Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Reeve's massive, ambitious Hungry City Chronicles series roars to a fine conclusion in this fourth installment. War is raging between the Traction Cities and the vicious Green Storm, but Lady Naga has brought about peace negotiations. Loyalists to the Stalker Fang still move about, though, and young Theo is enlisted to get the Lady Naga to safety. Meanwhile, Tom Natsworthy and his daughter Wren learn that there is movement within the smoldering, immobile ruins of London; they return to their old home to learn that a New London is being secretly built, a levitating city with no need for wheels-and no jaws for devouring other cities. Elsewhere, the Stalker Fang has activated a doomsday weapon called ODIN, with the intent of blackening the entire surface of the Earth, so that it might one day be green again. Battle sequences are punctuated by a sudden switch to present-tense prose, lending a sense of immediacy to the conflicts; the finale is poignant, and it elegantly references the opening lines of the first book in the series. Taken as a whole, the Hungry City Chronicles is a remarkable body of work, one that stands beside The Lord of the Rings and His Dark Materials in terms of re-readability and scope. Complex, intelligent and rewarding, Reeve's world is truly one to get lost in. Ages 12-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7-10-The final installment in the series continues the clever premise and breakneck pace established by the first three volumes. This story begins six months after the action in Infernal Devices (HarperCollins, 2006). A tentative peace seems likely to end years of warfare between gigantic traction cities that grind across the landscape consuming everything in their paths and stationary communities that denounce their destruction of nature. Then dissenting members of both sides sabotage the truce, and Theo Ngoni, Wren Natsworthy, and Wren's parents are drawn into the resulting mayhem. To complicate matters further, the Stalker Fang, a terrifying amalgam of killer robot and human corpse, has survived her presumed destruction and is intent on eradicating all human life so that Earth can recover from human depredation. Separate, interweaving story lines follow the principal characters as they encounter dozens of others from the earlier books while traversing the former Europe and Asia at top speed by airship, sand ship, traction city, and predator suburb. While readers new to the series will enjoy the hairbreadth escapes, humor, and romance, they may get lost in the complicated politics of the Traktionstadtsgesellschaft, the Anti-Tractionist League, the Green Storm, townies, mossies, etc., making the book more satisfying for readers already familiar with the impressive future revealed in the previous books. With its popular appeal and increasingly relevant theme of global-environmental conflict, this is a worthy conclusion to a series that ranks among the best science fiction for young people in recent years.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"The fourth book in The Hungry City Chronicles, which began with Mortal Engines (2003), is a rousing wrap-up for the series. The Green Storm forces are struggling to establish new static settlements and reclaim farmland, but the voracious and now unified Traction Cities are determined to pursue Municipal Darwinism, with cities hunting towns and towns hunting villages. Meanwhile, the Stalker Fang, thought dead, but actually resurrected, has her own macabre plans to cleanse Earth of human beings. There is plenty of violence and intrigue involved in the exploits of the well-limned principal characters, building up to a humdinger of a finale that will rivet readers."--"Estes, Sally" Copyright 2007 Booklist
Horn Book Review
(Middle School, High School) What can you say about a four-year-old series that ends? That it was brilliant. And exhilarating. That it was inventive to the max, epic yet always human-centered; and that it remained so up to the very last page. The final volume in the Hungry City Chronicles finds the uneasy truce between the Green Storm and the Traction Cities weakening; meanwhile, the resurrected rogue Stalker Fang works to redeploy ODIN, an ancient weapon of global destruction. Tom and Hester (old lovers separated by a bitter quarrel) and Wren and Theo (new lovers separated by circumstance) are caught in the middle -- Tom and his daughter Wren finding life and purpose in the presumed-deserted ruins of London, Hester and Theo trying to rescue the kidnapped Lady Naga, possibly the only person capable of averting world war. Throughout, the propulsive action and universal themes are lightened by humor, sometimes slapstick (as in any scene featuring Professor Pennyroyal), sometimes verbal (a general in charge of reanimating corpses into soldiers has a house called Dun Resurrectin'). The excitement builds to a riveting climax; the (beautifully circular) ending is bittersweet and compassionate. Devoted Hungry City readers will embrace Tom's conclusion ""that life goes on, even though individuals die and whole civilizations crumble away: The simple things last."" Simple things like love -- Tom's for Hester, Wren's for Theo, Pennyroyal's for himself, and the author's for the human race, deeply imperfect though it is. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
Taking his cue from "Dover Beach," Matthew Arnold's musing on isolation and anxiety in a world without faith, Reeve delivers a suitably explosive finish to his grueling Hungry City Chronicles. In the wake of the destruction of the Stalker Fang, an uneasy truce between the Green Storm and the traction cities is threatened by the kidnapping of Lady Naga, wife of the new leader of the Storm. Young Theo Ngoni finds himself swept along with Hester Shaw, the nihilistic mother of Wren, the girl he loves, and the Stalker Grike, who in his own dead way loves Hester. Meanwhile, Wren and her father Tom Natsworthy pursue rumors of renewed activity to London, the once-great city destroyed at the end of Mortal Engines (2003). And what's this? Lost Boy Fishcake and the re-Resurrected Stalker Fang are making their way across what used to be Asia to deploy an Old Tech satellite weapon called odin. All stops are pulled out in this pyrotechnic conclusion that follows multiple narratives with such rapid-fire transitions that it will have readers gasping for breath--and humming with satisfaction at the just-right end. (Fiction. 12+) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.