The 60 Minute War destroyed most of the world. Societies have risen and fallen and risen from the ashes of that catastrophic event. Thousands of years later, and the world is dominated by two factions: Tractionists and Anti-Tractionists.
Tractionists believe in Municipal Darwinism. They believe that only the strong should survive and the weak are theirs for the taking. They live in mechanical cities, nomadic machines that are ever-moving, and ever-consuming the cities that are smaller and weaker. When they devour smaller cities, those cities are scoured for parts and resources, and their people become enslaved. It is a ruthless, merciless, existence. Municipal Darwinists believe that, to live on the ground, the actual earth, is primitive, inferior, and backward. They believe that finding Old Tech from before the 60 Minute War is the path to power. Domination is all they understand.
The Anti-Tractionists live on the Earth. Many of them use air travel to get about. They believe that Municipal Darwinism will lead to extinction- a world completely devoid of resources. Most of the Anti-Tractionists live behind an impenetrable wall in beautiful cities, far from the reach of Predator Cities. They fight against Municipal Darwinism through an army called the Anti-Traction League.
In The Mortal Engines, Book 1 of The Predator (or Hungry) Cities Quintet (or Chronicles), we are introduced to characters from both sides of the Traction debate. Katherine is the daughter of the Head Historian from the Predator City of London. Her father, Valentine, is a Municipal Darwinist of the highest degree. She is raised with wealth and privilege. Hester Shaw is an orphan from an Anti-Tractionist family that lived on Oak Island. Her parents were murdered in front of her and their killer left a terrible scar across Hester's entire face. She has lived in poverty, seeking revenge, for most of her life. Tom is also an orphan. His parents were flattened in a freak accident. He is an apprentice to the Guild of Historians in London. He has been raised to think that Municipal Darwinism is the one true way.
Fate brings these teens together, challenging everything they think they know about right and wrong, good and evil, and the way the world should be.
Philip Reeve has created a unique, multi-faceted, engaging universe in his Hungry Cities Chronicles. Peter Jackson has brought this amazing world to the big screen. The Mortal Engines movie will be released in December of 2018. Here is the trailer which can be found on Philip Reeve's website: http://www.philip-reeve.com/
5 out of 5 stars
Read it? Loved it? Read the prequel series, Fever Crumb!
Jaime Sanborn's Book Reviews by Jaime Ann Sanborn, MLIS, SLMS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://jfsanborn.blogspot.com.