I’ve decided to write a series of short recommendations/critiques/summaries of my favourite books. These are titles you can perhaps purchase on one day delivery, or Amazon audible, to keep you busy during these uncertain times.
The second book on my list is Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. Admittedly, now that Peter Jackson has released his movie adaptation of the title, this book is not the best-kept secret it once was. The movie, whilst I personally consider it to be better than some others would argue, certainly does not do the novel justice. So, if you didn’t like the film and thus didn’t want to read the book, I would recommend that you change your tune and order a copy.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by the long ago fought ‘60-minute war’, settlements have taken to strapping on wheels and chasing one another for the scarce resources they need in a food web called ‘municipal darwinism’. Our protagonist, Tom Natsworthy, a resident and proud apprentice historian of London, falls out of the city and is thrust into the mad and dangerous world where predator cities hunt everything in sight.
With twists and turns abound, the first book of the quartet follows Tom’s quest for truth and his blossoming relationship with the terrifying Hester Shaw. Hester, for reasons that will become clear when you read Mortal Engines, is one of the most interestingly written characters I have come across in my experiments in reading science fiction. She alone deserves your eyes on the page.
For a post-apocalyptic quest like no other, pick up a copy and get reading.