I’ve not read too many short works, though they seem to be on the increase. I happened to stumble across this novella, released for World Book Day in 2011, and obviously snapped it up (being a fan of the series and, frankly, because it was a bargain).
It follows the officers of a police station on the bottom tier of London through a night where they try to kill a stalker, a cyborg warrior, as it preys on people. It’s set before the events of the other Mortal Engines books, with a young Anna Fang making an appearance.
It may be short, but it’s action-packed and the characters are developed quickly, with enough to humanise them away from cookie-cutter stereotypes. While it’s a great advert for the rest of the series, it’s certainly not just a promotional gimmick. Having said that, it’s a cheap, quick way to get into the series if you’ve not come across it before.
I really enjoyed it, and while I could have read more, it finishes neatly and is a completely self-contained story. A perfect little read.
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Reviewed: 9th November 2013