Nice Blade Runner shirt, Christian

Saturday, April 28, 2018
Mortal Engines director Christian Reeves was spotted out and about with some friends and colleagues - of interest is his shirt - it's the advertising for the Tyrell Company from the classic Blade Runner films. I say classic because the new one was incredible!

christian rivers mortal engines

Speaking of blades, you gotta keep lawn mower blades sharp if you want to cut grass well.

The eyes have it - Hester Shaw confirmed with two eyes and a scar at Cinemacon

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
hester shaw ugly face

hesters film scar

Update: Hester has been revealed - see above.

Jackson sent a bit of Mortal Engines footage to Cinemacon where it was shown to some key people, including Eric Vespe.

One can totally trust the opinions and reporting of Eric, he's been in the movie journalism business for many years.

And he has confirmed that the footage he saw showed Hester Shaw with two eyes and a scar.

Fans have been a bit nervous about this with most wanting the novel version of Hester.

In the novels, Hester is horribly disfigured due to a run in with a sword which left her blind in one eye. This was a deliberate action by Philip Reeve to turn the classic 'boy meets girl tale' on its head.

Instead, Peter Jackson and Christian Rivers went the 'Hollywood route' for the character.  Money of course talks in Hollywood. Casual views might not be sold on a grotesque Hester....

Some fans will be greatly disappointed but at least it sounds like there's a good scar for the character.

Here's Vespe's description of the scar:

Great to see @AMblaushild asking the right questions!

It does sound from other reports out the Cinemacon that Mortal Engines looks pretty amazing.

But some people were not impressed:

Calvin and Hobbes do Mortal Engines by @ZugMichael

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
This was too good to not share. Artist Zug Nut has shared on Twitter his version of cartoon legends, Calvin and Hobbes masqerading as Shrike and Hester riding (flying?!) the Jenny Hanniver:

calvin and hobbes cartoon as mortal engines

We love how it's a play on the original cover of the first Mortal Engines novel and gosh, is that the first time in history that Shrike actually has a smile?

And because I'm a bit of a Star Wars nut, I'm also sharing Zug Nut's interpretation of Flash Gordon himself as an X-Wing pilot. Flash Gordon being a massive influence on George Lucas and Star Wars:

flashgordon as xwing pilot

Station Zero is officially published today.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Phillip Reeve has posted that Station Zero is officially published today:

station zero cover by philip reeve - ian mcque

Station Zero is the third book in the Railhead serious. It is a separate and distinct series of novels from Mortal Engines!

Reeve said of his latest work:

"While I was writing it, Station Zero felt like a huge book, but it’s actually a few pages shorter than Black Light Express.

I guess it must just be very tightly packed, because there’s certainly a lot going on. Black Light Express ended with the Network Empire divided between the powerful Prell and Noon families, a new K-gate linking the interstellar railway system to previously unimagined worlds and their previously unimagined alien inhabitants, and our hero Zen Starling finally rich and safe.

Station Zero explores the fallout from all that, and of course the first job was to make Zen dissatisfied with his new-found life of luxury. Within a chapter or two he’s off on his adventures again. This time they lead him to the windswept plains of Klef, where Noon corporate marines are fighting a raggedy war against the dinosauroid Kraitt, to a moist sort of moon called Petrichor where an AI may be hiding a virtual Heaven, and to Station Zero itself, the world at the heart of the network, where the mysterious Railmaker first began its work of linking the galaxy’s habitable worlds."

Here's the official blurb:

"The stunning conclusion to the acclaimed and prizewinning Railhead trilogy.

What happens after the adventure of a lifetime? For Zen, it's a safe, comfortable life of luxury. But it's not what Zen wants. He misses the thrill of riding the rails, of dodging danger, and of breathing the air of different planets.

Most of all of course he misses Nova - lost to him forever in a distant world. But then one day a mysterious message arrives - and that's all Zen needs to head right off, ready for anything. Except that no one could be ready for what he finds . . .

Thrilling, thought-provoking, and breathtaking, this finale to the Railhead trilogy weaves a web of wonder, full of characters and events you will never forget?"

You can order Station Zero from Amazon.

Steam Punk Hester Shaw Cosplay

Friday, April 13, 2018
hester shaw cosplay mortal engines movie

keeley_wheelz did some sweet #hestershaw "cosplay for a very special birthday party. The theme was 'your favourite book character' so who else would I choose!?"

Those steam punk googles look very fetching and yep, she looks like she knows how to swing a type writer....

If you want to see more Hester Shaw cosplay, hit the links, including this very special scarred version of Hester.

Mortal Engines production keeping Wellington afloat with cash money

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Statistics NZ, the NZ Government's 'numbers crew' have done some analysis on the NZ film industry which reveals Mortal Engines has propped up the film industry a little bit:

"New Zealand film production revenue increased 15 percent to $1.1billion in 2017, Stats NZ said today. Wellington remains the main player, but Auckland’s film sector led the growth last year.

Wellington’s film production revenue decreased slightly from 2016, but it is still the main player in film production, accounting for gross revenue of $631million in 2017.

“In 2017, Wellington’s film production revenue was more than half (55 percent) of New Zealand’s total, while Auckland’s share rose to 43 percent,” said business performance manager Laura O’Leary.

“In 2017, Wellington-based production and post-production companies contributed to the making of Ghost in the Shell, Thor: Ragnarok, Blade Runner 2049, Justice League, and War for the Planet of the Apes, while Mortal Engines was shot in Wellington.”

I still think it's incredible how people like Peter Jackson, Jaime Selkirk, Richard Taylor and Fran Walsh have managed to turn Wellington into a bona fide movie making town so far away from the movie lots of Hollywood.  

Night Flights featuring Anna Fang is out now!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

night flights by philip reeve

 Philip Reeve's 'Night Flights' released

What so special about Night Flights? We loved it, here's our review.

It's the first original work set in the Mortal Engines universe since Reeve's final prequel novel, Scrivener's Moon.

Featuring fan favourite Anna Fang, the book is three separate short stories that Reeve came up with and is released on July 5th. Order a copy from Amazon here.

The middle story is based Reeve's long out-of-print World Book Day story Traction City. It has been re-written it to bring Anna to the centre of things whereas in the original short, she made more of a cameo appearance in the original version.

The other two are episodes from Anna’s life which Phillip Reeve could never find a place for in the original Mortal Engines Quartet, and which he thought would make good stories in their own right.

Reeve stated he was inspired to write the stories after talking to actress Jihae who is playing Anna Fang in the forthcoming movie. We suspect it was more of a case of his publisher saying they needed something new to tie into the movie production hype!

Here's the official puff on the book:

Return to the world of Mortal Engines in this new book of three short stories about the rebellious young aviatrix, Anna Fang, illustrated by Ian McQue. A key character in the Mortal Engines book and film, this is your chance to learn more of her past. Night Flights includes Traction City, the 2011 World Book Day Book by Philip Reeve.

In a dangerous future world where gigantic, motorised cities attack and devour each other, London hunts where no other predator dares. But Anna Fang - pilot, adventurer, spy - isn't afraid.

The three stories show gripping, moving, exciting moments in Anna Fang's life: her childhood as a slave aboard the moving city Arkangel, a showdown against a robotic Stalker that is terrifyingly out of control and her free life as an intelligence agent for the Anti-Traction league that might not be quite as free as she hoped.

Fever Crumb book review

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
fever crumb full cover

I wasn't really sure what I was expecting when I began my read of Fever Crumb.

What book could live up to the brilliance of the Mortal Engines quadrillogy / quartet?

What book could capture the magic of that world with a completely new set of characters?

Does Philip Reeve still have the midas touch?

We'll he must have because Fever Crumb spawned two further sequels so let's see how he went eh?


Fever Crumb is tale of Fever Crumb, a young female Engineer lost in a sea of male Engineers.

Found, abandoned as a baby in basket, it would seem to obvious to suggest that Fever is some kind of Moses for the grounded city of London.

Set against a back drop of a past history when Scriven ruled London and the people are still recovering from that domination, Fever must help Kit Solent discover the secrets of his archaeological dig.

That name Kit Solent.

When I read that, my heart sank a little as I thought I knew who that's gentleman eventually becomes.


Which made me wonder just where the hell this story was going to take us, and what would become of Solent's delightful children Ruan and Fern?

The discovery of Shrike's actual origin was quite a wonderful moment and as a consequence of being the Shrike, this particular story arc is the only real direct connection to the original novels and that works quite well, meaning the story of Fever Crumb can be told without any consequence to the original stories.

Reeve actually packs a lot of detail into the first 50 pages of this novel. While it's a new world within the old world, its place feels quite natural in the scheme of things.

The more I read of this book, the more I feel it's come into its own story about Fever and the history of her family that she is slowly discovering. The fact it's set in the beginning of the Traction Era has little influence on the story but it is nice to be 'in on' the history that has led to the city of London becoming the monstrous giant size it had attained by the events of the original Mortal Engines.

A slow middle which gives the main characters a chance to get their bearings, set up some plot points gives way to a strong ending where all the threads of the story come together quite nicely - something which Reeve does quite well across the entire series.

Reeve's inventive use of the English language where he uses the term 'blogger' as a swear word was a lot of fun. All the usual puns and references to our modern world are there which all add up to classic Reeve.

I do feel that if this is the first Mortal Engines novel you read, you might not be as thrilled with the tale as you would if you had not read about Tom and Hester's adventures prior. Given that Reeve has said the books should be read in the order he wrote them, this makes a lot of sense.

I am greatly looking forward to the sequel, A Web of Air.

Order Fever Crumb from Book Depository or Amazon.

A drawing of Bagman Creech, a character from the novel:

bagman creech from the fever crumb novel

Wavey Godshawk by the same artist:

wavey godshawk drawing

One more, cgdoodler is on a roll! Here's Doctor Crumb, Fever's Father:

Doctor Crumb from Fever Crumb

References to pop culture in Fever Crumb

fever crumb full book cover
Book cover design by David Wyatt

Fever Crumb's puns and references 

If you've ever read a novel by Philip Reeve that's set in the realm of the Mortal Engines, you'll know he as quite the distinct writing style.

There's a wry humor that pervades his writing, it's a knowing joke about English culture and history the language and pop culture.

Which basically means a lot of dad jokes.

Reeve's kept up this approach with Fever Crumb, the first prequel to the wildly successful Mortal Engines book series.

Here's the cultural references Reeve made in Fever Crumb (that this Kiwi from the other side of the un-scorched Earth could figure out).

  • When Fever heads off to get the tram into London city, she needs to buy an oyster shell which signals to the tram operators that she has paid her fare. Real world Londoners will recognise this is a nod to the Oyster Card system which users pay their fares across London's transportation system.
  • The Mott and Hoople tavern run by the wicked Ted Swiney is a shout out to Mott the Hoople, a once popular English band whose signature song was All of the Dudes, a song they did with David Bowie (This author saw Bowie do it live one and it was amazeballs). 
  • The Tram conductor shouting the stop for Liver Pill Street is most probably making a nod to the city of Liverpool.
  • Fever stumbles across of worshipers chanting "Hari! Hari! Hari! Potter!" which is presumably a nod and play on words to the young wizard of  JK Rowling's novels. This would seem to be Reeve's first intentional nod to Harry Potter - the name Gideon Crumb (Fever's father) from The Goblet of Fire was a mere co-incidence.
  • 'Blog' or 'bloggers' is used as a form of swearing. 
  • One tram stop is called Celebrity Square - presumably this is a reference to the popular American television show.
  • "Cheesers Crice" - slang for Jesus Christ - referred to as being some 'some obscure cockney god'
  • We all know that paper boys deliver newspapers that give news about death. In Reeve's world, paper boys are literally walking paper devices in the shape of boys (or girls!) that bring death! 

Philip Reeve announces TWO new Mortal Engines novels,"Wild Fang" and "Naughty Nimrods!"

Sunday, April 1, 2018
philip reeve author

Mortal Engines scribe Philip Reeve has announced not one but two new Mortal Engines books, one prequel called 'Wild Fang' and A Darkling Plain sequel called 'Naughty Nimrods!'

It's incredible that Reeve has written new one novel let alone two!

Can you believe it?

The first is a prequel that features Anna Fang called "Wild Fang" which covers Fang's childhood as a slave and how she was able to build her airship The Jenny Hanniver and escape.

For clarity, this is an additional book to the recent short story collection called Night Flights which also featured Anna Fang.

Reeve said that he had gone back to some original drafts that he had discarded 15 years ago and saw a new way to cover the Fang's origin and the time just before she joined up with the Anti Traction League.

"Wild Fang, I think I love you."....

The second novel is a sequel set in time after A Darkling Plain. It's set some 85 years after that novel and focuses on the descendants of Nimrod Pennyroyal! Merciful Cleo!

This explains the title, 'Naughty Nimrods!'. Yes, that exclamation mark is part of the title!

To our mind that seems an odd choice - the children and grandchildren of Theo and Wren would seem a more natural progression but knowing Reeve's odd style, it's probably an inspired subject choice.

Maybe it's a fake out?

Reeve said that the Wild Fang novel would be published today as an e-book and Naughty Nimrods! will follow next year on 1 April 2019.
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