London trying to take over the world. London, with the power of its death star-esque like weapon MEDUSA, looks to be the sole city in the world with the evil Crome at its helm.

A conflict between technology and religion can arguably be seen as it is the historians vs. The Engineers. The historians keeping old relics and enjoying how things used to be, which also reflects the ant-tractionist views. The ant-tractionists being the city’s that still live on the ground mainly and do not going around eating other cities. The anti-traction league leaving in the land. On the other side, is the engineers who focus on technology and using it to expand their lifestyle and live forever as shown through the robocop stalkers.

This was a great book to start the quartlet of books, having a creative concept. I am looking forward to how Peter Jackson adapts this, as he has a great deal of depth to display on film.



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