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Infernal Devices


Infernal Devices is the third YA sci-fi/dystopia novel in Philip Reeve’s Predator Cities Quartet.

As with all series, jumping into the middle of it tends to spoil many plot points of earlier books – not to mention it’s usually confusing! I strongly suggest that if you haven’t read Mortal Engines and/or Predator’s Gold to click on their titles to read my reviews of those books instead.

Even a review can ruin stuff for you! At least in the synopsis. So, please be careful! I don’t want to spoil anything for you… I’ll cry bibliophile tears!!

A final warning to those of you that still need to turn away…

Over a decade ago the engines of Anchorage settled and have not moved since. Now, the city is nestled in the land that was once America – a place that many never believed still existed.

Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw have settled in, raising their daughter, and reveling in the peaceful life they’ve created. They don’t speak about the past, the terrible things they’ve seen or experienced. Better to enjoy the way things are now.

But their daughter, Wren, finds their sleepy life in the small town stifling. She yearns for adventure, excitement, exploring!

When an opportunity presents itself to leave Anchorage-in-Vineland, she leaps at it. All she has to do is take with her an item called the Tin Book from Freya’s vast library. As no one even knows what it is, or what its purpose was in ancient times, she doesn’t feel too badly about it…

Yet Wren’s naïve about the ways of pirates and falsehoods – and soon her choices to leave behind the quiet country life may be ones she regrets…

Infernal Devices takes place sixteen years after the events at the end of Predator’s Gold. This gives us an opportunity to see where Hester and Tom’s life has led. Very interesting.

However, I’ll admit that at first (and occasionally throughout the book) Wren is kinda… annoying. I think the reason I felt this way, though, isn’t the fault of the character. She doesn’t know what her parent’s went through to provide a life that is “boring” and that made her perhaps a bit clueless. So, there’s innocence there, too.

As we venture out of Anchorage-in-Vineland I soon was captivated yet again by the compelling surprises of this world Reeve has created. Here again we’re presented with various shades of gray when it comes to the characters choices and personalities.

That sense of adventure, danger, suspense, sorrow, and even humor is remarkable to have stuffed in one book! It took me everywhere along the range of my emotions! Infernal Devices was rousing, nerve-wracking, and absolutely heart-breaking!

Reeve puts me in the difficult position of not always knowing what to think about individuals in the book. Without going into detail, there are traits in some forefront characters that disturb me, yet I always still want, for whatever reason, to have faith in them. I care about them.

That’s why, the end of Infernal Devices made me very sad – and very, very conflicted.

Thank goodness there’s still one more book – A Darkling Plain. We’ll see where it goes.

I certainly can’t say that Infernal Devices didn’t affect me!

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