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Infernal Devices

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The third installment of The Hungry City Chronicles catches up with Tom and Hester nearly 20 years after they first met in Mortal Engines (which PW called "a staggering feat of engineering, a brilliant construction that offers new wonders at every turn"). When their teenage daughter is kidnapped, the two adventurers must face old enemies and new challenges to save her. Ages 12-up. (June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Gr 8 Up-Mortal Engines (HarperCollins, 2003) hit the scene like a lightning bolt, with its strikingly original vision of large traction cities moving across a post-apocalyptic landscape, gobbling up smaller municipalities and dismantling them for spare parts. Infernal Devices, the third book in the series, picks up the action almost 20 years after Predator's Gold (HarperCollins, 2004). Tom and Hester have settled in safe Anchorage-in-Vineland with their teenage daughter. Wren, however, thinks that Anchorage is a tad too remote and longs to have adventures like her parents. Opportunity presents itself when a mysterious submarine carrying a group of Lost Boys arrives in Vineland and their leader recruits Wren to steal a mysterious Tin Book. She is kidnapped and sold as a slave. While Tom and Hester set out to rescue her, others, including former adversary Anna Fang, resurrected as the evil robot Stalker Fang, also try to get the book. Reeve keeps the multiple plots moving with surprises, tragedy, and multiple betrayals, and while at first the pacing seems a bit off as the action moves from one group to the next, things speed up by the second half of the book. The final showdown that brings the various threads of plot and all the major characters together is breathtaking. The open-ended conclusion more than begs for an immediate sequel.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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