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Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines, Book 1
Written by: Philip Reeve
Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 23.51
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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to the astounding world of Predator Cities!

Emerging from its hiding place in the hills, the great Traction City is chasing a terrified little town across the wastelands. Soon, London will feed.

In the attack, Tom Natsworthy is flung from the speeding city with a murderous scar-faced girl. They must run for their lives through the wreckage - and face a terrifying new weapon that threatens the future of the world.

©2001 Philip Reeve (P)2017 Scholastic Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed it

This was a good listen, the narrator had good and consistant accents for the characters and I can't wait to listen to the next book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

The potential is there

The start of the story is pretty good and interesting. The concept of cities on wheels is fun and keeps you entertained as the world is being developed. But that's as good as it gets. The problem I had plugging through this novel was the poor character development.

All of our main characters are whinny and flip flop their emotional radar on a dime. At times I felt I was reading the Maze Runner. While I have no issue with a character having an inner struggle as they start to see a world in a different way as it challenges everything they know, in this story, the author does a poor job bringing this struggle to light. The swing of the emotional pendulum of the characters never shortens as they continue to go from one extreme to the other and back again. It's not all bad as there are some saving qualities, mostly in minor characters, but it's bad enough that it takes you out of the story.

It also doesn't help that a wonderfully written antagonist was utterly ruined in the end in a weak attempt to give him redemption. Again, I have no issue with antagonists finding redemption, but hints have to be there throughout the story to make his change of heart believable. This is a character shown to be pretty evil throughout the story (and during his past), so why am I to believe that he was a good guy all along because you now TELL me why he did what he did. They just don't add up, and it was cheap and unrewarding. And his arc with his nemesis is also spoiled in the end by this redemption attempt.

The reader here is yet another reader who does a great job with the narration, but misses on so many point when reading characters. The dialogue was whinny, but his reading made it even worse. Even lines that should have been read with confidence were read as if the character was scared and confused.

I mentioned Maze Runner above as a comparison, so I will use that again. If you enjoyed Maze Runner, you will probably enjoy this title. If you didn't, you won't enjoy this one either. 2 stars on everything for me as the "it's okay" fits exactly what I think about this. I will not be readings books 2-3-4.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, too short.

I would have loved to have seen a lot more character development, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and also the characters, it left me wanting more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good steampunk adventure

A good listen to those wanting a steampunk story including action, adventure and moving cities. The story wont blow your mind, but the writing and performance will keep you interested. #audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unique Story

Loved the characters and Story. can't wait to read the next book and watch the up and coming movie.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Karissa Eckert
  • 2017-11-26

Creative but hard to stay engaged in

This is the first book in the Hungry City Chronicles, there are four books in this series. I was really excited to read this book; I thought it was something I was going to absolutely love. It ended up being okay but wasn't as engaging as I had hoped.

I listened to this on audiobook and the narration was well done. Edwards does a great job with having distinct voices for each character and with portraying emotion. It’s a book I would recommend listening to if you like audiobooks.

Part of my issue with this book was all the jumping around between characters; this made it so I never really engaged with any of the characters that well. When I finally really started getting into the story it jumped somewhere else.

The idea of cities that eat each other for resources is incredibly creative but I had some trouble suspending my disbelief about how this all worked. This was just a concept that was hard for me to process and really envision.

The characters were all so-so for me. They were kind of interesting but not all that engaging.

Overall this was an okay read but I don't plan on continuing the series. I just wasn’t that engaged in the story or the characters. The idea behind this alternate world is interesting but hard to find believable. I’ll be seeking out other steampunk series to read in the future.

50 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dogs & Horses
  • 2018-12-19

Fine for a road trip, but not compelling

I wanted to love this, but in the end I am not going to continue the series. The narrator was very good and I would listen to another book narrated by Barnaby Edwards. He managed to distinguish each character and keep them easily identifiable by the listener.

The world building here is somewhat unique, but Dr Who has done the mobile super cities in a couple of episodes dating way back and relatively recently. That's fine, but the tv show versions were easier to grasp the concept of and the reasons why they exist. The plot here is pretty simple and easy to get ahead of. I liked this book, but that's all.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • R. A. Paine
  • Riveside, CA USA
  • 2018-07-20

Not a horrible listen, but not great.

The story was ok. I ended up having no emotional connection with any of the main characters. I did eventually come to like some of the ancillary guildspersons.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy D.
  • 2017-11-30

Only some small problems

Overall, I liked both the story and performance. My only real problems are that the reader struggles with the female voices and the antagonist's plan is bat-shit crazy.

23 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Clifford Wooden Jr
  • 2018-12-22

This was a struggle to finish.

This was a struggle to finish. it was slow boring and predictable. I will not be moving forward in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Scott Nichols
  • 2018-12-18

See the movie instead, but don’t pay for it.

The concept for the story got me interested. The characters from the movie trailer seemed great. The narrator was amazing. Then the book was a let down. I will not be continuing the series since it really seems like it has no direction to go. VERY disappointed. Wish I had my credit back.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pinakeep
  • 2018-12-02

Action Adventure and Fast Paced

Its a fast paced, action, adventure book. The writing is good. The narration was good as well. The characters are likable. Makes you want to read the other books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Avery O'Brien
  • 2018-07-22

Garbage

How interesting are cities on tracks you must be asking? What a weird but actually interesting idea you must be thinking if you are reading this review. What if I told you... this is the wrong book to answer that question? What if I told you that the only interesting aspect of this book is completely in the background and gets maybe 5-10 minutes reading time in vague detail? You would lose interest right? Well let me save you some time and money and say that none of those questions were hypothetical.

15 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • HappyCow
  • 2018-01-18

Kids adventure story with violent themes

It starts off interesting but deteriorates into predictable land with helpful conveniences popping out of nowhere and numerous "when all hope seemed lost until..." moments that rob the story of it's potential excellence. Towards the end, things are jumping around so much is easy to forget where the characters are and what their task is. I may read the second book just to see if it gets better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-10-11

welp

Fotm fantasy series that reads through like a young adult fiction. It is an interseting idea, and the world building was good. However, I found the main characters to be whiney and unlikable; yes, even Hestor.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful