ook three of the Mortal Engines series, a great twist to an interesting furture-screwed world where cities roam about on their wheels and tracks, devouring each other, and the planet has become a strange place indeed.
So Anna Fang, aviatrix from the first book, has now been remade into a stalker – a mechanically animated corpse (a shame too, since I liked her). She (or it) has been leading the Green Storm, a strange spinoff from the original Anti-Traction movement she was involved in, now more of an eco-militaristic force. And she and the mobile cities are fighting it out all over eastern Europe.
And Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw are middle-aged now. They are living happily on Anchorage, a gone-to-ground city on the lost northern flank of North America. They have a kid, Wren (as noted as in-the-oven in the last book) who is now a middle-aged teen and into little acts of rebellion, such as taking the dangerous “Tin Book” from the Anchorage vaults and giving it to the Lost Boys (little submarine-driving burglars). And what’s interesting here, in this YA book, is that Wren doesn’t care for her horribly disfigured mother. Really doesn’t care. And more disturbingly, Hester herself is feeling her relationship with Wren fray – she’d rather be back with Tom in their free-spirited days when they used to blimp about and see the world.
So then Wren gets kidnapped by the only Lost Boy her mother doesn’t head-shoot, and she’s off in into slavery with Tom and Hester in hot pursuit.
Okay, I really liked this book. Further, I was really taken aback that the mother and daughter characters didn’t like each other (in fact, Hester eventually hated her daughter). And Tom, he’s just still trying to be friendly and comes off as weak and ineffective. So for a YA book to go this way, well, hats off for including this family implosion. I also really loved the little fighter planes that have been introduced with crazy names painted on them, ones that will give you a smile if you get the reference (I loved Flying Officer Mandrake). So it’s a good book from a great series. For my blog-followers with teens loitering about in quarantine (or anyone with a taste for interesting steampunk scifi) this is a great read. Start off with the flagship book, Mortal Engines, and see if you don’t agree.