In a starred review, PW wrote, "Picking up roughly two years after Mortal Engines ended, Reeve's second adventure continues to explore a future world in which cities navigate on wheels and prowl the surface of the earth, devouring other cities." Ages 12-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Gr 7 Up-The intrepid survivors of Mortal Engines (HarperCollins, 2003) find themselves in another thrilling, action-packed adventure. In this "town-eat-town" futuristic world, cities on wheels continue to overpower and devour smaller or weaker cities. Tom and Hester are persuaded to take Pennyroyal, a renowned explorer and adventurer, aboard their airship as a passenger. When they are pursued and fired upon by Green Storm fighter airships bent on destroying all traction cities and city people, the teens are forced to land on Anchorage, a traction city in the Ice Wastes region. This once-wealthy city is now sparsely populated since the majority of its inhabitants have died of the plague. Freya, the last of the royal family line, is the unlikely ruler, a petulant girl of 16. She believes Pennyroyal's tales of having seen green, fertile areas in the otherwise "Dead Continent" of America and rashly decides that her traction city will go there. Hester's jealousy of Tom's infatuation for Freya's plump prettiness compels her to commit an act of betrayal that sets a series of events in motion that includes murder, intrigue, revenge, daring rescues, kidnapping, torture, "lost boys," and resurrection of the dead. This exciting and compelling novel unfolds at breakneck speed with abundant plots and characters but readers won't have any trouble following along. It has more humor and fewer deaths than its predecessor but the characters continue to find themselves in moral quagmires. Events from Mortal Engines are referred to frequently, and although it's not essential to have read it first, it's recommended.-Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.