Book Review: Mortal Engines

Reviewed by Taylor Champagne

In a futuristic steampunk version of London, written by Philip Reeve, young Tom Natsworthy dreams of becoming a historian. He longs to live a bigger life than the one in which he is trapped.

While working, he accidentally runs into his idol, Thaddeus Valentine, the Head of the Guild of Historians. During their encounter, a masked female tries to kill Valentine, but Tom chases her away. When Tom corners her, she tells him her name and that Valentine was the one who gave her the huge scar on her face. As the police arrive, she slides down one of the London chutes and escapes. Valentine questions Tom about the girl, but the mention of “Hester Shaw” causes Valentine to push him down the chute and off of London, attempting to let any information of the girl die with him.

To my delight, Mortal Engines is unlike anything I’ve read before. This book is filled with adventure and suspense. I recommend this book to any sci-fi lover and to anyone who enjoys connecting to the characters and their experiences.

Taylor Champagne

Taylor Champagne was a sophomore in the Gifted program at Hahnville High. She enjoys participating in Talented Theatre, the Engineering and Robotics Club, and the Beta Club, along with community theatre at the River Region Drama Guild.

Editor’s note: Book reviews are published throughout the summer and fall in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program and Unger’s “Adolescents Advocate Literacy” Brown Service Learning Grant.


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