A Darkling Plain

Philip Reeve, Author
Philip Reeve, Author . Harper/Eos $18.99 (559p) ISBN 978-0-06-089055-1
Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 06/01/2007
Paperback - 533 pages - 978-1-4071-1094-3
Prebound-Glued - 532 pages - 978-0-606-23952-3
Library Binding - 559 pages - 978-0-06-089056-8
Hardcover - 12 pages - 978-1-4084-6606-3
Hardcover - 533 pages - 978-0-439-94997-2
Hardcover - 533 pages - 978-0-439-94346-8
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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)

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