A Darkling Plain (Mortal Engines, Book 4)

A Darkling Plain (Mortal Engines, Book 4)
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Release Date
January 01, 2006
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The once-great traction city of London is now just a radioactive wreck, a ruin haunted by electrical discharges and the dashed hopes of the people who once called it home—people like Tom Natsworthy. Twenty years after he fled, intending never to return, he discovers that something stirs in the remains of the old city.

Tom and his daughter, Wren, aren't the only people interested in London. The desperate armies of the Traction Cities and the Green Storm are also closing in, certain that whatever is taking shape within the city holds the key to victory in their never-ending war.

But it may be too late. Even as Tom and Wren hurry to uncover the mystery of London, Hester Shaw—estranged from her husband and her daughter—tracks the resurrected Stalker Fang, who has found another way to end the war and all life on the planet once and for all.

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1 review
Everything Passes with Time
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What I Liked: This book has a lot of moving plot lines. This is the first time in the series that the audiobook was probably not the best format to use to read the book. However, I do hear Pennyroyal’s voice for when luck gets away from him and am actively trying to incorporate it into my daily interactions with others.
There are a lot of misunderstandings and hurt feelings that set up this plot and it does take a while down a negative path before they start to resolve. Hester and Shrike rescue Theo and Dr. Zero from enslavement when the Green Storm tries to kill them for Zero’s role in the stalker, Anna Fang’s death.
Tom and Wren don’t return to Anchorage and that plot avenue seems to have dried up when Freya took the rescued lost boy pirates back in book 3. Since so many of the characters made returns in each book, I was a bit surprised when they didn’t.
Professor Pennyroyal is finally discredited after all these years and is laying low. It is a bit satisfying that when he finally plays a heroic part no one is able to prove it.
Wren’s poor choice to steal the tin book from Anchorage and Hester’s bad choice to leave Fishcake behind lead to the newly re-resurrected stalker, Anna Fang, with the chance to make the earth green again. What the Green Storm never understood is that as a heartless machine, Anna sees the only way to do that is to eradicate all human life. With no one realizing she is back; she moves with deadly results for most of the book.
The chapters traded off between Fishcake and Anna Fang’s dubious plans. Wren and Tom revisit London and find new hope for the future. While Hester and Shrike move with impunity through the world as she hides from her feelings. Theo’s character ends up interacting with them all as hearts are mended and the conflict reaches its conclusion.
Final Verdict: This was not exactly a sunny story of the possible future of the human race. I sure hope we can pull it together better than the characters in this story were able to. There is a bit of resolution at the end that shows everything passes and eventually, there are new beginnings. I would recommend this to be read in print form or in large chunks on an audiobook to help keep all the character’s motives and actions a bit clearer. The takeaway from reading this book is that adding hurt to the world just leads to waves of hurt in ever-growing quantities.

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