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Predator's Gold (The Hungry City Chronicles Series #2)

Predator's Gold (The Hungry City Chronicles Series #2)

4.4 7
by Philip Reeve

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The second book in the exciting Predator Cities series! With the great Traction City of London completely destroyed, Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw travel across the world, trading with other airships and adventuring on the exciting and exotic routes of the Bird Roads. When their little scrapyard aircraft, the Jenny Haniver, is pursued by rocket-firing gunships, the


The second book in the exciting Predator Cities series! With the great Traction City of London completely destroyed, Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw travel across the world, trading with other airships and adventuring on the exciting and exotic routes of the Bird Roads. When their little scrapyard aircraft, the Jenny Haniver, is pursued by rocket-firing gunships, the ice city of Anchorage offers them sanctuary. But as Tom and Hester soon discover, it is no safe refuge. Devastated by plague in recent years and haunted by ghosts and madness, Anchorage is headed for the Dead Continent of North America. It's a perilous course, one that will take them directly into a firestorm of danger and conflict.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a starred review, PW wrote, "Picking up roughly two years after Mortal Engines ended, Reeve's second adventure continues to explore a future world in which cities navigate on wheels and prowl the surface of the earth, devouring other cities." Ages 12-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
An emergency landing brings Tom and Hester and their airship, the Jenny Haniver, to the ice city, Anchorage. Two years have passed since the demise of London and they have become lovers. When Hester sees Tom kissing the Margravine of Anchorage, she does not wait for an explanation. She flies to the city of Arkangel and provides the location of Anchorage. This makes it possible for Arkangel to move toward Anchorage in the hope of overtaking it and making slaves of its people. Hester is promised the "predator's gold" as bounty but she states that she only wants Tom. Realizing too late that she has put Tom and everyone in Anchorage in danger, Hester attempts to rescue them. This sequel to Mortal Engines is an action-packed tale of jealousy, betrayal, making amends, and putting one's life on the line for a friend. It can be read independently of the first book in "The Hungry City Chronicles" but is a richer read as a sequel. The vivid descriptions and well-realized colorful cast of characters bring to life this futuristic series about cities on the move that consume each other. 2003, Scholastic, Ages 12 to 14.
—Sharon Salluzzo
In this sequel to Mortal Engines (HarperCollins, 2003/VOYA December 2003), Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw find themselves involved in the plight of Anchorage, a traction city that has fallen on hard times. Most of its citizens were killed in a plague. Its young leader, the margravine Freya, is uncertain how to lead, and the city is constantly in danger of being eaten by larger cities. Tom and Hester, using the airship that they acquired in the previous tale, agree to take on a passenger, a rather disreputable historian named Pennyroyal. When the airship is damaged, they are forced to set down in Anchorage. Hester wants to fix the ship and be on their way, but Tom is captivated by Freya and by her plan to explore the dead continent of America. Before they can be on their way, however, they must avoid the Huntsmen of Arkangel, and besides that threat, there are strange sounds in the ductwork of the city and items disappear constantly. Meanwhile someone is after Hester and Tom. This novel is another exciting, fast-paced adventure story that also deals with real questions of right and wrong. It is a page-turner that will surely be popular with fans of the first book and with middle schoolers who like their science fiction full of action and suspense. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, HarperCollins, 336p., and PLB Ages 11 to 15.
—Sarah Flowers
In this sequel to the wonderful British fantasy Mortal Engines (an ALA Best Book for YAs; reviewed in KLIATT in November 2003), set in a post-apocalyptic future in which cities travel on great tractor treads and hunt down other towns, our heroes Tom and Hester find themselves passengers on the city of Anchorage, heading across the ice to the rumored green wilderness of America. But when Hester sees Tom kissing Freya, the attractive young ruler of Anchorage, she takes off on their airship and sells Anchorage's location to the hungry city of Arkangel for "predator's gold," a tattler's reward—though in her case her price is the return of Tom, her true love. Arkangel is not the only danger the lovers face. A "limpet" has attached itself to the underbelly of Anchorage, and the Lost Boys who man it in order to spy on the city above and steal things from it are instructed to steal Tom, too. In addition, the Anti-Traction League, which wants to wage war on the mobile cities, has helped to resurrect the dead aviatrix Anna Fang and created a murderous cyborg from her corpse—and they want Tom and Hester as well. Reeve's marvelous imagination and emotional depth, the sympathetic young protagonists, and the thrilling adventures evoke Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, and everyone who read Mortal Engines will be eager to read this exciting sequel. (The Hungry City Chronicles). KLIATT Codes: JSA*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, HarperCollins, Eos, 336p., and (le). Ages 12 to adult.
—Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-The intrepid survivors of Mortal Engines (HarperCollins, 2003) find themselves in another thrilling, action-packed adventure. In this "town-eat-town" futuristic world, cities on wheels continue to overpower and devour smaller or weaker cities. Tom and Hester are persuaded to take Pennyroyal, a renowned explorer and adventurer, aboard their airship as a passenger. When they are pursued and fired upon by Green Storm fighter airships bent on destroying all traction cities and city people, the teens are forced to land on Anchorage, a traction city in the Ice Wastes region. This once-wealthy city is now sparsely populated since the majority of its inhabitants have died of the plague. Freya, the last of the royal family line, is the unlikely ruler, a petulant girl of 16. She believes Pennyroyal's tales of having seen green, fertile areas in the otherwise "Dead Continent" of America and rashly decides that her traction city will go there. Hester's jealousy of Tom's infatuation for Freya's plump prettiness compels her to commit an act of betrayal that sets a series of events in motion that includes murder, intrigue, revenge, daring rescues, kidnapping, torture, "lost boys," and resurrection of the dead. This exciting and compelling novel unfolds at breakneck speed with abundant plots and characters but readers won't have any trouble following along. It has more humor and fewer deaths than its predecessor but the characters continue to find themselves in moral quagmires. Events from Mortal Engines are referred to frequently, and although it's not essential to have read it first, it's recommended.-Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Readers thrilled by the titanic mobile cities savagely preying on one another across a ravaged post-holocaust Earth in Mortal Engines (2003) will find more of the same in this even better sequel-along with plenty of intrigue, danger, spying, violence, and romance. The spotlight shines on disfigured young Hester Shaw who, with her lover, apprentice historian Tom Natsworthy, must land their airship on Anchorage, a nearly depopulated city. Their reception is a little too friendly, and when Tom's head is turned by Anchorage's lonely, attractive young Margrave, Hester flies off in a huff to report the city's course to Archangel, a raving "urbivore." Happily, Hester repents in time to return for the climactic, large-scale clash. Adding several characters to the cast and even giving his leading couple a bit more complexity than standard types are normally allowed, Reeve moves his world-spanning tale briskly along toward what promises to be a second apocalypse. High marks for action and breadth of vision-but urge readers to start with the previous episode, as this one doesn't comfortably stand alone. (Fiction. 12-15)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Hungry City Chronicles Series , #2
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Predator's Gold

By Philip Reeve Eos Copyright © 2006 Philip Reeve
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-06-072196-1

Chapter One Frozen North

Freya awoke early and lay for a while in the dark, feeling her city shiver and sway beneath her as its powerful engines sent it skimming across the ice. Sleepily, she waited for her servants to come and help her out of bed. It took her a few moments to remember that they were all dead.

She threw off the covers, lit the argon lamps, and waded through dusty mounds of cast-off clothes to her bathroom. For several weeks now she had been working up the courage to have a shower, but once again this morning the complicated controls in the shower stall defeated her: She couldn't make the water come hot. In the end she just filled the handbasin as usual and splashed her face and neck. There was a sliver of soap left, and she rubbed some into her hair and plunged her head under the water. Her bath-servants would have used shampoo, lotions, salves, conditioners, all sorts of pleasant-smelling balms; but they were all dead, and the rack upon rack of bottles in the walk-in bathroom cabinet intimidated Freya. Faced with so much choice, she chose to use nothing.

At least she had worked out how to dress herself. She picked one of her crumpled gowns from the floor, laid it on the bed, and burrowed into it from the bottom, struggling about inside until she got her arms and head out through the right holes. The long, fur-trimmed waistcoat that went over the gown was much easier to put on, but she had a lot of trouble with the buttons. Her handmaidens had always done up her buttons very quickly and easily, talking and laughing about the day ahead and never, ever getting a button through the wrong hole; but they were all dead.

Freya cursed and tugged and fumbled for fifteen minutes, then studied the results in her cobwebby mirror. Not bad, she thought, all things considered. Perhaps some jewelry would make it look better. But when she went to her jewelry room, she found most of the good pieces gone. Things were always vanishing these days. Freya could not imagine where they went to. Anyway, she didn't really need a tiara on her sticky, soap-washed hair, or a necklet of amber and gold around her grubby throat. Mama would not approve of her being seen without jewelry, of course, but Mama was dead too.

In the empty, silent corridors of her palace, the dust lay thick as powder snow. She rang for a footman and stood staring out of a window while she waited for him to arrive. Outside, dim Arctic twilight shone gray on the frosted rooftops of her city. The floor trembled to the beat of cogs and pistons down in the engine district, but there was very little sense of movement, for this was the High Ice, north of north, and there were no passing landmarks, only a white plain, shining slightly with the reflection of the sky.

Her footman arrived, patting his powdered wig straight.

"Good morning, Smew," she said.

"Good morning, Your Radiance."

For a moment she was seized by an urge to ask Smew into her quarters and tell him to do something about all the dust, the fallen clothes, the lost jewelry; to make him show her how the shower worked. But he was a man, and it would be an unthinkable break with tradition for a man to enter the margravine"s private quarters. Instead she said what she said every morning: "You may escort me to the breakfast room, Smew."

Riding with him in the elevator to the lower floor, she imagined her city scuttling across the ice cap like a tiny black beetle creeping over a huge white plate. The question was, Where was it going? That was what Smew wanted to know; you could see it in his face, in the way his gaze kept flicking inquisitively at her. The Steering Committee would want to know too. Running this way and that from hungry predators was one thing, but the time had come for Freya to decide what her city's future was to be. For thousands of years the people of Anchorage had looked to the House of Rasmussen to make such decisions. The Rasmussen women were special, after all. Had they not ruled Anchorage ever since the Sixty Minute War? Did not the Ice Gods speak to them in their dreams, telling them where the city should go if it was to find good trading partners and avoid trap-ice and predators?

But Freya was the last of her line, and the Ice Gods did not speak to her. Hardly anybody spoke to her now, and when they did, it was only to inquire, in the politest possible way, when she would decide upon a course. Why ask me? she wanted to shout at them. I'm just a girl! I didn't want to be margravine! But there was no one else left for them to ask.

At least this morning Freya would have an answer for them. She just wasn't sure that they would like it.

She ate breakfast alone, in a high-backed black chair at a long black table. The clatter of her knife against her plate, her spoon in her teacup, seemed unbearably loud in the silence. From the shadowy walls, portraits of her divine ancestors gazed down at her, looking slightly impatient, as though they too were waiting for her to decide upon a destination.

"Don't worry," she told them. "I've made my mind up."

When breakfast was finished, her chamberlain came in.

"Good morning, Smew."

"Good morning, Light of the Ice Fields. The Steering Committee awaits Your Radiance's pleasure."

Freya nodded, and the chamberlain swung open the breakfast-room doors to let the committee enter. There used to be twenty-three of them; now there were only Mr. Scabious and Miss Pye ...


Excerpted from Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve Copyright © 2006 by Philip Reeve. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Philip Reevewas born in Brighton, England. Inspired by the Asterix and Tintin books he loved as a boy, he became a cartoonist and, many years later, the illustrator of several highly successful children's book series in the United Kingdom. He has been writing since he was five, but mortal engines, the first book in the Hungry City Chronicles, was his first published novel. He has since followed that with Predator's Gold, Infernal Devices, and the Victorian space opera Larklight. Mr. Reeve lives on Dartmoor with his wife, Sarah, and their son, Samuel.

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Predator's Gold (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In every other book I've read, its pretty much a given that the main character/s is going to survive. Not in this series. I'm on the edge of my seat with worry, just hoping that the characters will all still be alive by the time I reach the last page. New readers beware: Phillip Reeve has no qualms about killing off the main characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so perfect, it has everything I ever wanted in a book:adventure, a little romance, and fantasy. I couldn't belive how great a book I'd found, till i started reading it.Everyone should read this book. But please read the first book,Mortal Engines, or this sequel will make no sense.
slowngreen More than 1 year ago
Was a great continuation to the series. Kept a good pace all through it with excitement and twists. I stopped with this book though since the next book doesnt continue with the same characters but their child instead, kind of dissapointed me, but this one ended well enough to beable to stop.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dogs attacking'"!!!!!!!!!