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Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,927 Ratings  ·  960 Reviews
"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."

The great traction city London has been skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, the sinister plans of Lord Mayor Mangus Crome can finally unfold.

Thaddeus Va
Paperback, Eos, 373 pages
Published 2005 by Harper Collins US UK (first published November 16th 2001)
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Havishmi Definitely worth it. I wish I could find this and read it again, I read it 10 years ago and could never forget it <3.
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 17, 2015 Jonathan rated it it was amazing

New Review Upon Re-Reading

Time has certainly tempered my approach to this series - particularly to this book - however I remain convinced that this work of fiction remains at a higher calibre of fiction than many others in the same subgenre of YA fiction. My re-read would therefore re-categorise it to closer to 4 or 4.5 stars in the light of the fact that I did not find it as engaging as reading it for the first time, and I hold to the notion that a book must be as fine the second time as it is
Aaron Vincent
Mar 23, 2011 Aaron Vincent rated it really liked it
Originally Posted on Guy Gone Geek

With the dystopian boom the market is now seeing, it’s kind of hard to find a true dystopian novel. Strange, isn’t it? There are lots of ‘dystopian’ novels being published these days but only few of it really fits the genre. Yeah, some books tries but that’s what makes the difference: it tries, it doesn’t just be. Gone was the bleak tone of the narrative. Gone was the relentless nature of the society. Gone was the subtle questions the readers have to ask themsel
Apr 14, 2011 AH rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA readers
Most awesome book 4.5 stars!

"It’s a town-eat-town world.” –Municipal Darwinism

Municipal Darwinism is a concept that hooked me right from the first page. Imagine a society where hungry cities roam, searching for prey. Imagine these huge cities, shaped like giant steel tiered wedding cakes rumbling around the countryside gobbling up smaller towns and settlements. Imagine the noise, the dust, and the deep tracks in the mud. This is the intriguing world of the Mortal Engines.

This is a world set fa
Jul 02, 2007 Emily rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who like strong female characters, children's fantasy, and books set in London
Shelves: scififantasy
I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It's has a great concept: mobile cities roam Europe "eating" each other. It has a nice, if off-beat, feel for London. On the plus side, the novel actively attacks heroic ideals, leaving a darker, more morally ambiguous world view than I'd expected. I especially liked how Reeve initially juxtaposes the beautiful, "High London" girl Kate, who is oblivious to the oppression that keeps her world afloat, with a physically and mentally scarred Hester, who is b ...more
Mar 19, 2011 Megan rated it liked it
Mortal Engines is a wonderfully odd, action packed, steampunk YA book that I never would have picked up if it weren’t for a recommendation from Ashley. It was a strange one for me to read and an even stranger one to review. This story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the societal norm is for towns and cities to be vertical and mobile. They acquire resources, art and workers by overpowering, or “eating” as they put it, smaller towns. Then there are the “anti-tractionists” who live in stat ...more
Wei Cho
Dear reader,


I don’t have enough words to describe how much I enjoyed this book. The genre, post-apocalyptic steampunk science fiction, has made it into one of my top favourite genres; it totally submerged me intoa new world. Reeve introduces us into a new, strange, colourful, yet gritty world, ruled by “MunicipalDarwinism” (town-eat-town world). His world-building was exceptional, creating an adventurous environment where cities move and “eat” each othe
Tuçe Kibar
Aug 10, 2015 Tuçe Kibar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Kitabi okumadan önce orta seviyeli çerezlik bi kitap bekliyordum ben. Ama Yürüyen Kentler vay sen misin beni küçük gören diyerekten ağzımın payını verdi bana.
Konusu okuduğum kitaplar içindeki en özgün konulardan biriydi. Insanlar, hayvanlar yürür tamam ama KENTLER?! Işte bu kitapta banliyöler, kentler altında paletler var ve sürekli bi hareket halindeler. Kendinden küçük olanları yemek için kovalıyorlar, küçük olanlar da kaçış halinde.
Kitap hep olaylıydı, bu yüzden elimden bırakamadım ben. Yaza
Matti Karjalainen
Philip Reeven "Kävelevät koneet" (Karisto, 2004) maalaa lukijansa silmien eteen huikean maailman, jossa yhden tunnin sota on tuhonnut sivilisaation sellaisena kuin me sen tunnemme ja ihmiskunta elää höyryvoiman liikuttamissa kaupungeissa.

Nuori museoharjoittelija Tom Natsworthy joutuu todistamaan murhayritystä, jonka kohteeksi joutuu hänen idolinsa, historioitsija ja tutkimusmatkailija herra Valentine. Attentaatin seurauksena Tom tempautuu mukaan seikkailuun, jossa omaa rooliaan näyttelevät muun
Mar 14, 2011 Rollie rated it really liked it
I’ve seen this book with a YA label on the cover and I thought it was silly for a book to be labeled a genre on it. Since I heard about the book before, I went home along with this. Yeepah!

Tom Natsworthy is a third-class Historian apprentice of New London, since his parents died and left him with small amount of money that could only support a third class of apprenticeship. Being a Londoner is a pride but being a third-class apprentice is mock. When he meets for the second time his hero, Timothy
The Book Queen
Apr 01, 2015 The Book Queen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE EVERYWHERE
Recommended to The Book Queen by: the wonderful person who put this on my library reading challenge list
I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK. One of my favourite books (and series) of all time. I've rated less than 10 books five stars, ever. Less than 10. These are the books I absolutely love; I'm completely blind to their flaws and will sit there and worship them. Mortal Engines is one such book.

Reeve writes an astonishing story with a brilliant and engaging plot. The world-building is fantastic: many centuries into the future, where cities are on wheels and wander over the earth eating smaller cities. It
This series had been on my to read list for a while and so I managed to grab my chance while at BristolCon last year to grab a copy and get it signed with an awesome little airship doodle in the front!

I confess that I am not a fan of this particular cover, but that is just looks and I do have A Darkling Plain in the beautifully illustrated one - I find this one looks a bit more like a game box! But I suppose it is trying to appeal more to boys?

I loved this - I think I would have loved it even mo
Excellent steampunk novel aimed at a YA/teenage audience.

This took me longer to read than it should but I blame the fact I went out three nights in a row so I couldn't really sit down and read it. Not drunk anyway.

The premise of this novel is very original: a thousand years into the future, after the Sixty Minute War, human beings have evolved the face of the planet so towns and cities are no longer grounded, becoming Traction Towns, and hunt one another to eat to keep their own town/city afloat
Jan 06, 2015 Fiona rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: absolutely everyone
Shelves: favourites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2012 Sesana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the very first page, when we are told that the city of London has gone hunting, I was completely hooked on the world Reeve created. Mortal Engines is set in a steampunk, post-nuclear world. Cities are on wheels, most of them, and consume each other in a system called Municipal Darwinism. Survival of the fittest city. The problem with that should be immediately obvious: sooner or later there will be no other cities to consume. And that's the central conflict here, how and whether London will ...more
Ali Çetinbudaklar
Dünya kurgusu çok güzel, çok yaratıcı geldi. Hakikaten o dünyayı keşfetme hissi uyandırıyor. Özellikle şehirleri aklımda üç boyutlu olarak kurmadan edemedim. Ama aynı şeyleri karakterler için söyleyemeyiz. Fazla olağanlar ve klişelerle dolular. Hikaye de distopya temelli; fazlaca okuyan biri olaraktan bu türü, çok da yenilik getirmediğini söyleyebilirim.
Jun 12, 2014 Fehiman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Yorumun aslı ve devamı Yorum Cadısı'nda.

Yürüyen Kentler, daha önce okumadığıma pişman olduğum kitaplar kategorisinin ilk sıralarında yer alıyor. Yaratıcı kurgusu, sürprizlerle dolu olay örgüsü ve kaliteli basımıyla favorilerim arasında. Türü ne olursa olsun, kurmaca kitapları seviyorsanız Yürüyen Kentler'e bir şans verin derim ;)
Reshma Popat
Nov 08, 2011 Reshma Popat rated it it was amazing
Mortal Engines,

The futuristic ideas throughout this book are phenomenal. Phillip Reeve throws in the idea of Municipal Darwinism, which is the concept of "survival of the fittest," in which towns eat other towns.

As a giant city and a powerful one at that, London; a stronghold; plans on depleting towns that are East. As a plan to do this they have a weapon known as Medusa, which London plans on using to destroy the long standing cities of the East.
Stolen from Hester's parents; Medusa is a weapon
Jan 23, 2009 Becky rated it it was amazing
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. In happier times, London would never have bothered with such feeble prey. The great Traction City had once spent its days hunting far bigger towns than this, ranging north as far as the edge of the Ice Wastes and south to the shores of the Mediterranean. But lately prey of any kind had started to grow scarce, and some of the larger cities had begun to ...more
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief im not actually mad!
I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! everything about it was just brilliant! from the world to the city's eating each other - yes I did mean to say that!! - to the outrageous, fabulous, lovable, fantastic characters.

what a brilliant idea for city to eat each other!!
"its a town eat town world out there"

I have never come across an idea like this before and I just loved the concept. it was awesome how everyday things to us blew their minds, and in return the mortal engines tech blew my mind! from the mov
Saoirse Sterling
[Short review from memory before my re-read in 2016:

Is it bad I don't remember much? There are certain snippets, but overall not a lot. I remember I enjoyed it, but books from my childhood have a habit of disappointed me in my adulthood. It's one I'm hoping I won't hate, it really is.]
Hilal Orhan
Jul 05, 2014 Hilal Orhan rated it it was amazing
Reeve , George R.R.Martin ile karakter öldürmede yarışıyor.
Jun 14, 2014 Eden rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The traction city London has been trying to avoid being eaten by bigger and hungrier cities that are in the hunting grounds. But the Mayor has some plans for London that will help it survive for a very long time.

Thaddeus Valentine is the Head Historian and he has a daughter named Katherine. One day they are in The Gut when a young assassin strikes and means to kill Thaddeus. A third-class apprentice named Tom jumps in and stops the assassin from killing Thaddeus. Before jumping, Tom sees her fac
May 29, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that I had looked at multiple times but never got round to reading, I think I took it out of the library at least 3 times but always had to return it before I had time to read it. But last week I knew I was going to meet the author at the 'Worlds of Tomorrow' event in London so I knew it was time to finally read it.
I looked for it on the Monday and it was out, I was so annoyed, thinking that now I had made time to read it, I wouldn't be able to, but that afternoon som
An Odd1
Feb 10, 2015 An Odd1 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, action, mystery, fun
"Mortal Engines" (Hungry City 1), first published book from Philip Reeve, are big hungry Traction cities on wheels, like London rolling eastward, to capture and plunder in Municipal Darwinism. Painful surprises in a dangerous future. Everyone has hidden depths and sides to their human souls. Even the Resurrected Grike, who rescues then hunts to kill (view spoiler).

Complicated motivations, twists. The author shows the reader what the protagonists do not see. A slowly (u
Noah Diewald
Jan 17, 2013 Noah Diewald rated it liked it
This is considered juvenile fiction but the story is more complex and less wishy-washy than a lot of what I've read that is aimed at adults. I think the only reason it would be considered juvenile is that it is written in clear prose and has sometimes naive teenagers who learn not to trust authority as the main characters. The author is incredibly imaginative and will break your expectations for how the story is supposed to progress at times. As is common for literature aimed at this particular ...more
Oct 29, 2011 Garrie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I must confess that I picked this up from a pile of books left lying around at work. I thought the cover looked cool and it had some good recommendations on the cover, I put it down and forgot about it, how I wish I hadn't.

Phillip Reeve writes a cracking tale of shattered dreams, lost innocence and the power of friendship all set in a disjointed future of scarce resources and scavenging cities. I was gripped from the opening sentence and read it in a day, 'It was a dark, blustery afternoon in sp
Beaulah Pragg
Apr 19, 2012 Beaulah Pragg rated it really liked it
When I started reading this book I realized that I had actually read it before. At the time I had thought it a bit weird and strongly disliked the ending. This time round I enjoyed it a lot more, perhap because I knew it was going somewhere (there were more books with the main characters to come).

The world Reeve has created is amazingly detailed and consistent. I love the way his characters are completely at ease within their moving cities and actually fear dry land (as is the case for Tom).

Paul Collins
Dec 29, 2012 Paul Collins rated it it was amazing
Most of the cities in England are hungrily trundling across the landscape, eating up smaller cities and towns for old tech and spare parts. The citizens of these fallen cities are either killed or enslaved.

Lowly third class apprentice Tom Natsworthy is unceremoniously thrown off London town – down a waste chute, no less – after having the misfortune to meet would-be assassin Hester Shaw. Together they must find their way back to London, each of course for different reasons. Much like Arthur Den
Rebecca Tayles
Oct 01, 2010 Rebecca Tayles rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting book. When I first picked it up in the charity shop I hadn't realised it was a young readers novel, and to be honest, it's rather dark enough for an adult to read anyway.

Years into the future and long after the Sixty Minute War where humanity destroyed much of the Earth as we know it, towns and cities have had to go mobile to survive. Called Traction Cities, they rove around the Hunting Grounds, 'eating' smaller towns - cannibalising them for their parts and taking
Jun 03, 2011 Imogen rated it it was amazing
My husband recommended this book when we were dating, and I read it to understand him a little more. I wasn't really expecting much, but I LOVED it! So much that we had a passage read at our wedding, which I wouldn't recommend though because if you haven't read the book, it's slightly confusing!!

I loved how our lives are completely misinterpreted by the characters in the book, and how things that are common place to us seem to be stuff of the Gods (like aluminium foil!). The world that Reeve cre
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Philip Reeve was born and raised in Brighton, where he worked in a bookshop for a number of years while also co-writing, producing and directing a number of no-budget theatre projects.

Philip then began illustrating and has since provided cartoons for around forty children's books, including the best-selling Horrible Histories, Murderous Maths and Dead Famous series.

Railhead, published by Oxford Un
More about Philip Reeve...

Other Books in the Series

The Hungry City Chronicles (4 books)
  • Predator's Gold (The Hungry City Chronicles, #2)
  • Infernal Devices (The Hungry City Chronicles, #3)
  • A Darkling Plain (The Hungry City Chronicles, #4)

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“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.” 77 likes
“Is it...dead?" asked Tom, his voice all quivery with fright.
"A town just ran over him," said Hester. "I shouldn't think he's very well...”
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