Mortal Engines, the first book in the Predator Cities series, was released in 2001. It focusses on a futuristic (but Victorian-era) steampunk London. The story is in the period that follows a number of apocalyptic events that have resulted in the transformation of London (and I assume many other cities) into enormous machines that move and consume other cities.
Sounds pretty out there, I know. But that’s what fiction is all about. I haven’t read the books myself, but this upcoming movie has certainly got me interested. The blend of old and new into a society that has been to the brink is enough bait for me. The series takes readers through a story full of incredible settings and challenges and its popularity is backed by many glowing reviews on Goodreads, averaging a tad under 4 stars.
My preference is to read the first book before seeing the movie. What’s yours?
Mortal Engines (Predator Cities Book 1) by Philip Reeve
“It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.”
The great traction city London has been skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, the sinister plans of Lord Mayor Mangus Crome can finally unfold.
Thaddeus Valentine, London’s Head Historian and adored famous archaeologist, and his lovely daughter, Katherine, are down in The Gut when the young assassin with the black scarf strikes toward his heart, saved by the quick intervention of Tom, a lowly third-class apprentice. Racing after the fleeing girl, Tom suddenly glimpses her hideous face: scarred from forehead to jaw, nose a smashed stump, a single eye glaring back at him. “Look at what your Valentine did to me!” she screams.
“Ask him! Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw!” And with that she jumps down the waste chute to her death. Minutes later Tom finds himself tumbling down the same chute and stranded in the Out-Country, a sea of mud scored by the huge caterpillar tracks of cities like the one now steaming off over the horizon.
In a stunning literary debut, Philip Reeve has created a painful dangerous unforgettable adventure story of surprises, set in a dark and utterly original world fuelled by Municipal Darwinism — and betrayal. – GOODREADS
Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation of Mortal Engines is due for release Australia (6 Dec 2018), US/UK (14 Dec 2018). Take a look at the trailer below for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below. Or even just like the post to let me know you dropped by.
My Verdict: This trailer really shows the scale of this movie. My hope is that the scale and effects don’t detract from the underlying story. It looks impressive and both the book and movie are in my sights.