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A Darkling Plain (The Hungry City Chronicles #4)

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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  3,916 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
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 the entire human race.
Paperback, 533 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Not Avail (first published 2006)
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Jim No! These books follow a single story arc. They should be read in order!

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
...more
Jonathan
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
...more
Sesana
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Kelly
WOW WELL THAT WAS A TRAGIC ENDING.
Becky
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jonathan Combs
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reeve provides a beautiful ending to this massive saga. Although classified as young adult, these books appeal as much to this old adult. Great writing, subtle humor, gripping and inventive story lines (Municipal Darwinism--how great is that?), and characters you can actually love or hate, but never feel ambivalent about . Hester Shaw is a difficult central figure, partly because of her absolute cold-bloodedness, partly because she excuses her bad deeds by blaming them on her lineage, and partly ...more
Silverwolf
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
The final instalment of the Mortal Engines quartet is a triumph. While the first volume introduced us to the chief characters and the magnificent concepts of Traction Cities and Municipal Darwinism, the second was rather less urgent, content to deepen characterisations and to present new figures such as Nimrod Pennyroyal. The third volume was like the beginning of Act II, moving us on nearly two decades and giving us new protagonists such as Wren whilst also recapturing the excitement that disti ...more
Callista
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
I have to admit, after the previous three books in the Hungry Cities Chronicles I was a little disappointed with this one. Part of the problem was that the book is just so long. And I am not one to shy away from long books, but 'A Darkling Plain' just dragged on and on, so much so that by the time I reached the last 100 pages I found myself skipping chapters that were slow and uninteresting, just to get to the good parts. I was eager to find out what would happen to Tom and Hester, but didn't un ...more
Alexandra
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandst
Jan 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The characters are incredibly fickle and inconsistent, which makes the story widely discrepant. While the plot is fast-paced and filled with a lot of action packed sequences, I did not really like some of the interlinking subplots (such as Wolf and his one dimensional need to steal another city's technology). It is also annoying how Wren flits from one boy to another when she is in one or the other's presence, and making a seemingly heroic act to save London only to have second thoughts right af ...more
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)
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Chris Tice
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved
This conclusion to the Hungry Cities tales was awesome. I guess you can see I gave it five stars, so reiterating that is stupid but I just really liked this series, and the ending was so final I don't even want to read more about these characters. Yes, the ending was that satisfying!

The head hopping was the only thing I found quirky throughout the whole series because you never get to wonder what the next person is thinking or planning. Its all laid out for you. The action, characters, and plot
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Jo Woolfardis
The ending to this book was beautifully bittersweet, and it was a fantastic ending to a really good series of books that was handled and written well considering it was a such a dystopian theme. At times, perhaps more so in the previous books than this, but it felt as if the book was being a bit rushed: as if what was happening could have been more thoroughly explained, though this would possibly have taken the fast-paced nature away from this book, which is what makes them such good and fun rea ...more
Terri
I really enjoyed this entire series...very imaginative and extremely well-written. Thank you, Chris Tice, for turning me onto it!
Helen
One of my favourite series, it just kept getting better with each book. I could have cried at the bittersweet ending.
Sophie Beer
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I am now a shell of a human.
Mitchell
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
God damn, this is a great series.

A Darkling Plain is the final installment in Philip Reeve’s beautiful, creative, swashbuckling adventure series Mortal Engines. For some reason there is a statistical spike in the fourth book of a series being huge. Wizard And Glass, Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire, and now A Darkling Plain, which clocks in at over 500 pages and is nearly twice the length of any of the previous books.

Infernal Devices was the first book in the series to end on a cliffhanger, w
...more
Alex
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone and anyone
It began with Mortal Engines. It continued with Predator's Gold. It continued again with Infernal Devices. Now, after all the adventures, it shall end with a Darkling Plain.

For one last time we are plunged into Philip Reeves epic creation, for what could be the very last time.

Six months have past since the battle of Brighton, and much has changed: the Tractionits and the Green Storm have settled a peace treaty by the Green Storm's new leader General Naga; Theo has gone back to see his family in
...more
Hayden
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a fitting end to the mortal engines quartet
Christina
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Cried like a baby at the end
Rachel
I confess, I'm confused about these books. One of them, A Darkling Plain, boasts two stickers. "Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize" says one of them, and "Not suitable for younger readers" says the other. The writing in some places is catered exclusively to the (sorry) less subtle readership of the under-tens, with people 'teasing' and 'admitting' their dialogue like the book is a vocabulary lesson, and lots of side-notes in parentheses, which both lessons the impact and makes it mo ...more
San
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this series

Truly wonderful. The characters were easily loveable and even the baddies were complex and at times relatable. I can't wait to read the prequels now!
Lady Knight
No review in the world could do this book justice. It is amazing, noteworthy, brilliant, fantastic, and every other positive adjective you could think of! Philip Reeve is a genius! I love his writing style, and the ability to crack a joke during the middle of a tense battle scene and still have it come off wonderfully!

This time around, the whole world seems harsher, grittier, and darker. The action picks up six months after the events of "Infernal Devices", with Tom and Wren on the bird roads, T
...more
Oceaneyes12
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally, I was drawn to this series because I heard Peter Jackson is making this series his new project. Anything with P.J.'s stamp of approval must be good.

I wasn't disappointed. First off, I'm confused as to who this was written for. I read somewhere that it won a Children's Fiction prize. Wow...there are some mature and intense themes in this series. But they were written well. Betrayal, sorrow, love-- the author did a great job weaving all these themes into the story without overpowering
...more
Jessica
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Bullock
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent end to the story of Tom and Hester. It would not stand up well by itself, however. It is the fourth (and final) instalment in the "Mortal Engines" series, and the last two books seem almost to be one story split into two. To that end, there is a lot happening here that would not make sense to someone picking up the Mortal Engines series for the first time here.

The style, quality and feel of the novel is much the same the previous books in the series, so, if you are read
...more
Justin Hosszu
I read A Darkling Plain, by Philip Reeve. Philip is an author of many Young Adult books such as Mortal Engines, Fever Crumb, and Rail Head. He also illustrates books such as the Murderous Math Series by Kjartan Poskitt. He started out by studying illustration at Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology. He later became an author, after working at a bookstore, which got him motivated to write. Since this book takes place in the far fr future, it has no historical context. In the book however ...more
Cialina (Muggle-Born)
Traction cities, airships, battles, Stalkers, and a sprinkle of romance. The Mortal Engines Quartet comes to an end in A DARKLING PLAIN and readers of the series will not be disappointed. Everything we know and love about the series are found all in the massive 500+ page novel. A DARKLING PLAIN is not really something one could read in one sitting because of its length. But once it’s been finished, you’ll be craving for more!

There were so many story lines to keep track of in A DARKLING PLAIN. I
...more
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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
More about Philip Reeve...

Other Books in the Series

The Hungry City Chronicles (4 books)
  • Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1)
  • Predator's Gold (The Hungry City Chronicles, #2)
  • Infernal Devices (The Hungry City Chronicles, #3)

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“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.” 12 likes
“It will be all right, Tom. Wherever we go now, whatever becomes of us, we'll be together, and it will all be all right.” 6 likes
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