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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

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    37
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    3
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    104
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    58
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    10
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  • Story

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Awesome world, lacking story to back it up

Any additional comments?

The fictional world this book takes place in is incredibly unique and interesting but it felt like the story lacked depth and the characters were under developed.

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Entertainig and unique

a little light on the plot but very fun none the less. I never really understood the benefit of the traction cities

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  • JSes
  • Orlando
  • 02-07-18

Oh man, I'm excited now!

That was so much fun! Well done! It was performed very well and had a super engaging story. I'm starting book 2 right away!

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Everything happened really fast.

I really enjoyed the book and I know it's part of a 4 book series so hopefully the pace feels right by the end but I feel like they could have taken a look more time on several of the events that took place. Other than my issue with the pace I absolutely loved it. can't wait to hear the rest.

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great story and premise.

only issue is that is a YA title, great story and fun listen.I find there not much meat on the bone in other, harder Sci-fi titles. Maybe this is my problem as I started this story after finished the Oathbringer Panzerstadt.

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A novel world

What did you love best about Mortal Engines?

The traction cities and city Darwinism were quite interesting. The image of a huge tracked city, or small wheeled town running across wind swept fields or through dense bogs was very evocative.

Would you be willing to try another book from Philip Reeve? Why or why not?

I'd be tempted just to see if Reeve evolved in his career. His world was good, story ok.. but his characters left something to be desired.

What aspect of Barnaby Edwards’s performance would you have changed?

His female narrative voice could be quite grating at times.

Any additional comments?

There is perhaps too much a star wars taint to this property. Many scenes feel as if they were lifted from a property now owned by the mouse.

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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.

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Clearly re-written to suit a YA audience

While I did enjoy the story, it's unfortunately necessary to make some minor adjustments in your head as to how you view the characters in order to see the story as it was originally intended. Beyond the first several chapters, it becomes glaringly obvious that the story was never intended to be aimed at a YA audience. The main characters must have absolutely been several years older. Descriptive texts about the workings and goings-on of the world have, with no question, been removed, like a poorly edited theatrical cut. While a good deal of sudden and horrific deaths and gore still remains, you can easily pick out where parts were modified or removed to turn this toward a younger audience. The lack of harshness where it should be, no lewd humor, cursing, etc. is almost distracting in several parts- it's like you accidently skipped a paragraph here and there. Several childish and completely unnecessary characters seem to have been forceably inserted, especially in the first half. It's sad to see the story suffer where it could have shined. It's almost like I can hear the publisher now, "no, no, no, I know it's mostly about genocide and murderous revenge but make it more like Harry Potter or we won't sell any copies." If you can put it aside and bear through the awkwardness of the beginning, the core of the story is fun and engaging. It certainly makes your mind run amock with curiosity, but it leaves you craving explanation.
Narrator is VERY good, easy to understand, has consistent and distinct voices for every character- one of the best I've heard.

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  • connor
  • 12-28-17

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mrs rose anne underhill
  • 11-08-17

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 !

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-08-18

I loved it and I’m looking forward to the film now.

A fantastic alternative to the apocalypse stories we know and love as science fiction fans. Gripping your attention all the way through with some truly brilliant reading, I’m off to listen to the next book.....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-06-18

Loved it

Loved this book it was amazing. Looking forward to the next one and the upcoming movie

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian C Dando
  • 01-02-18

Superb.

On all fronts this audiobook delivers, great characters, fascinating story line and wonderful narration - what more is wanted from an audiobook??

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MEJP
  • 12-23-17

good pace and story

the narrator did really well betrayed the characters well and I could to distinguish them easily.
the story itself is very good. I will be buying more in the series
I'm looking forward to the film that is coming out next year 2018

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-10-18

Good audiobook with ok story

Liked the narration and futuristic world but the characters and story were a bit shallow

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  • jude
  • 01-06-18

A solid book

Slow start, but starts to pick up. Looking forward to see how the other 2 books are.

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  • Sarah
  • 11-01-17

Brilliant story

Love Barnaby Edward's reading of the first book in the Mortal Engines quartet. Can't wait to see the Peter Jackson film when it comes out around Christmas 2019! Philip Reeve is a brilliant storyteller and the concept of moving cities which work on a system of 'Municipal Darwinism' is wonderfully clever.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-08-18

Great novel for all ages

Read this book as a child, remembered enjoying it then. Thought I'd listen again in time for the film coming out. Thouroughly enjoyed although the voice does take a little bit of getting used to. Really looking forward to the next ones!!!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 01-16-18

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful