epub pdf A Darkling Plain – Bilb-weil.de

The final book of the thrilling Predator Cities series London is a radioactive ruin But Tom and Wren discover that the old predator city hides an awesome secret that could bring an end to the war But as they risk their lives in its dark underbelly, time is running out Alone and far away, Hester faces a fanatical enemy who possesses the weapons and the will to destroy the entire human raceThe final book in the Predator Cities series, Philip Reeve s A Darkling Plain is the winner of the Guardian Children s Fiction Prize


10 thoughts on “A Darkling Plain

  1. Catherine Dacey Catherine Dacey says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Ugh That s pretty much it I wanted so badly to love this series, and to be honest, I do appreciate the world Mr Reeve creates I appreciate his clean and experienced writing style as well It s his insistence on having all of the good characters constantly walking around as naive as they can possibly be that is killing me It seems that with this series, it doesn t matter what kind of experiences the characters go through, they are either permanently naive and bumbling around depending on o Ugh That s pretty much it I wanted so badly to love this series, and to be honest, I do appreciate the world Mr Reeve creates I appreciate his clean and experienced writing style as well It s his insistence on having all of the good characters constantly walking around as naive as they can possibly be that is killing me It seems that with this series, it doesn t matter what kind of experiences the characters go through, they are either permanently naive and bumbling around depending on other characters to save them, or they are all of the other characters, which somehow all seem to be ruthless and always seconds away from murdering anyone that crosses their path at the wrong angle This isn t how real people function for goodness sake Maybe one or twohere and there And I suppose that s all well and good, but maybe it would be best not to create a series, four books deep, based on these poor shallow good is good and bad is bad depictions of black and white, two dimensional, people I m committed to finishing the series now I m on the last one, but my goodness I m just sad I could understand the characters in the first book And even in the second But not only are we in the third and fourth books, but its almost 20 years since the first one WHY IS TOM STILL EXACTLY THE SAME How has he not grown at least a little weary I appreciate that he hasn t let the events of the first two books taint the goodness that is at his core, but I can t swallow that he would still be bumbling around as empty headed and naive as he was in the very first few chapters of book one You can grow to be aware of the world, without having it run you over and ruin your goodness But seriously now, the guy has had news that he is going to die, and it s all because Nimrod Pennyroyal flipping shot him point blank in the chest and damaged his heart Tom KNOWS this So instead of wanting to do anything about it at all, nope, lets just calmly have breakfast with the murderer and I guess we re all chummy again Never mind Wren and her willingness to forget that she was a SLAVE to the guy who she knows shot her father and left him for dead She was also nearly abandoned by him when they were attacked But it s cool guys This world doesn t play by fool me once rules I thinkthan anything I m just so sad for Hester, who I think Mr Reeve has done an even greater injustice to This woman has gone through so much in her life that Tom could never have caught up in the first place But instead of expanding on what an amazing idea it was to have Tom grow to love Hester in spite of everything, all that you ever get is that Tom knows she s ugly and he seems to like her anyway Clearly not enough to keep him from wishing that she wasn t as ugly as she is, or to stop him from kissing another girl at some point, or to even take the time in the 16 years they haven t been running for their lives to, you know, maybe get to know this woman who is harboring an intense self hatred, because while she was awaywell when she ran away because Tom kissed another girl.she found out she was the daughter of the man that killed her mom and she s spent most of her life hating, but hey, I guess Tom loves her He lives with her anyway, and in the third book they even have a kid.Another Tom Only her name is Wren, and she s exactly as naive as Tom, oh yeah, and she s an asshole to her mom She literally says at one point in the fourth book motherless not fatherless Like give me a beak you asshole, Hester did a bad thing That doesn t erase all the good things she s done in the meantime, and it wasn t even to Wren personally The kicker about Wren and her dynamic with Hester, is that Mr Reeve has so obviously set this up on the foundation of Wren knowing her mother is ugly Like WHAT THE EVER LOVING SH T IS THAT He talks about how Hester and Wren use to get along before she got old enough to realize the way other people in town looked at Hester After that, Wrens whole attitude with her mother changed I m sorry, but what a shitty thing to do to this character To both of them So here Hester is, undervalued, still an outcast, in love with an absolute, but good , moron, and Mr Reeve, instead of using all of this to catapult Hester into a character that is going to come out of all of this finally unburdened, and valued, has decided to just do his best to make her despicable Why exactly That s my question Why was there no other way to write this character She could have been amazing and now she s clich I mean really That s Hester Shaw and she kills people It s this element in this series alone that has kept me struggling for the last 3 months to just finish it Every single time I pick it up and try to plow on ahead, I m blasted in the face by this character injustice Every single time I read a chapter from Wren all I want to do is slap the silly spoiled assholeness out of her And I m not there yet, but I have a feeling she, and her now ailing and still so impossibly naive father, are going to save the rags of what is left of this world biggest eye roll ever The thing is, Reeve can do better than this Oenone Zero is proof of this Built innumerable stalkers yet did her best to destroy the Stalker Fang This characters seems to be displayed in all of the complexity of an actual human, so where on earth was the same effort when it comes to the main cast I m going to finish this series Even if it hurts my heart, I will get to the end, just to see how far he carries this blatant protest against realistic characters I loved the idea of this world It was new, it was unique, and it was set up to be visually breathtaking, maybe not beautiful, but breathtaking But people aren t black and white I m sorry You can do one bad thing and still be a good person, especially if that bad thing was inspired by being hurt Just like doing one good thing doesn t make you a good person The idea that Pennyroyal a liar, a cheater, a murderer, and a flipping con artist, is still running around on top of the world and repeatedly welcomed back into the fold by Wren and Tom, all while Hester is outcast and forgotten about is just too much


  2. Sara Saif Sara Saif says:

    And so they lived happily ever after What I wanted What I got And so the world moved on Which was definitely crueler It s one of the most under appreciated books of recent years and given the fact that it s unique, unusual and witty, I suggest you go develop some taste and read it.The story comes full circle in A Darkling Plain and if there s one thing I ve come to learn about Philip Reeve it s that he takes you off guard He concluded each of his four books so satisfyingly I was almost And so they lived happily ever after What I wanted What I got And so the world moved on Which was definitely crueler It s one of the most under appreciated books of recent years and given the fact that it s unique, unusual and witty, I suggest you go develop some taste and read it.The story comes full circle in A Darkling Plain and if there s one thing I ve come to learn about Philip Reeve it s that he takes you off guard He concluded each of his four books so satisfyingly I was almost tempted to heave a contented sigh after I finished them The plot of this book runs wild in 200 different directions but you know it s all going to converge on a single point, it does and quite beautifully at that. Let me talk first about the most savage thing known to mankind epilogues Not all of them are moving but the ones that are tend to go there ALL the way, ya know I can count on my fingers the number of epilogues that made my eyes water This particular one wasn t tearful but heartbreaking and brutal all the same I cannot think of a better way it all could have ended With the writer s tenacity to be mellow and funny at one time and pitiless and severe at the next, this was apt. I m happy for Tom and Hester Hester finally got the love or the show of love, she truly deserved Pennyroyal did not deserve to be saved again and again and that is the only thing that made me angry Anna, Shrike, London, all the old characters came back and the story came full circle My ebook version must have been faulty or something because it says Grike throughout the book I was also saddened by the fact that Hester and Wren never met again That was distressing, Wren never forgiving her mother when she was alive.Naga and Oenone Zero s track was something that came as a total surprise The third book ended with Zero watching as Naga walked away making grand plans of taking over the Green Storm and fighting the war anew This book began with the Oenone visiting a static settlement with Naga, her husband, to negotiate peace Woah That was my only reaction And then the star crossed lovers route their pairing took So many obstacles, so much painSurprise and trauma, these are the two things this book operated on. That s what History teaches us, I think, that life goes on, even though individuals die and whole civilizations crumble away The simple things last they are repeated over and over by each generation But even dead people were shown no mercyPhilip Reeve, you tragedy loving ruffian


  3. Seizure Romero Seizure Romero says:

    WARNING This diatribe contains potential spoilers and rude language It is also long Proceed with caution.Dear Philip Reeve I really enjoy the books in your Hungry City Chronicles They are fine stories with creative and compelling plots, often amusing dialog and interesting characters You are, however, starting to piss me off I m on page 61 of the fourth book and I come to the following passage Lady Naga made a horrible gurgling noise, like the last of the bathwater heading down the plugh WARNING This diatribe contains potential spoilers and rude language It is also long Proceed with caution.Dear Philip Reeve I really enjoy the books in your Hungry City Chronicles They are fine stories with creative and compelling plots, often amusing dialog and interesting characters You are, however, starting to piss me off I m on page 61 of the fourth book and I come to the following passage Lady Naga made a horrible gurgling noise, like the last of the bathwater heading down the plughole Theo took a step forward and waved the axe, but he was too gentle to use it, and he knew Cynthia knew it Remembering the girl s vanity, he said, You look different Now what my reader may not know is that Cynthia, who has already been established as one of the bad guys, is in the process of strangling Lady Naga, whom Theo is escorting and theoretically protecting Call me nuts, call me violent, call me a psycho with anger management issues, but if I see someone who has already attempted to kill me strangling someone I like or am expected to protect, and I happen to have the good fortune to find myself holding an axe, I am pretty certain I will hit them with the fucking axe I might not be so far gone that I will definitely use the blade the flat side or blunt end or even using the handle are all options but I repeat, I will hit them with the fucking axe The only possible dialogue I can imagine engaging in would be something along the lines of, Stop strangling , or I will hit you with the fucking axe Ahem.This is an incomplete review I will add to it when I m finished with the book My current questions are Why is the good, kind and handsome hero always so goddam useless in a crisis Why are the women who are the strong ones or the ones willing to get the job done either ugly slightly nuts, or attractive completely nuts There seems to be no middle ground here There was one character who was strong, capable, kind AND neither gorgeous nor particularly uglybut she s dead and is being used in disturbing ways UPDATE It is complete now two ends of time are neatly tied finish that lyricno cheating.I have to admit I liked the ending epilogue of this book and series , but getting there was occasionally an irritation At times it was like an old radio serial the heroes seem to be in a safe place where they just might get a breather, BUT WAIT Unbeknownst to our heroes ninjas, Dr Klaw, Lex Luthor AND The Insidious Dr Fu Manchu are all hiding in a trunk meanwhile, a stray bullet crossbow bolt ICBM woodpecker has pierced the balloon and the airship is now sinking toward the Ancient Scary Field of Rusty Razor Blades and Other Sharp, Dangerous Unpleasant Things I exaggerate only a little.My previously stated complaints still stand though at one point Theo DID actually hit someone with the flat side of an axe, so, yay It seemed like somewhere along the line Mr Reeve decided that happy endings are just SO recherch and he ll be damned if he gives us one I do not require a happy ending unless back rubs are involved boomchickaWAWwaw , but when it feels like the author is trying too hard to avoid a clich ending, the ensuing machinations to guarantee unhappiness feel contrived And the semi subtle moralizing good people don t hurt kill under ANY circumstances, and I m going to put my characters through hell to prove it just plain got tired Then I end up writing long, cranky reviews which sound as if I liked these books a lot less than I did I guess my real disappointment with the Hungry City Chronicles is that they are good books that could have been great.Done now No, really


  4. Jonathan Terrington Jonathan Terrington says:

    I love this series and in particular I love the end to this series AlthoughNo, I m not going to put in a major spoiler and ruin it for everyone even though it s tempting.But to be brief as I always am when writing reviews After all what is a review for but to inform the reader that they want to read the book and to give a little detail about the book But basically all any science fiction aficionado needs to know is that there are reanimated men as stalkers, there are orbiting death weapons I love this series and in particular I love the end to this series AlthoughNo, I m not going to put in a major spoiler and ruin it for everyone even though it s tempting.But to be brief as I always am when writing reviews After all what is a review for but to inform the reader that they want to read the book and to give a little detail about the book But basically all any science fiction aficionado needs to know is that there are reanimated men as stalkers, there are orbiting death weapons, there are giant manoeuvrable cities that eat other cities and there are a lot of explosions, guns and action Sound good Read the conclusion to this amazing series Or read the series


  5. Adam Smith Adam Smith says:

    I gave the first three books 4 stars exciting but with thin characters and half way through A Darkling Plain was of a mind to give this 5 stars, to acknowledge the worldbuilding and story aspects that spanned all the books, even though it struggled with the same problems See what I did there, Philip Even though it struggled instead of even though it was struggling The final third of the book cemented a begrudging 3 stars, it was just terrible Before I even talk about the story and ch I gave the first three books 4 stars exciting but with thin characters and half way through A Darkling Plain was of a mind to give this 5 stars, to acknowledge the worldbuilding and story aspects that spanned all the books, even though it struggled with the same problems See what I did there, Philip Even though it struggled instead of even though it was struggling The final third of the book cemented a begrudging 3 stars, it was just terrible Before I even talk about the story and characters, I have to mention the writing, or perhaps that should be the editing, or its lack of editing Throughout the series, the writing was solid enough if nothing spectacular, and rarely distracting For a while I even thought the quality had gone up in A Darkling Plain, but like the story, it seemed to collapse in the final third Packed with action, yet filled with passive tense these lines should be URGENT and TAUT but instead were weak and lazy The Stalker s robes began to burn Lightning was crawling across her calm, bronze face The tone and tense was also inconsistent making this possibly the worst written edited of the four It s mostly a distant third person in past tense, but every now and then we, the reader, were directly addressed, asking us to recall past stories I rolled with it at the time, but thinking back, it was just unnecessarily jarring Worst though, is that almost an entire chapter was in the present tense I wracked my brain for a clever reason, because surely this was too big of an error but if there is a reason I can t think of one It even went into present tense for a couple pages close to the end You d think the finale of a best selling series would be better edited.The biggest sucker punch, and there ll be spoilers here, is Tom The central character, at least for the first two books and yet he is the same in this book as he was on the first pages of Mortal Engines all those twenty or thirty years ago He has zero development And then Philip Reeve makes him do something quite unforgivable and uncharacteristic leave his daughter without so much as a hug The reasoning itself was fairly contrived, but the act itself needn t and shouldn t have been so cold Here we are, enjoying their conversations and five minutes later that sinking feeling that we ve actually just had the final goodbye between Tom and Wren, with Tom leaving her a note to go in pursuit of Hester, giving her a kiss on the forehead as she sleeps I m sorry, but the Tom of this series does not do this to his daughter, not without a good hour of hugs and talk of how proud he is of her and he will fight tooth and nail to get back but if he doesn t he will always love her It would ve been hard easy to write on Tom, but THAT was Tom, not the man who sneaked away to never speak to his daughter again.It was all downhill from there I began not forgiving all the times the characters had been naive or foolish or for some reason allowed Pennyroyal, the direct reason for Tom s ill health, to continue living, or at least being a part of their travels I m not sure if Philip meant Pennyroyal to be a curmudgeonly bit of light entertainment, endeared to the reader but he was not He could ve gone books ago and we wouldn t have missed him And THAT ending a grown man couldn t overpower an emancipated twelve year old with a penknife Screw that.And therein is the biggest problem of the whole series amazing worldbuilding but characters that fall mercy to the plot Things they said and did and thought, that you imagined would have a deeper revelation later on Tom s insistence that he loves Hester, ugly, ugly, Hester, for instance, is never convincing, even with his inner monologues when he wishes she was prettier No, She s ugly, but it was just She s ugly Does she have no redeeming features, Tom, that you can call upon in your inner monologue No, we ll just give her a kiss now This makes us empathise with Hester, and she is certainly one of the most nuanced of the human characters, unable to rise out of the shadow of her father, Valentine But even she is very single minded.It says something that in the final few pages you realise the most interesting and complicated character throughout was Shrike, the Stalker robot.I may not have enjoyed this series as much as I d hoped, but it has been invaluable as a writer It has really emphasised the importance of character consistency and nuance no matter how good the world building, the characters must lead the way


  6. Alaina Alaina says:

    This series was just such a disappointment after the first book, which I loved I just feel like the characters were turning into their worst version of themselves. or at least people that annoyed me to no end.So many things in this book bothered me I have no idea why Tom and Hester acted the way they did It seemed like they weren t really parents at this point Plus the whole leaving Wren to go find his wife with just a stupid ass note oh hell no Murder was in my eyes.Not like I actually This series was just such a disappointment after the first book, which I loved I just feel like the characters were turning into their worst version of themselves. or at least people that annoyed me to no end.So many things in this book bothered me I have no idea why Tom and Hester acted the way they did It seemed like they weren t really parents at this point Plus the whole leaving Wren to go find his wife with just a stupid ass note oh hell no Murder was in my eyes.Not like I actually liked their kid Wren, who was just annoying to me I wanted to like her. but ugh, I just couldn t Besides them, Hester was okay. but yeah, I didn t really like the characters towards the end of this series If I could somehow get the characters that I met loved in the first book by the end of this series well, I think my opinion on everything would ve changed for the better However, that didn t happen and I ended up frustratingly angry with everything that was happening.Overall, I m glad that I finally finished this series but I am so freaking disappointed with everyone and everything that happened


  7. Sesana Sesana says:

    A Darkling Plain is the longest of the Hungry City books, by a fairly large margin But there is, after all, a lot going on here There s hardly any padding, so it earns it s 500 pages honestly Thinking about the book, I suspect that I wouldn t have liked it so much, or been so glued to it, if I hadn t already been deeply invested in these characters from previous books Tom and Hester especially, who see their story draw to what is probably its unavoidable close The ending is fantastic, emot A Darkling Plain is the longest of the Hungry City books, by a fairly large margin But there is, after all, a lot going on here There s hardly any padding, so it earns it s 500 pages honestly Thinking about the book, I suspect that I wouldn t have liked it so much, or been so glued to it, if I hadn t already been deeply invested in these characters from previous books Tom and Hester especially, who see their story draw to what is probably its unavoidable close The ending is fantastic, emotionally satisfying and almost overwhelmingly bittersweet Wren remained the character I was most likely to sigh at in exasperation, but Theo really gave her a run for the title Then again, his missteps seem to fit into what I guess is one of Reeve s takeaways for the series nice guys may not finish last, but they sure can be dumb sometimes


  8. Kelly Kelly says:

    WOW WELL THAT WAS A TRAGIC ENDING.


  9. Daphne Daphne says:

    This book was a decent end to the series I didn t like the third book, so many of the things in this book that were connected to that weren t great in my opinion, but I did think the author did a good job creating an ending that wrapped everything up I just feel a bit like it would have been fine if the series was shorter, because now it got drawn out in a way I didn t particularly care for The conflicts were fairly complex, and I just wasn t that invested Neither was I too invested in the c This book was a decent end to the series I didn t like the third book, so many of the things in this book that were connected to that weren t great in my opinion, but I did think the author did a good job creating an ending that wrapped everything up I just feel a bit like it would have been fine if the series was shorter, because now it got drawn out in a way I didn t particularly care for The conflicts were fairly complex, and I just wasn t that invested Neither was I too invested in the characters It was entertaining, but not muchthan that.Personally, I would recommend just reading the first book, which was fantastic


  10. Wing Kee Wing Kee says:

    A amazingly creative world marred by really bad characters, author hang ups and the very visible hand of God.World The world is simply the best thing about this series The dense, creative and mind blowingly deep world that Reeve has created here is the sole reason that I was able to finish this series The sandbox that is created here gives a huge sense of discovery and wonder with the little bits and pieces of the past the Reeve sprinkles into his world like the iPod to tease and delight re A amazingly creative world marred by really bad characters, author hang ups and the very visible hand of God.World The world is simply the best thing about this series The dense, creative and mind blowingly deep world that Reeve has created here is the sole reason that I was able to finish this series The sandbox that is created here gives a huge sense of discovery and wonder with the little bits and pieces of the past the Reeve sprinkles into his world like the iPod to tease and delight readers The ships, the cities, the old tech and new and how they meld together, how characters and the world reacts to this world and interact to it, it s all utterly engrossing and in my mind visually amazing This is, as I said, a tour de force for world building.Story This is where the book starts to fall apart again and since book one has remained an issue The writing overall is solid, the language descriptive, however there is a sense of detachment and coldness to it that doesn t really allow the readers into the characters feelings and presence The story is overly convoluted and long and for the story it tells I did enjoy the constant going from one location to another but as I said it gets a bit tedious and there are obstacles after obstacles for the sake of obstacles The not so invisible had of the writer is also seen constantly with just near misses and escapes and coincidences and plot points and misunderstandings that it annoyed me to no end On paper, looking at the entire plot and where it started and where it ended you see a good story and a rip roaring adventure But how the story is executed is rather convoluted and contrived The end is fairly poetic and I did enjoy how it ended but having it be that character and his weird obsession over the couple of books kinda also makes it weird for me and it feels like this would not be my choice as the narrator I would have wanted moving forward Oh well.Characters Another really big issue I have had with this book and the series as a whole are the characters Let s start with Hester first cause as much as Reeve thinks there is forward development and growth from book one to now after four books Hester is still a pretty terrible person and at her core pretty unlikable because of the way she is to others I thought there were bits and pieces of her that were develop but then she does certain things in this book which contradict it and then swings back the other way, it s irksome Then there is the Reeve hang up of how ugly she is and it s a thing over and over and over and over and over again we get it, it s s thing for you but I wished that this would not be her defining characteristic and that it would not be this shallow, but it is Tom has been a wet towel since the start of the series and the same can be said of him, he s gained confidence, a personality and a drive and has become a hero but is also wildly inconsistent in how he s written that is also irksome Then there s the rest of the characters which suffer the same thing, characters that jump around and if you look clearly don t really get a lot of solid and concrete development that changes them, but rather they react and act the way the plot needs them to at that certain moment showing how contrived their feelings and reactions are I don t think Shrike is a good character to have in the end cause he started off as a weird character for readers to begin with and the unhealthy obsession that he has for Hester is frankly kinda creepy but oh well the feeling we are suppose to feel at the end of the book does include a somewhatweird feeling for me.I love this world, it s so creative and beautiful and in my mind visually arresting The rest of the book and the series quite frankly have been problematic and it makes me sad that the characters and the plot is the way it is.Onward to the next book