Mortal Engines Book Review


Let’s set the scene for this Mortal Engines book review. The world is in a sorry state after the 60 minute war. There are 2 kinds of people left, Tractionists and Anti-Tractionists. Tractionists live on huge mobile cities and towns. These settlements move on huge tracks or wheels and are trying to destroy each other for resources. This is a process called Municipal Darwinism and is the core of Tractionist belief. On London, one of the big traction settlements, we meet our protagonist, Tom Natsworthy. A 15 year old history apprentice working in the museum whose life takes an incredible turn. It becomes a road of adventure where he must fight for his survival.

What do I think of the story?

The idea for this young adult book is fantastic and intriguing. Very different to the wizards, dwarfs, detectives, Sci-fi and social navigation that have become the basis of many young adult works within the last 20 years. 

Firstly I would definitely recommend this book to 8-13 year olds, as young minds will like this story. However being a firm believer that a really good YA book should not compromise story telling, I do feel Adult readers will be a bit disappointed. A few incidents and happenings are explained far too briefly or not at all. Leaving questions and reasons unanswered. To me it just felt rushed.

However, my son enjoyed reading it. He was 10 at the time and said ‘the moving cities were a great idea, but I don’t want it to be like that when I grow up. That would be scary.’  Proof positive that this book will definitely stimulate a young mind.

In conclusion, it not up there with Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, or The Hunger Games. But if you’re trying to interest a seldom reader, the subject matter might pull them in. Plus the vocabulary is not too advanced.

Don’t forget to check out My other Film, Music and Book reviews. And feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

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