A Darkling Plain (Mortal Engines Quartet) - Philip Reeve

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A Darkling Plain (Mortal Engines Quartet) - Philip Reeve

In "A Darkling Plain", Philip Reeve brilliantly completes the breath-taking adventures that began with "Mortal Engines". Wren Natsworthy is enjoying l...

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Review of "A Darkling Plain (Mortal Engines Quartet) - Philip Reeve"

published 03/08/2008 | rosieemma91
Member since : 28/07/2008
Reviews : 40
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About me :
Pro Filled with well known charaters and action
Cons Reads as crammed with plotlines and hectic.
very helpful
Would you read it again?

"Not the best of the series..."

To be brutally honest, I felt ever so slightly let down by this book. It's a shame, because I thoroughly enjoyed Mortal Engines, Predator's Gold and Infernal Devices.

Also, if you haven't read the other books in the series, this review may not make a lot of sense to you, for which I apologise in advance.

I think what clinched it for me is Hester and Tom splitting up in the last book. Noooooo!! Hester and Tom are the couple where Tom is patient and kind, and fairly good looking (although ageing) and Hester is the deformed, violent, fiery one, making the match a good one as opposites attract. However, for me this started on a downer and rarely picked itself up.

The cover is good though. It's by David Frankland and is of a tatty looking airship making quite a bad landing with a backdrop of a yellow/gold sky. It promises much, but this book to me just doesn't seem to deliver.

It's set six months after the last book and Wren and Tom are now living in the Jenny Haniver and Wren has got what she wanted and no longer lives on the ground, but instead is an aviatrix haunting the skies.

However Tom is troubled, both by his heartache of loosing Hester and the pains he is getting from an old bullet wound which are getting progressively worse.

The story is split into different sections, and follows not just Tom and Wren but also Wren's friend Theo whom she met in the last book.

The has now gone home to Zagwa. a static city which he left when he went to join the green storm. However, far from getting peace in his home, in fact whilst the Queen and Lady Naga are staying there an air attack is launched, and it's up to Theo to stop it.

We also hear from Fishcake, the lost boy from the previous book, has now met up with the stalker Fang, a machine built from the body of dead aviatrix Anna Fang, but is nothing like how she was in real life. He is helping her to reassemble herself so she can go back to the Green Storm and reassume her position as leader. However, occasionally there are moments when memories and shadows of the real Anna emerge, only to be subdued by the cruel Stalker whenever possible.

Finally, we see Hester's story. She's now on the ground, just like she was in her youth, and is accompanied by the human like stalker Shrike.

Predictably, all of their tales and lives come together for an ending which ends one saga and begins another with the deaths of Tom and Hester and the coming together of Wren and Theo.

However, with all of the stories and all the action it seems as though Reeve has tried to cram too much in, and as a result made the final book in this series much less than I expected.

Yet, the ending of Tom and Hester's lives was certainly a good move, which leaves him the possiblity of a clean slate if he should want to write about Wren and Theo's lives in the future.

To conclude, I'd recommend this but only if you're a big fan of the books. For me, it was too frantic and hectic to make good reading, although others may not feel the same.


UK RRP - 12.99
Pages - 533

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Product Information : A Darkling Plain (Mortal Engines Quartet) - Philip Reeve

Manufacturer's product description

In "A Darkling Plain", Philip Reeve brilliantly completes the breath-taking adventures that began with "Mortal Engines". Wren Natsworthy is enjoying life as an aviatrix but her father Tom is troubled by matters of the heart - the last, shocking, encounter with Hester, and the old wound caused by Pennyroyal's bullet. Meanwhile the fragile truce between the Green Storm and the Traction Cities splinters and hostility breaks out again. Events are set on a collision course as things end where they began, with London... See all Product Description

Product Details

Type: Fiction

Genre: Children's

Title: A Darkling Plain (Mortal Engines Quartet)

Author: Philip Reeve

Publisher: Scholastic Point

Number of Pages: 544

Edition: Paperback

ISBN: 0439943469; 0439949971


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