Book Review: A Darkling Plain

A DARKLING PLAIN by Philip Reeve
Series: Mortal Engines Quartet, #4
Publication Date: February 5th 2007 by Scholastic U.K.
Rating: StarStarStarStarStar | |

I finally finished the Mortal Engines Quartet! School has been getting in the way, but I found the time to read this week instead of wasting time on the Internet. Woohoo!

The once-great traction city of London is now just a radioactive wreck, a ruin haunted by electrical discharges and the dashed hopes of the people who once called it home—people like Tom Natsworthy. Twenty years after he fled, intending never to return, he discovers that something stirs in the remains of the old city.

Tom and his daughter, Wren, aren’t the only people interested in London. The desperate armies of the Traction Cities and the Green Storm are also closing in, certain that whatever is taking shape within the city holds the key to victory in their never-ending war.

But it may be too late. Even as Tom and Wren hurry to uncover the mystery of London, Hester Shaw—estranged from her husband and her daughter—tracks the resurrected Stalker Fang, who has found another way to end the war and all life on the planet once and for all.

Traction cities, airships, battles, Stalkers, and a sprinkle of romance. The Mortal Engines Quartet comes to an end in A DARKLING PLAIN and readers of the series will not be disappointed. Everything we know and love about the series are found all in the massive 500+ page novel. A DARKLING PLAIN is not really something one could read in one sitting because of its length. But once it’s been finished, you’ll be craving for more!

There were so many story lines to keep track of in A DARKLING PLAIN. I have to admit that it was overwhelming at times, but for the most part, the different stories pushed me to keep reading forward. One moment I would be enthralled with Fishcake’s story line and the chapter would leave off at a cliffhanger. It keeps me waiting for the next chapter with Fishcake, but then I find myself completely immersed into the next chapter that I almost forget about my anticipation for the next Fishcake story.

I loved how the different story lines intersected, diverged, and intersected once more throughout the whole story. It was fascinating to see how all the characters are connected in some way or another despite the differences in their origin, class, job, or political views.

One thing I love most about Reeve’s books are the strong, courageous female characters that he creates like Wren.I found Wren irritating in the previous book so I was very happy with how she progressed as a character. I definitely feel that she matured throughout the book and I came to love her.

Shrike continues to be my favorite character out of the whole series. I loved how he has changed as a character from Mortal Engines to A DARKLING PLAIN. His story line was the one I looked out for the most.

I think one of the strongest points of the book is the ending. I don’t want to give anything away, but I have to say that I absolutely loved it. Endings are very important to me, and I don’t think that the series could have ended any better!

This book is strongly recommended for those who have read Reeve’s other books, of course including the first three in the Mortal Engines Quartet. Readers will not be disappointed with the series finale. If you have not read the series, and this review has captured your interest, I strongly recommend reading from the beginning.

Note: The Mortal Engines Quartet is currently not available in the United States. While it was previously published in the US, it is currently out of print and in the middle of the process of being repackaged by Scholastic US. I have found some copies of Mortal Engines through libraries, second-hand bookstores like Strand, and the GoodReads book swap. However, if you plan on buying a copy, I strongly recommend buying from the Book Depository.

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