Dark kids’ books: Mortal Engines

I remember loving the Mortal Engines books when I was younger; I was beginning to develop a proper taste in books, and it was hard to find dark books that were still suitable for an ten year old! My parents, my granny and I used to listen to the Mortal Engines audiobooks on long car journeys, along with the Series of Unfortunate Events series.

There are four books in the series, along with a spin off prequel series (which I haven’t read). Although the first two books are among my childhood favourites, the plot kind of tails off in the last two, which focus on the child of the previous two protagonists. Personally, I thought she was unlikable, annoying and bitter for no apparent reason.

The future they’re set in is great; detailed, interesting and wonderfully different (although it did make me think of a certain Ghibli movie…). Murderous robots, weapons of mass destruction, corruption, carnivorous cities, slaves, and a fair bit of death mean that Mortal Engines is definitely not your average children’s series! They’re so full of great ideas and you can tell the author has really had fun writing them, which always makes for a more enjoyable read.

I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like this series, and although the two main characters are teenagers I’m sure most adults would like them, too.


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