Book 1 of 2017: Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

We’re on day 2 of 2017 and I am already a book down! And I’m 100 pages into Book 2 of 2017! I’m feeling quite proud of myself.

Technically I did cheat and start on 31st December, but I polished off Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve in the early hours of 2nd Jan.

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I have these cute 15th anniversary editions (which I did some work on). I love the style of the illustrations on the covers – it feels so retro and I just think they’re beautiful. I’m quite sad that these books are 15 years old now, and I’d never heard of them until I worked on them, and had never considered reading them until about 2 days ago. The series is being made into films by Peter Jackson, and I’m glad that it’s him, out of all of the people who could make this into a film. I think it’s such an epic and fantastic world, and after LotR I think he could build something that could, hopefully, do it justice. And hopefully it’ll make these books far more widely known. Mortal Engines was such a great read.

From what I’ve read I’d say the Traction Cities series was definitely in the YA genre, but not in the tacky two-a-penny way YA sometimes can be. I’d compare them with the Northern Lights trilogy. I know, BOLD, those are such classics. The writing style and world they inhabit feel similarly timeless though – fleshed out, well explored and tangible. Mortal Engines was really well written. It was fun and engaging and I felt like the description worked really well to construct the visuals in my mind. There were some ace plot twists and unexpected moments. I gasped a lot. I finished the book reeling and slightly in shock, which I always love. It feels like you’ve properly experienced a book. It was the kind of book where I was desperate to know what happened, but also hugely comforted knowing that I had a least 1000 more pages to go in the series once I’d finished Book 1. I’m trying to pace myself a little more with Book 2 and not gobble it all up straight away. It’s not going well but I think work tomorrow will help with that…

Really, I fell in love with the characters. Hester is so angsty. Tom is so sweet. I liked Katherine’s boldness, and Anna Fang’s kindness. I like the way Valentine’s flaws are explored. I liked their names. They filled the world, and brought it alive and I felt their cynicism and their wide-eyed wonder, their fear and their joy. I think the characters are so interconnected with the way the world is constructed. Their feelings are so intrinsically bound in the way their world works. I like that you got to see different sides of politicised issues within their world – concepts that transfer really well into the world as we know it.

It was just a fantastic book, and I feel really grateful that I’ve got to read it. I loved it, and I’d highly, highly recommend it to anyone.

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