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A Darkling Plain

(Mortal Engines Quartet #4)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  10,057 ratings  ·  739 reviews
The final book of the thrilling Predator Cities series!

London is a radioactive ruin. But Tom and Wren discover that the old predator city hides an awesome secret that could bring an end to the war. But as they risk their lives in its dark underbelly, time is running out. Alone and far away, Hester faces a fanatical enemy who possesses the weapons and the will to destroy th
Paperback, 533 pages
Published February 5th 2007 by Scholastic UK (first published March 20th 2006)
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Tammy The original series composes of 4 books. But also has a 5th companion book, taking place a few years before the 1st. Additionally there is a 3-book pr…moreThe original series composes of 4 books. But also has a 5th companion book, taking place a few years before the 1st. Additionally there is a 3-book prequel series(less)
Jason Harris Absolutely not. The series follows characters over the span of 30-35 years. Starting at this would be be confusing.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,057 ratings  ·  739 reviews

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Start your review of A Darkling Plain (The Hungry City Chronicles, #4)
Catherine Dacey
Mar 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Saif
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing

And so they lived happily ever after... (What I wanted)
What I got: And so the world moved on... (Which was definitely crueler)

It's one of the most under-appreciated books of recent years and given the fact that it's unique, unusual and witty, I suggest you go develop some taste and read it.

The story comes full circle in A Darkling Plain and if there's one thing I've come to learn about Philip Reeve it's that he takes you off-guard. He concluded each of his four books so satisfyingly I was almost

Seizure Romero
WARNING: This diatribe contains potential spoilers and rude language. It is also long. Proceed with caution.

Dear Philip Reeve: I really enjoy the books in your Hungry City Chronicles. They are fine stories with creative and compelling plots, often amusing dialog and interesting characters. You are, however, starting to piss me off. I'm on page 61 of the fourth book and I come to the following passage:

"Lady Naga made a horrible gurgling noise, like the last of the bathwater heading down the plugh
Jonathan Terrington
I love this series and in particular I love the end to this series. Although...
No, I'm not going to put in a major spoiler and ruin it for everyone even though it's tempting.
But to be brief as I always am when writing reviews. After all what is a review for but to inform the reader that they want to read the book and to give a little detail about the book.
But basically all any science fiction aficionado needs to know is that there are reanimated men as stalkers, there are orbiting death weapons
Adam Smith
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I gave the first three books 4-stars (exciting but with thin characters) and half-way through A Darkling Plain was of a mind to give this 5-stars, to acknowledge the worldbuilding and story aspects that spanned all the books, even though it struggled with the same problems. (See what I did there, Philip? 'Even though it struggled' instead of 'even though it was struggling'.) The final third of the book cemented a begrudging 3-stars, it was just terrible.

Before I even talk about the story and ch
This series was just such a disappointment after the first book, which I loved. I just feel like the characters were turning into their worst version of themselves.. or at least people that annoyed me to no end.

So many things in this book bothered me. I have no idea why Tom and Hester acted the way they did. It seemed like they weren't really parents at this point. Plus the whole leaving Wren to go find his wife with just a stupid ass note - oh hell no. Murder was in my eyes.

Not like I actually
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
A Darkling Plain is the longest of the Hungry City books, by a fairly large margin. But there is, after all, a lot going on here. There's hardly any padding, so it earns it's 500+ pages honestly.

Thinking about the book, I suspect that I wouldn't have liked it so much, or been so glued to it, if I hadn't already been deeply invested in these characters from previous books. Tom and Hester especially, who see their story draw to what is probably its unavoidable close. The ending is fantastic, emot
This book was a decent end to the series. I didn't like the third book, so many of the things in this book that were connected to that weren't great in my opinion, but I did think the author did a good job creating an ending that wrapped everything up. I just feel a bit like it would have been fine if the series was shorter, because now it got drawn out in a way I didn't particularly care for. The conflicts were fairly complex, and I just wasn't that invested. Neither was I too invested in the c ...more
Wing Kee
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
A amazingly creative world marred by really bad characters, author hang ups and the very visible hand of God.

World: The world is simply the best thing about this series. The dense, creative and mind blowingly deep world that Reeve has created here is the sole reason that I was able to finish this series. The sandbox that is created here gives a huge sense of discovery and wonder with the little bits and pieces of the past the Reeve sprinkles into his world (like the iPod) to tease and delight re
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
You have noooo idea how happy I am that this series is over and I don’t have to torture myself any longer.
There were so many mehhhh moments with this book that I don’t want to overdo it but keep this short and sweet. So let’s bring out the wonderful dot points!
• Was this even edited?
• Why are we still in their heads?!?! Annoying
• World building can no longer save this book like it did the last three
• Everything is tense but with no climax – it’s a massive blue-balls moments
• Needed salt… or some
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great book to end the series! Still a bit traumatized by all that's happened but I guess I should've gotten used to it since book 1.
Wei Cho
dear reader,

I can't believe this story is coming to an end. I will miss it SO much!

The final installment for The Hungry City Chronicles is finally here, and is a triumph. Who wouldn’t consider it a triumph after diligently reading through the previous books, enduring every twist and battle, to not have an appropriate ending for the characters and the story in general? It was a bit hard to get used to the idea that Tom and Hester weren’t together (or that their love had faded in the story), inste
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
I don't know if A Darkling Plain was all that much longer than the previous three books in the Hungry City Chronicles, or if it just felt like it. The book is a direct sequel to Infernal Devices. In many ways this is where it all happens, where it all goes down. All the books leading up to this point, this big showdown between warring powers. More action, less set-up. And action is good, right? But here's the thing, I personally liked the less climatic but funnier books which set this one up. Th ...more
P. Kirby
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, steampunk
Whew! Well, that's finally done.

The entire Mortal Engine series is a sad collection of missed opportunities. It has a weird entertainment value, which is why I read all four books. The plotting is fast-paced and rarely takes a breath. The world building--provided you can get past the impossible physics of mobile cities--is imaginative and the imagery original and cinematic. The characterization, with its reliance on often impossibly naive protagonists, nonetheless, is a realistic depiction of th
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

So I liked the first one, the second was OK but I really only read the third based on the fact the blurb seemed to take an nteresting turn. I loved it and then it all gets wrapped up by this one.
I loved this one too.

It had all the good bits from the others and then some.

The world building was again excellent and we even had some more old and new tech to understand. But again even though it seemed complex it still burst off the pages.

I think the characterizations were spot on in this one.
Hannah Greendale
Within the Predator Cities quartet, Philip Reeve has created an imaginative world and a cast of memorable characters. Each book is an invitation to a different time and place, transporting the reader to a remarkable world full of perilous action and extraodrinary adventure.

Spoilers Ahead: (view spoiler)
With a tentative truce agreed between The Green Storm and Municipal Darwinists, all seemed settled but for some, there must always be war and for others, there will be no peace until all mankind has been swept off the planet. Reeve did everything right in this final installment. The characters (Tom and Hester) that I had cared for so much from Mortal Engines are given the right ending and all aspects of the story including characters old and new and bound together in just the right way.
Michael Campbell
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was really a solid series overall. Some ups and downs, but the pros significantly far outweigh the cons in my mind. An imaginative and dark world, with very cool societal and technological concepts. As far as Young Adult Dystopian series go, I'm not sure why this one is glanced over for series I consider of significantly poorer quality(The movie didn't do it any justice or bring in any fans. Still mad about the little baby scar they gave Hester as well!).

I think the main thing is that the m
Angela H.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Uhm......the book was okay.

1.) Hester struggling emotions were expressed over 4 books as she struggled to reconcile with her identity as Valemtines daughter.

2.) Alot of action takes place with little to no details. I wish there was more details to add to the fast paced plot.

3) one pro was similar character display of Pennyroyal. He is selfish and only cares for himself.
Stefan Dolan
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Overall, this series is probably closer to a 1* for me. It is sad for me to say that I am thankful to be finally finished with this series. It was fairly painful to read and I think it has ended pursuit of never DNFing any book I start.
This version of a post apocalyptic world is very interesting to me, the world is imaginative, but the story begs to be written better. Characters were one dimensional, predictable, and hard to care about. Dialogue was extremely simple and cringe-worthy. It was a b
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, in-english
That's it, huh. The fourth book in the Mortal Engines Quartet and I still have. So. Many. Questions. But okay, let's be honest, a darkling plain was pretty good and so action packed that I sometimes felt like vibrating from my place.

I actually wanted to whine and shout about the ending because there is still so much to talk about but the last five pages changed my mind. They made me bawl my eyes out and I actually felt good with how it ended.
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, audio
Imagine if Hester was a character written by a woman like. Just think how much better her storyline could have been.
Ovi Buciu
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At once heartbreaking and heartwarming, the conclusion to the Predator Cities saga is incredible. I will long remember the brutal poignancy of its story and themes. This is a story about what it means to be human in a world of machines and automation. What it means to have a heart when all else is run by batteries. It’s about legacy and memory and hope and love.

The series has moved along with clockwork efficiency, cold as a machine sometimes, and yet it oozes heart and warmth. It’s hard to belie
Michael Fitzgerald
This was a hodge-podge - just a big mess of various threads, each eventually being resolved but not in any truly coherent or satisfying way. I can't think of one character that I liked. There were interesting predicaments, but I got no sense of the author's overall vision, and found many of his decisions to be detestable. I'm glad to be done with this series and will not consider the partner one (Fever Crumb).
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed the conclusion of this series! Still had a lot of good action and adventure that I’ve come to expect from this series. Also it was wonderful ending to all the characters stories that you’ve grown to know and love. So I was very satisfied with the ending and it just felt complete. Great series!
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

This was a fantastic conclusion to a series I have really enjoyed. This was my first time using audio for the series, and it was just as great an experience as reading the books physically. I really love this world and cast of characters a lot, and I'm happy with the ending.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it

That Romeo and Juliet bullshit absolutely destroyed me and i was really looking forward to read some other books, but guess ill have to wait for a while
And that last chapter with shrike and jsvhdjcbs
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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

Other books in the series

Mortal Engines Quartet (5 books)
  • Night Flights (Mortal Engines Quartet, #0.5)
  • Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1)
  • Predator's Gold (Mortal Engines Quartet #2)
  • Infernal Devices (The Hungry City Chronicles, #3)

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