Review: A Darkling Plain

4.5 out of 5 stars

A thrilling build up and climax to the very clever end of the Mortal Engines series. A Darkling Plain, by Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines #4)

darkling2The plot is so robust it’s impossible to encapsulate, but suffice to say: The Green Storm is winning the battle to end traction cities, but it’s no longer enough for the rebuilt, Jekyll and Hyde monster that is the Stalker Fang. She has a new endgame, and it doesn’t care if you move or hold still.

Tom and Wren end up aboard a nightmare drill city, Theo saves Dr. Zero and maybe the world, broken-hearted Hester and Grike traverse the world for redemption. Good old London isn’t quite dead, not yet. It will either end with them all, or save them yet.

darkling3I read a plot synopsis to refresh myself on this book and wow. It seemed so clear and gripping as I read, that I failed to appreciate its wild intricacy. Every plot line pays off. Every internal conflict moves as if alive. The pace is breakneck, the action never does the same thing twice. Good and bad guys are so narrowly divided, the line between them so gray, that everyone is a very human (or Stalker) mix of both.

There’s a parable here about respecting the Earth, about resources, and survival of the fittest existing at what cost. But like any great story, you don’t realize you’re thinking about your world while living in theirs.

Now go see Mortal Engines on 12/14, and hope there are enough of us to get the rest of this series made!


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