Bit of an old one today, that has been made current again by the recent film. I’ve yet to see the movie, but this book is a proper dystopian classic…
The novel follows our hero, Tom who is a teenage Apprentice Historian in London. But in this post apocalyptic world London is a movable traction city vehicle, a massive lumbering hulk with buildings and engines and people living on it. They hunt and destroy smaller city vehicles for parts and resources. However, not everyone believes this is a cause for celebration. Tom accidentally interrupts the apprehension of a fugitive Hester Shaw but when he tries to help it’s clear he has seen too much and his own superior pushes him from London.
Hester and Tom then go on a fantastical series of adventures escaping from Cyborgs, meeting airship pilots and encountering pilot towns, ultimately getting themselves on a mission to stop an ancient deadly weapon called MEDUSA.
The story is thrilling, the characters well realised and complex and while some of the themes are quite adult it’s a great bridging novel between middle grade/older children fiction and full YA angst and violence.
It’s the first in a series, and while there’s clearly an adventure after this one (it’s the first of four) it can easily be read as a standalone.
And we just happen to have this wonderful edition in the shop right now.