Saturday, June 16, 2007

Philip Reeve - Mortal Engines Quartet

The Mortal Engines quartet is a set of four (duh) books for children, but I would recommend them to everyone - in the same way the Harry Potter books are a good read whatever your age.
I bought the first book for just 99p, a great marketing trick, because they must know that as soon as you've read one, you'll just have to buy the rest!

Remember when "Raiders of the Lost Ark" came out, and it was sold on the fact that the action never stopped? Well these books are the same. The pace is relentless, there are no dull bits, the story absolutely rattles along at full speed, chapter after chapter.

I'm reading these books to my son, and I often feel quite drained after twenty minutes or so. It's great stuff.

I could tell you a bit about the plot, but I wouldn't be able to do it justice. And the writing style is very high quality without becoming to difficult for the young ones. I'd say these books were for seven years and older.
The stories are set in the far future, after a great war has wiped out the world as we know it. In this future there is technical complexity, but certain things are missing that we would find common-place. And here's the big idea - people live on cities that trundle around on wheels. Yes. I know. But actually it all makes sense and you soon totally believe this could happen. Big cities prey on town, towns on villages. If they catch them they chomp them up. But some people still do live on the ground, and tensions grow between the two groups. And then there are floating cities who prowl the seas, underwater cities, cities that lurk in the Arctic wastes. People travel and fight using airships. America is a mysterious wasteland with no life... probably. I'm just scratching the surface. Oh, and there's quite a bit of boy-meets-girl, girl-hates-boy, girl-changes-mind-about-boy, boy-marries-girl. But not too much!

If there was a God then Philip Reeve should be as rich as JK Rowlings. These books are fantastic, action packed, remorselessly exciting, superbly imaginative. One small warning. They can get a bit bloodthirsty, which my 8-year old of course likes, but I suppose others may not. People die in these books. Quite a lot and in a number of gory ways. But please don't let that put you off unless you're a very sensitive soul.

Highly recommended, 10/10, you could buy them here book#1 book#2 book#3 book#4.

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