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Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  14,328 Ratings  ·  1,114 Reviews
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Adventure story set in an inspired fantasy world, where moving cities travel the globe.
Paperback, 293 pages
Published (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.
Hellothere It's post apocalyptic and computers don't survive an apocalypse all that well.
There actually are a few computers but they are mostly self contained…more
It's post apocalyptic and computers don't survive an apocalypse all that well.
There actually are a few computers but they are mostly self contained systems that even the people who own them barly know how to operate, let alone fix.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Hannah Greendale
Mortal Engines is an enchanting blend of steampunk, dystopia, and whimsy. The adventure is grand, the world is alive, and the characters are memorable.

In the distant future, the earth is little more than barren landscape cluttered with the rusted remnants of crumbling infrastructure. People have raised the cities from the ground, retrofitting them with rolling tracks and steaming engines to prowl the wastes in search of smaller cities to devour for scrap.

The mining town saw the danger and turn
It's town eat town world

I separate YA dystopian books in two categories based on two popular series. Hunger games it's children and books similar to Chaos walking. Mortal engines is latter.While it's bit older they are definitively branches of the same tree which has roots in old fantasy.

Mortal Engines is steampunk dystopia where after huge war ground become unstable and resources become scarce so entire settlements became mobile. Thousand years later and towns still roam and devour each other

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
Nov 07, 2010 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
Aaron Vincent
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
Jul 02, 2007 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Nov 10, 2016 Evelina | AvalinahsBooks rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Evelina | AvalinahsBooks by: boyfriend
So do they hand out those literary prizes for anything now? Second bad review in the same week, but I have to be honest. I read this book because my boyfriend read it when he was a kid/teen and he said he remembered it as awesome. Well, I guess we look at things differently when we're kids.

And yet - I know a lot of kids books that have brilliant writing, good story-building and don't need to be dumbed down.

Let me just put it in the form of a nice list. The good:
- good morals underneath
- nice ide
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
Mar 02, 2010 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absolutely everyone
Shelves: favourites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Book Queen
Feb 06, 2015 The Book Queen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tuçe Kibar
Jul 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
Feb 22, 2011 Rollie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Mar 25, 2011 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
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief i'm 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
Dec 21, 2013 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 ;)
Jan 23, 2009 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 11, 2016 Skip rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The basic plot is that cities are mechanized and roam in wastelands seeking to devour each other. Tom is an orphan, but has managed to become an apprentice, but gets embroiled in foiling an assassination attempt on his idol, who it turns out has some skeletons in his closet. Tom and the assassin Hester get left behind, and have to get back to the mobile version of London. I found the characters to be pretty inconsistent. especially Tom. Hester and Anna were the best characters. I think the simpl ...more
Ali Berk 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.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

I put off rating this for a bit, mulling it over but, in the end, I just didn't like it. I wish I could rave about it like most of the other reviews but, alas, it's just not to be.

It's not without any charm - which is what the little extra half star is for. I liked Anna Fang, for instance, and Pomeroy definitely grew on me, though it would've been nice if maybe (view spoiler) - but, in a way, that's part of the prob
Jun 09, 2014 Eden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 20, 2011 Imogen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Reshma Popat
Apr 01, 2011 Reshma Popat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jo Woolfardis
[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 02, 2014 Hilal Orhan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reeve , George R.R.Martin ile karakter öldürmede yarışıyor.
'Izzat Radzi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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)

Share This Book

“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.” 84 likes
“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.” 18 likes
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