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Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines, Book 1
Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
Series: Mortal Engines, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 11-13
4.5 out of 5 stars (388 ratings)

Non-member price: $25.62

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

A different type of story

I decided to give this series a go after seeing the teaser trailer for the movie. From the trailer to what i have heard I can see there is possibly going to be some big changes from the book to the movie. The story is unique and is full of action and adventure a good listen or read.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great for 10-15 year olds

I happily listened to this with my 14 year old son - some bits were laugh out loud funny. Great

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Buckles under its own weight

It's a terrific story with a cast of interesting characters, some of whom are well fleshed out and dome who are not. The main antagonist is a cardboard cutout with an overriding objective that is ridiculous whilst the protagonist has no real motivation; he just drifts along with the story having very little agency. In fact, the only time he exerts influence upon the narrative, it is accidental and destructive. In contrast to these two, there are a number of characters who are complex and engaging.

The idea of great cities on wheels is unique and fun but ultimately the reader's suspension of disbelief is stretched to far and the entire premise occasionally seems more farcical than fantastical. There is so little science behind the premise, it asks the reader to ignore logic too many times.

The narration was excellent with a range of voices being offered to help the story along. This is one of those books that would have benefitted from sound effects and background music.

Overall, well worth the time despite some rough edges.

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keep in mind the audience of the book.

the world mortal engines builds is amazing and wonderful, however, I felt like it was inhabited by a weaker story and characters. this is mainly because I came in with a high expectation but then realised this book was written for kids to young adults.
Still, enjoyed the performance and the world despite it.

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Lives up to the movie hype

Bought this book after seeing the movie and it lived up to my expectations, the movie differered a little from the book but it was still a great listen. Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series.

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Good story

My children and I listened to this on a road trip and loved it! Can't wait to listen to the next one.

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fun and quirky

fun and presenter was great. I'm sure it has down sides but just have fun

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A wonderful book.

The whole story has kept me locked and waiting to see what happens next. The narration was brilliant and well delivered.

I am looking forward to the film adaption of this title.

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Interesting story, mediocre delivery

Really enjoyed the story. Wanted to get through the book before the movie came out. (a novelty for me). The story is interesting. It's engaging. The characters have personality.
However the narrator, was not my favorite. He tries. I mean, it's not exactly Stephen Fry level. His depiction of the female characters, lacks enthusiam. And the accents are pretty bad.

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Beautiful

Lovley snow balling story of love, companionship and heart break. The voice was perfect with a great British accent

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  • Karissa Eckert
  • 26-11-2017

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.

79 of 90 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 05-03-2019

How have I never heard of this?

I can’t believe I’ve never read this until now. Great story- the Steampunk tech is so rich, it draws you in. The performer not only has amazing voice acting, but manages to deliver dialogue with more expression than I’ve ever heard on an audio book. I’d actually seek out more by this performer just to hear him- he’s that good. Highly recommended if you are a fan of sci fi, adventure, or fantasy - or just good books well read.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • R. A. Paine
  • 20-07-2018

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.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy D.
  • 30-11-2017

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.

30 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • HappyCow
  • 18-01-2018

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Beliveau
  • 15-06-2019

I hope the movie was better

So, let me start by saying I bought/read/listened to this book because the movie looked good and I figured the book is always better than the movie. That still remains to be seen.
This YA adventure takes place in the distant future where cities and towns are mobile and “eat” each other for scrap metal, slave labor, and other commodities.
In this dystopian future, the world is managed by Guilds – the two major guilds are the Historians and the Engineers and the Engineers head Guildsman is also the Lord Mayor of London, who has designs to launch Medusa which will, essentially, annihilate any town or city in its path. The main story is around a young girl (Hester Shaw) who wants to kill the head Historian (Valentine) but fails and is flung off the moving London with 3rd level apprentice Tom Natsworthy. At first, they dislike each other, but then as they face conflict after conflict, they get to know and eventually like, each other and try to get back to London. Meanwhile, in London, Valentine’s daughter, Katherine begins to dig up the dirty history on her father that shows that he kills Hester’s parents and scarred her and is in league with the Lord Mayor to release Medusa which was stolen from Hester’s parents. The plot is long and convoluted and never lets up, but there really is very little actual tension.
The idea of this novel is unique, and the execution of Reeve’s world-building is detailed, but the story lacks something – Passion? Heart? While I realize I am not the audience demographic for this novel, I’ve read a lot of YA that delivers better on the promise of adventure.
The other thing about this novel that drove me absolutely crazy was that Reeve would change tense sometimes (from past to present). Because I was only listening, I think it occurred only with certain characters (Valentine and Lord Mayor Chrome) but I don’t understand why, stylistically, he would do this. It didn’t add anything to the story and after the second or third time, I found it nothing but distracting. Especially, since the rest of the book was told in past tense.
Finally, since this was an Audible purchase and I listened to it, I have to say that while Barnaby Edwards’ characterization and narration was excellent, I had one major problem – he pronounced “ate” as “ette” and that just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the work as a future where the average person was barely literate. Again, it made me bristle every time she spoke it and it took me away from the story.
Overall, this wasn’t worth the time, IMO, and not surprisingly, I do not expect I will pursue the remaining novels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Vincent Sr
  • 05-03-2019

Good Book.

A nice easy Book, I do recommend. The Movie - I Don't recommend. Enjoyed this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-2019

Awesome

What a great story and read very well. Absolutely gripping. I can't wait to listen to the whole series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Merry Belle
  • 25-02-2019

Big wheels keep on turning...

I was drawn to this series after the film, and delightfully surprised to be excited about a youth series - well developed characters, cool idea about a post apocalyptic world, and look forward to more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dogs & Horses
  • 19-12-2018

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.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • connor
  • 28-12-2017

amazingly narrated story

it has been years since I read this book and re-visiting this on audible made it so much better then I remember and the narration is first class and really brings the characters to life in a way I din't think would be possible

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-06-2018

Well that was good.

My brother recommended this. Said it was one of the best stories on the planet. He should know. So I risked it for a biscuit and got a cakes worth. Also bought the job lot for me mams birthday. Fantastic story and the narration is second to none. In fact the narration is probably the best I have on Audible. Blimmin brilliant.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-07-2018

Brilliant from start to finish

First audiobook and I loved it. Completely lost myself in the story and I am looking forward to the next one

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Pol Steele
  • 04-04-2019

A Steampunk Classic!

A fantastic adventure powerful enough to engage all ages and which works beautifully as an audio book. Excellent narration builds upon outstanding storytelling to deliver a truly satisfying experience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • themattdaniels
  • 08-02-2019

loved it, proper storytelling

absolutely fantastic performance. And a great story - really enjoyed it! Can't wait to listen to the next in the series

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Emily
  • 29-01-2019

Fantastically narrated! Listen to this book!

Absolutely brilliant. The narration is incredibly captivating. An absolute must for any avid audible listener!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 23-01-2019

The film peaked my interest, the book made me love

I actually only saw trailers to the film which released in December 2018 but what I saw intrigued me. After a google I discovered it was based on a novel and so that became my next purchase.

I absolutely loved it. The concept, the world and the story are great. Reeve is able to establish a intriguing and unique world (kind of a cross between Mad Max and Howl’s Moving Castle).

Barnaby Edwards is an excellent narrator and brings convincing array of characters (well voiced and uniquely identifiable) throughout. I would highly recommend it. I’m gutted to have missed the film but will definitely catch it upon DVD release.

I’ve already bought Book 2, didn’t even wait for my next credit!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas Trevor-Roberts
  • 19-01-2019

just fantastic narration and story.

A cracking tale from start to finish. Transported me away from my commute and to a different world. Philip populates his futuristic setting in a highly convincing way. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a bit of escapism.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Donald
  • 26-09-2018

I do like Philip Reeve

Read this book a long time ago when I bought it for my son before the series was complete. Now that it is being made into a film I wanted to refresh my memory. This audio book is well done. There is good chacterisation in dialogue and varied enough between characters. Would definitely recommend it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mrs rose anne underhill
  • 08-11-2017

Amazing adventure

This is another brilliant book by a very talented author, I loved reading it and enjoyed the audio book just as much . I can't wait for the rest of the series to be out !

7 of 9 people found this review helpful