Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve was on my ‘To Read’ list for far too long. It’s the first book of a tetralogy (The Mortal Engines Quartet, the Predator Cities Quartet, or the Hungry City Chronicles in the US. It’s a young adult novel set in the distant future, after the Earth has been ruined by the Sixty Minute War. Nations as we know them cease to exist, but cities are mounted on caterpillar tracks and fitted with jaws to chase and eat smaller cities, fitting with ‘Muncipal Darwnism’, the natural selection of city states.
Mortal Engines won the Nestlé Children’s Book Prize in 2002, and the author was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 2008 for one of his later novels, Here Lies Arthur (2007).
London is hunting its prey.
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.