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Mortal Engines Quartet #4

Mortal Engines - Die verlorene Stadt: Roman

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"Mortal Engines – Die verlorene Stadt" ist der vierte Band in Philip Reeves monumentaler Fantasysaga voller Luftschiffe und Piraten, Kopfgeldjäger und fahrender Städte.

Ein neues Zeitalter des Friedens und des Wohlstands ist zum Greifen nah. General Naga, der Anführer des Grünen Sturms, ist fest entschlossen, den Krieg gegen die fahrenden Städte zu beenden und die Welt zur Ruhe kommen zu lassen. Doch als auf seine Frau bei einem Staatsbesuch in Zagwa ein Attentat verübt wird, flammt der alte Hass wieder auf, und die Welt läuft einmal mehr Gefahr, in einen alles vernichtenden Schlagabtausch zu geraten …

Mortal Engines – Die verlorene Stadt ist der furiose Abschlussband des "Mortal Engines"-Quartetts, in dem die Geschichten von Tom, Hester, Wren, Theo Ngoni, Anna Fang und Shrike zu Ende erzählt werden. Das spektakuläre Finale einer großen Fantasy-Saga.

Für Leser von Philip Pullman und J. R. R. Tolkien sowie Fans von Peter Jackson.

Das "Mortal Engines"-Quartett besteht aus:

Band 1: Mortal Engines – Krieg der Städte
Band 2: Mortal Engines – Jagd durchs Eis
Band 3: Mortal Engines – Der Grüne Sturm
Band 4: Mortal Engines – Die verlorene Stadt

563 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 20, 2006

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About the author

Philip Reeve

192 books2,439 followers
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 University Press, will be published in the UK in October 2015

Pugs of the Frozen North, written with Sarah McIntyre, is out now.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 956 reviews
Profile Image for Catherine Dacey.
26 reviews5 followers
January 23, 2019
Ugh. That's pretty much it. I wanted so badly to love this series, and to be honest, I do appreciate the world Mr. Reeve creates. I appreciate his clean and experienced writing style as well.
It’s his insistence on having all of the "good" characters constantly walking around as naive as they can possibly be that is killing me. It seems that with this series, it doesn't matter what kind of experiences the characters go through, they are either permanently naive and bumbling around depending on other characters to save them, or they are all of the other characters, which somehow all seem to be ruthless and always seconds away from murdering anyone that crosses their path at the wrong angle.

This isn't how real people function for goodness sake! Maybe one or two...here and there... And I suppose that's all well and good, but maybe it would be best not to create a series, four books deep, based on these poor shallow ‘good is good and bad is bad’ depictions of black and white, two dimensional, people.

I'm committed to finishing the series now. I'm on the last one, but my goodness. I'm just sad. I could understand the characters in the first book. And even in the second. But not only are we in the third and fourth books, but its almost 20 years since the first one. WHY IS TOM STILL EXACTLY THE SAME?!? How has he not grown at least a little weary? I appreciate that he hasn't let the events of the first two books taint the goodness that is at his core, but I can't swallow that he would still be bumbling around as empty headed and naive as he was in the very first few chapters of book one. You can grow to be aware of the world, without having it run you over and ruin your 'goodness'.

But seriously now, the guy has had news that he is going to die, and it’s all because Nimrod Pennyroyal flipping shot him point blank in the chest and damaged his heart. Tom KNOWS this! So instead of wanting to do anything about it at all, nope, lets just calmly have breakfast with the murderer and I guess we’re all chummy again. Never mind Wren and her willingness to forget that she was a SLAVE to the guy who she knows shot her father and left him for dead. She was also nearly abandoned by him when they were attacked. But it’s cool guys. This world doesn’t play by “fool me once” rules.

I think more than anything I’m just so sad for Hester, who I think Mr. Reeve has done an even greater injustice to. This woman has gone through so much in her life that Tom could never have caught up in the first place. But instead of expanding on what an amazing idea it was to have Tom grow to love Hester in spite of everything, all that you ever get is that Tom knows she’s ugly and he seems to like her anyway. Clearly not enough to keep him from wishing that she wasn't as ugly as she is, or to stop him from kissing another girl at some point, or to even take the time in the 16 years they haven't been running for their lives to, you know, maybe get to know this woman who is harboring an intense self-hatred, because while she was away...well when she ran away because Tom kissed another girl....she found out she was the daughter of the man that killed her mom and she’s spent most of her life hating, but hey, I guess Tom loves her. He lives with her anyway, and in the third book they even have a kid....Another Tom. Only her name is Wren, and she’s exactly as naive as Tom, oh yeah, and she’s an asshole to her mom. She literally says at one point in the fourth book “motherless not fatherless”. Like give me a beak you asshole, Hester did a bad thing. That doesn’t erase all the good things she’s done in the meantime, and it wasn’t even to Wren personally.

The kicker about Wren and her dynamic with Hester, is that Mr. Reeve has so obviously set this up on the foundation of Wren knowing her mother is ugly. Like WHAT THE EVER LOVING SH*T IS THAT? He talks about how Hester and Wren use to get along before she got old enough to realize the way other people in town looked at Hester. After that, Wrens whole attitude with her mother changed. I’m sorry, but what a shitty thing to do to this character. To both of them.

So here Hester is, undervalued, still an outcast, in love with an absolute, but 'good', moron, and Mr. Reeve, instead of using all of this to catapult Hester into a character that is going to come out of all of this finally unburdened, and valued, has decided to just do his best to make her despicable. Why exactly? That's my question. Why was there no other way to write this character? She could have been amazing and now she’s cliché. I mean really ‘That’s Hester Shaw and she kills people’.
It's this element in this series alone that has kept me struggling for the last 3 months to just finish it. Every single time I pick it up and try to plow on ahead, I’m blasted in the face by this character injustice. Every single time I read a chapter from Wren all I want to do is slap the silly spoiled assholeness out of her. And I’m not there yet, but I have a feeling she, and her now ailing and still so impossibly naive father, are going to save the rags of what is left of this world. *biggest eye roll ever*

The thing is, Reeve can do better than this. Oenone Zero is proof of this. Built innumerable stalkers yet did her best to destroy the Stalker Fang. This characters seems to be displayed in all of the complexity of an actual human, so where on earth was the same effort when it comes to the main cast?!

I’m going to finish this series. Even if it hurts my heart, I will get to the end, just to see how far he carries this blatant protest against realistic characters. I loved the idea of this world. It was new, it was unique, and it was set up to be visually breathtaking, maybe not beautiful, but breathtaking. But people aren’t black and white. I’m sorry. You can do one bad thing and still be a good person, especially if that bad thing was inspired by being hurt. Just like doing one good thing doesn’t make you a good person. The idea that Pennyroyal; a liar, a cheater, a murderer, and a flipping con artist, is still running around on top of the world and repeatedly welcomed back into the fold by Wren and Tom, all while Hester is outcast and forgotten about is just too much.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sara Saif.
543 reviews224 followers
January 23, 2018

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 tempted to heave a contented sigh after I finished them. The plot of this book runs wild in 200 different directions but you know it's all going to converge on a single point, it does and quite beautifully at that.

Let me talk first about the most savage thing known to mankind: epilogues. Not all of them are moving but the ones that are tend to go there ALL the way, ya know? I can count on my fingers the number of epilogues that made my eyes water. This particular one wasn't tearful but heartbreaking and brutal all the same. I cannot think of a better way it all could have ended. With the writer's tenacity to be mellow and funny at one time and pitiless and severe at the next, this was apt.

I'm happy for Tom and Hester. Hester finally got the love or the "show" of love, she truly deserved. Pennyroyal did not deserve to be saved again and again and that is the only thing that made me angry. Anna, Shrike, London, all the old characters came back and the story came full circle. (My ebook version must have been faulty or something because it says Grike throughout the book) I was also saddened by the fact that Hester and Wren never met again. That was distressing, Wren never forgiving her mother when she was alive.

Naga and Oenone Zero's track was something that came as a total surprise. The third book ended with Zero watching as Naga walked away making grand plans of taking over the Green Storm and fighting the war anew. This book began with the Oenone visiting a static settlement with Naga, her husband, to negotiate peace. Woah. That was my only reaction. And then the star-crossed lovers route their pairing took. So many obstacles, so much pain...

Surprise and trauma, these are the two things this book operated on.

“That's what History teaches us, I think, that life goes on, even though individuals die and whole civilizations crumble away: The simple things last; they are repeated over and over by each generation.”

But even dead people were shown no mercy...
Philip Reeve, you tragedy-loving ruffian.
Profile Image for Seizure Romero.
463 reviews143 followers
February 7, 2017
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 plughole. Theo took a step forward and waved the axe, but he was too gentle to use it, and he knew Cynthia knew it. Remembering the girl's vanity, he said, 'You look different....'"

Now what *my* reader may not know is that Cynthia, who has already been established as one of the 'bad guys,' is in the process of strangling Lady Naga, whom Theo is escorting and theoretically protecting. Call me nuts, call me violent, call me a psycho with anger management issues, but if I see someone who has already attempted to kill me strangling someone I like or am expected to protect, and I happen to have the good fortune to find myself holding an axe, I am pretty certain I will hit them with the fucking axe. I might not be so far gone that I will definitely use the blade-- the flat side or blunt end or even using the handle are all options-- but I repeat, I will hit them with the fucking axe. The only possible dialogue I can imagine engaging in would be something along the lines of, "Stop strangling -------, or I will hit you with the fucking axe."


This is an incomplete review. I will add to it when I'm finished with the book. My current questions are:

Why is the good, kind and handsome hero always so goddam useless in a crisis?

Why are the women who are the strong ones or the ones willing to "get the job done" either ugly & slightly nuts, or attractive & completely nuts?

There seems to be no middle ground here. There was one character who was strong, capable, kind AND neither gorgeous nor particularly ugly...but she's 'dead' and is being used in disturbing ways.

"It is complete now; two ends of time are neatly tied..." (finish that lyric...no cheating).

I have to admit I liked the ending/epilogue of this book (and series), but getting there was occasionally an irritation. At times it was like an old radio serial: the heroes seem to be in a safe place where they just might get a breather, BUT WAIT! Unbeknownst to our heroes: ninjas, Dr. Klaw, Lex Luthor AND The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu are all hiding in a trunk; meanwhile, a stray bullet/crossbow bolt/ICBM/woodpecker has pierced the balloon and the airship is now sinking toward the Ancient & Scary Field of Rusty Razor Blades and Other Sharp, Dangerous & Unpleasant Things!

I exaggerate only a little.

My previously stated complaints still stand (though at one point Theo DID actually hit someone with the flat side of an axe, so, yay). It seemed like somewhere along the line Mr. Reeve decided that happy endings are just SO recherché and he'll be damned if he gives us one. I do not require a happy ending (unless back rubs are involved--boomchickaWAWwaw), but when it feels like the author is trying too hard to avoid a cliché ending, the ensuing machinations to guarantee unhappiness feel contrived. And the semi-subtle moralizing-- good people don't hurt/kill under ANY circumstances, and I'm going to put my characters through hell to prove it-- just plain got tired. Then I end up writing long, cranky reviews which sound as if I liked these books a lot less than I did. I guess my real disappointment with the Hungry City Chronicles is that they are good books that could have been great.

Done now. No, really.
Profile Image for Adam Smith.
Author 13 books94 followers
October 15, 2019
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 characters, I have to mention the writing, or perhaps that should be the editing, or its lack of editing. Throughout the series, the writing was solid enough if nothing spectacular, and rarely distracting. For a while I even thought the quality had gone up in A Darkling Plain, but like the story, it seemed to collapse in the final third. Packed with action, yet filled with passive tense - these lines should be URGENT and TAUT but instead were weak and lazy.

"The Stalker's robes began to burn. Lightning was crawling across her calm, bronze face..."

The tone and tense was also inconsistent - making this possibly the worst written/edited of the four. It's mostly a distant third person in past tense, but every now and then we, the reader, were directly addressed, asking us to recall past stories. I rolled with it at the time, but thinking back, it was just unnecessarily jarring. Worst though, is that almost an entire chapter was in the present tense. I wracked my brain for a clever reason, because surely this was too big of an error - but if there is a reason I can't think of one. It even went into present tense for a couple pages close to the end. You'd think the finale of a best-selling series would be better edited.

The biggest sucker punch, and there'll be spoilers here, is Tom. The central character, at least for the first two books; and yet he is the same in this book as he was on the first pages of Mortal Engines all those twenty or thirty years ago. He has zero development. And then Philip Reeve makes him do something quite unforgivable and uncharacteristic: leave his daughter without so much as a hug. The reasoning itself was fairly contrived, but the act itself needn't and shouldn't have been so cold. Here we are, enjoying their conversations and five minutes later that sinking feeling that we've actually just had the final goodbye between Tom and Wren, with Tom leaving her a note to go in pursuit of Hester, giving her a kiss on the forehead as she sleeps. I'm sorry, but the Tom of this series does not do this to his daughter, not without a good hour of hugs and talk of how proud he is of her and he will fight tooth and nail to get back but if he doesn't he will always love her. It would've been hard (easy to write) on Tom, but THAT was Tom, not the man who sneaked away to never speak to his daughter again.

It was all downhill from there. I began not forgiving all the times the characters had been naive or foolish or for some reason allowed Pennyroyal, the direct reason for Tom's ill health, to continue living, or at least being a part of their travels. I'm not sure if Philip meant Pennyroyal to be a curmudgeonly bit of light entertainment, endeared to the reader - but he was not. He could've gone books ago and we wouldn't have missed him. And THAT ending - a grown man couldn't overpower an emancipated twelve-year-old with a penknife? Screw that.

And therein is the biggest problem of the whole series; amazing worldbuilding but characters that fall mercy to the plot. Things they said and did and thought, that you imagined would have a deeper revelation later on - Tom's insistence that he loves Hester, ugly, ugly, Hester, for instance, is never convincing, even with his inner monologues when he wishes she was prettier. No, 'She's ugly, but...' - it was just 'She's ugly!' Does she have no redeeming features, Tom, that you can call upon in your inner monologue? No, we'll just give her a kiss now. This makes us empathise with Hester, and she is certainly one of the most nuanced of the human characters, unable to rise out of the shadow of her father, Valentine. But even she is very single-minded.

It says something that in the final few pages you realise the most interesting and complicated character throughout was Shrike, the Stalker-robot.

I may not have enjoyed this series as much as I'd hoped, but it has been invaluable as a writer. It has really emphasised the importance of character consistency and nuance - no matter how good the world building, the characters must lead the way.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,317 reviews215 followers
March 27, 2019
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 liked their kid Wren, who was just annoying to me. I wanted to like her.. but ugh, I just couldn't. Besides them, Hester was okay.. but yeah, I didn't really like the characters towards the end of this series. If I could somehow get the characters that I met/loved in the first book by the end of this series - well, I think my opinion on everything would've changed for the better. However, that didn't happen and I ended up frustratingly angry with everything that was happening.

Overall, I'm glad that I finally finished this series but I am so freaking disappointed with everyone and everything that happened.
Profile Image for Andrei(Drusca).
216 reviews33 followers
June 7, 2023
Cum sa sfarsit volumul trei din serie nu puteam sa nu continui cu ultimul volum al seriei. Si bine am facut doarece actiunea contiuna sa fie foarte buna. Mi-a placut si finalul.
As volume three of the series ended, I couldn't help but continue with the last volume of the series. And I did well because the action was still very good. I also liked the ending.
Profile Image for Jonathan Terrington.
593 reviews559 followers
September 28, 2011
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, there are giant manoeuvrable cities - that eat other cities - and there are a lot of explosions, guns and action. Sound good? Read the conclusion to this amazing series. Or read the series...
Profile Image for Sesana.
5,197 reviews345 followers
October 1, 2012
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, emotionally satisfying and almost overwhelmingly bittersweet. Wren remained the character I was most likely to sigh at in exasperation, but Theo really gave her a run for the title. Then again, his missteps seem to fit into what I guess is one of Reeve's takeaways for the series: nice guys may not finish last, but they sure can be dumb sometimes.
Profile Image for Книжни Криле.
2,895 reviews158 followers
October 3, 2019
Откачената стиймпънк поредица на Филип Рийв върви към своята кулминация. Но вместо по инерция, поредицата „Смъртоносни машини” се движи шеметно напред, с пълна пара към „Мрачна равнина” (изд. „Егмонт”). Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле": https://knijnikrile.wordpress.com/201...
Profile Image for Daphne.
991 reviews47 followers
March 31, 2019
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 characters. It was entertaining, but not much more than that.

Personally, I would recommend just reading the first book, which was fantastic.
Profile Image for Wing Kee.
2,091 reviews29 followers
August 24, 2018
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 readers. The ships, the cities, the old tech and new and how they meld together, how characters and the world reacts to this world and interact to it, it's all utterly engrossing and in my mind visually amazing. This is, as I said, a tour de force for world building.

Story: This is where the book starts to fall apart again and since book one has remained an issue. The writing overall is solid, the language descriptive, however there is a sense of detachment and coldness to it that doesn't really allow the readers into the characters feelings and presence. The story is overly convoluted and long and for the story it tells I did enjoy the constant going from one location to another but as I said it gets a bit tedious and there are obstacles after obstacles for the sake of obstacles. The not so invisible had of the writer is also seen constantly with just near misses and escapes and coincidences and plot points and misunderstandings that it annoyed me to no end. On paper, looking at the entire plot and where it started and where it ended you see a good story and a rip roaring adventure. But how the story is executed is rather convoluted and contrived. The end is fairly poetic and I did enjoy how it ended but having it be that character and his weird obsession over the couple of books kinda also makes it weird for me and it feels like this would not be my choice as the narrator I would have wanted moving forward. Oh well.

Characters: Another really big issue I have had with this book and the series as a whole are the characters. Let's start with Hester first cause as much as Reeve thinks there is forward development and growth from book one to now after four books Hester is still a pretty terrible person and at her core pretty unlikable because of the way she is to others. I thought there were bits and pieces of her that were develop but then she does certain things in this book which contradict it and then swings back the other way, it's irksome. Then there is the Reeve hang up of how ugly she is and it's a thing over and over and over and over and over again (we get it, it's s thing for you) but I wished that this would not be her defining characteristic and that it would not be this shallow, but it is. Tom has been a wet towel since the start of the series and the same can be said of him, he's gained confidence, a personality and a drive and has become a hero but is also wildly inconsistent in how he's written that is also irksome. Then there's the rest of the characters which suffer the same thing, characters that jump around and if you look clearly don't really get a lot of solid and concrete development that changes them, but rather they react and act the way the plot needs them to at that certain moment showing how contrived their feelings and reactions are. I don't think Shrike is a good character to have in the end cause he started off as a weird character for readers to begin with and the unhealthy obsession that he has for Hester is frankly kinda creepy but oh well the feeling we are suppose to feel at the end of the book does include a somewhat...weird feeling for me.

I love this world, it's so creative and beautiful and in my mind visually arresting. The rest of the book and the series quite frankly have been problematic and it makes me sad that the characters and the plot is the way it is.

Onward to the next book!
Profile Image for P. Kirby.
Author 5 books68 followers
June 5, 2019
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 the noblest and darkest aspects of human nature.

But...UGH! The characterization is one of the series's biggest downfalls. With the exception of Hester Shaw, every protagonist is naive and kind to the point of "Please, won't someone just put the flibberingly idiotic, saccharin-sweet moron out of my misery, now!"

Typical internal dialogue for the protagonists goes like this: "Well, Mr. Badman is a very evil person, who has killed thousands. But I can't just leave him in the desert to starve to death..." Soon after being rescued by the Too-Stupid-To-Live protagonist, the antagonist will do something horrible. And...a month, a year later, protagonist will have a chance at comeuppance, but won't take it because...that wouldn't be nice.

Oh, for fuck's sake! Kindness is a virtue, but all virtues can turn into vices. Mortal Engines twists kindness and compassion into a flaw. Which, is hardly a lesson we should be teaching our young people.

Be kind, but don't let the world shit all over you.

The series is quite violent, but as I've noted in previous reviews, the writing's tone is the earnest and childlike style of a book for a much younger reader. Even adults, like the ever-infuriating Tom Natsworthy, have the emotional maturity of a ten-year-old. The result is a jarring juxtaposition of childish tone with deep mature themes. It's like two spinning fan blades that are just close enough to frequently touch, emitting a horrible rasping sound.

Would I recommend the series. To adults or mature young readers? NO! But it might be a good introduction for young readers who are just starting to read fantasy, provided they can handle depictions of violence.
Profile Image for Lesincele.
902 reviews107 followers
September 22, 2018
El inicio de la novela empieza bien pero la parte central se me hizo bastante pesada y para mi gusto tarda demasiado en arrancar. El final me ha gustado mucho pero creo que hubiera sido mejor trilogía. Eso si, unas historias super originales y con un mundo increíble.
Profile Image for Andy.
1,145 reviews74 followers
November 23, 2022
Das hatte ich schon lange nicht mehr. Der letzte Band ist der beste! Da hat der Autor wirklich alles reingegeben.
Die Charaktere finde ich klasse. Sie bekommen Raum zu zeigen, was in ihnen steckt, egal ob zum Guten oder Schlechten. Und Menschen (Figuren) reagieren, wie es Menschen nun mal tun. Bei manch einem weiß man einfach, woran man ist.
Doch so kann man als Leser auch etwas für sich mitnehmen. Das ist besonders wichtig für junge Leute. Immerhin ist es eine Jugendbuchreihe.
Als alter Hase sollte man wissen, wo es lange geht. Doch als Jugendlicher ist da noch viel in der Schule des Lebens zu lernen; über Korruption, Verleumdung, Verschlagenheit, Gier, Missgunst, Argwohn, Fanatismus, über den Menschen im einzelnen und die Gesellschaft im ganzen.
Profile Image for Silverwolf.
39 reviews
May 8, 2012
Utterly fantastic! I don't even know what to say! I loved the ending, and the fact that Shrike (our oldest character) finally remembers Fern and Raun. I do wish he had made more referance to Fever and the first books. I also picked up on the fact that Phillip Reeve also seems to like wolves! He has either a referance, an actual wolf, a wolf-headed gun, a wolf God, or a character with the traits (or name) of a wolf!! Phew!

Ok, characters now. Poor Fishcake! Living his childhood with so much betrayal, dishonesty and lack of stability. He was definately a character that we would have loved to reach out to and comfort. Hester and Tom; well it was a very new experience having to imagine young, valiant heros later in life. Often, books leave their character at the same age as they started with them, so that was interesting to have to do that, but that didn't make them seem to be different people; they were still Hester and Tom. Loved the Romeo and Julliet twist at the end... very sweet. Wren; a great addition to the team! Her romance with Theo was very uplifting and happy - you really start to care for them. I especially loved Wren's cunning and brave traits - she was awesome! Pennyroyal; uggghhhh, like a stain that won't come out, although you do get used to him and stop hating him after a while (mainly due to his amusing scene of complete cowardice, whilst trying to come up with a chapter in his book making him look brave - contradiction being King). Oenone; wow, definately my favourite character. Her aura of kindness and respect is beautiful, especially since she seems to have recieved the Holy Spirit from God (hence, she knows he is there and can feel him). She kind of acted as the future Jesus; peacemaking, kind, loving, forgiving etc.: definately worthy of leading the people. Sad that Tom and Hester die, but it does provide their legacy living on: Mag Lev cities in the future where Shrike awakes. Also, I'm glad that we caught up with the old crew (London lives forever!!) Clytie and Pomeroy were great, giving the wonderful name of London to the future of Mag Lev. Wonderful (I also like the fact that they survived by hiding in the Whale!).

Overall: fantastic - sheer brilliance!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Blue.
1,549 reviews86 followers
March 12, 2019
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 flavour
• Stalker was boring
• Hester was dull
• Tom should have died long ago
• Wren is a dull flower
• So much recalling from the last 3 books, was this to make it thicker?
• Past tense, present tense… everything was tense
• Why doesn’t Tom develop, is he a decaying whale?
• Tumble roll downhill into a ditch
I honestly.. just can’t. This series gave me blue balls because the ending was highly disappointing….
Profile Image for Birgit.
81 reviews16 followers
July 19, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Wei Cho.
212 reviews31 followers
July 25, 2012
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), instead, Hester’s place was taken by Wren. Both Tom and Wren traveled through the Bird’s Road Tom and Hester had traveled before and knew so well; while Hester was in the deserts with Grike, the Stalker that saved her life when she was a child.

The world finally seems to be entering a state of peace due to the efforts of Dr. Zero in trying to unite the static and moving settlements into one, but there are enemies from both bands who opposes the idea of peace through the perish of one of them. The last book introduces few new important characters, and really emphasizes in the old ones, especially those from London, the moving city thought to be destroyed by Medusa eighteen years ago. In London, lies a secret, which Tom and Wren learned and kept.

The narrative technique and writing style is more serious and mature, emphasizing in emotional and moral elements such as compassion, honesty, filial piety and respect, forgiveness, friendship, loyalty, and love. All of these qualities were expressed in the plot, through the characters, and the one that expresses them the most is Hester, when she shows affection towards Theo, whom she saved in the desert. The story brings full-circle in every aspect, character, and sub-plot introduced in the story, without leaving a single missing loop. The story felt almost complete in every sense.

I feel the end was good, but weak. Anna resurfacing through the Stalker was enough to set off ODIN? It was good, but highly romanticized; I was honestly expecting more action. The way it ended made me cry, not because of how it ended, but what didn’t happened! There wasn’t any redemption between mother and daughter. One last bit was very ironical, the thoughts of the grown-up Fishcake on Tom and Hester. Ultimately, the story ended in the beginning, literally (if you don’t believe me, read it and pay close attention). After I finished reading, I felt empty and dazed, like when the story ended, the characters will soon fade from me. But far from that, it will take time for the story to fade. It was really that good.

happy reading.

my fondest valedictory,

Profile Image for Becky.
5,215 reviews103 followers
February 9, 2009
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. That's just me.

There are so many characters--some we've known all along like Stalker Grike, Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw; others are newer to us like Wren Natsworthy, Fishcake, and Theo; some have been renamed like Lady Naga; others are completely new. (And let's not forget my personal favorite, Pennyroyal). And the plot is so complex. I'm not even going to try to go there. Needless, to say the "fate" of Earth is to be decided upon in this final book in the Hungry City Chronicles.

I will spend a few minutes, however, trying to convince you that you should read the series for yourself. I liked this series for the most part. The characters were well done. No character was all good or all bad. Most of the 'bad' guys had something about them that made them just a smidgen likable. If not likable, at least understandable. I don't know about you, but one of the things that drives me crazy is when bad guys are bad for no reason. When writers fail to develop these villainous characters, when they expect us to buy into the idea that they're evil incarnate pure and simple and without any humanity at all. The characters are complex. And that's a good thing. No where is that truer than in the case of Hester Shaw, a true love-to-hate, hate-to-love mess of a character. We're conflicted because she's conflicted. The characters are also memorable. Good, bad, or somewhere in between, I don't think I'll be forgetting Pennyroyal or Grike anytime soon. I liked the humor. Yes, this was serious end-of-the-world type drama, but there were enough purely funny moments that it was a delight to read. Mind you, I wouldn't want to live in this world! Bad things can and do happen. The books also had plenty of action and drama. I'm not all-about-action, I'm more character driven than plot driven...but I know plenty of readers who want fast-moving plots--action and adventure and danger and the like. This book had it and then some.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
Profile Image for WayneM0.
347 reviews33 followers
January 24, 2018
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. Tom was good as was Hester and they both finally seemed settled in their roles. It just made sense how they acted and were portrayed. Wren was always good and is again here and Theo was good in this one too, The Stalker Fang was also great and again a product of her time. The stalker Shrike was clearly my favourite character and I thought it was fitting how his story ended.
And of course Prof Pennyroyal whose legendary luck kept him alive but also taught him a few things in the process. A little less comic relief in this one but I still thought it made sense for his character to develop the way it did.

Lots and lots of action in this one which really zipped along. Not as many twists and turns but still plenty of suspense. The themes and action were a little darker and gruesome but again it fitted well. Also the theme of redemption that was so strong all through stayed strong all the way to the end.
That ending too was spot on I thought.

Overall I really enjoyed this series of books and highly recommend them. The themes are a little dark but also though provoking.
I'm also looking forward to the movie coming out soon to see what they do with this story.
Highly recommended.
Profile Image for MiM Metwally.
456 reviews46 followers
May 3, 2023
The fourth and final book in the story, this final instalment is an extension of book three, bringing a conclusion to each and every character.
The story starts with the usual cast, having been separated/ divided after the attack on Cloud 9, having them disbursed over the opposing factions and forces of the story. The events concludes their adventures and personal exploits within the greater events of the war going on between the cities, the green storm, and the one stalker vendetta of Fang.
It is satisfying in the sense of having paid tribute to each character, with a well served ending that has been meshed seemlessly within a single coherent piece of work, it did not feel over written or purposefully written to fulfil the objective of closure, this was a brilliant design and I'll give 1 star specifically for this.

Overall, it was a good journey, not a page turner, but was entertaining to read.

Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
703 reviews3,282 followers
August 2, 2017
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:
Profile Image for Stefan.
106 reviews
April 25, 2019
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 bit predictable and had a cheesy ending.
This book failed to keep my undivided attention nearly the entire way, even through the parts filled with action. I can’t say that I found the story to be nearly as compelling as the idea of it. At least this book brought the series to a proper conclusion.
Profile Image for Mathew.
1,492 reviews170 followers
November 29, 2018
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.
Although the whole book is well done, it is those final closing chapters that mark is as Reeve's finest achievement in the series.

Profile Image for Ilona Oeselg-Tigasing.
136 reviews6 followers
March 26, 2021
Lugemise ajal tekkis tunne nagu tahaks eelnevad osad uuesti lugeda, et sealseid tegevusi meelde tuletada. Selle raamatu lõpp lausa tõestas selle vajadust. Kuid targu ma seda siiski ei tee, muidu äkki satun tsüklisse :D
Profile Image for Gone fishing.
27 reviews39 followers
May 9, 2019
Imagine if Hester was a character written by a woman like. Just think how much better her storyline could have been.
Profile Image for Marcel Haußmann.
706 reviews26 followers
June 11, 2019
So beendet man eine Reihe alles kommt zu einen tollen Abschluss. Gerade die Rückehr zum Beginn der Geschichte fand ich toll gelöst. Ich kann die komplette Reihe nur empfehlen!
Profile Image for Jeff te cuenta.
89 reviews10 followers
August 9, 2019
Que final, por Quirke!!! Creo que nunca he llorado tanto en un libro como hoy, definitivamente, gracias Peter Jackson por presentarme estos libros. Fan por siempre.
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