by Philip Reeve.

Okay, I’m a child of the ’80s. When I see a good idea, it doesn’t really matter what setting it’s in. I mean, I grew up thinking He-Man* was a good idea. And Transformers.** And…well, I could go on for a while.

So when I ran into this book, it really didn’t matter whether it was well-written or not. Cities don’t expand by growing suburbs — they grow by rolling around the countryside and devouring anything smaller or weaker that they come across. Cities on wheels! Aaaaah! How great is that!

But then…the characters are good. And the plot isn’t bad. And…well, I’m not going to say. But it didn’t come out the way I thought it was going to.

Good. Refreshing. An aftertaste of berries…no wait, that’s wine. Like Neal Stephenson for kids.

*A kid and his pet, neither one of them all that and a bag of chips, have been picked out by forces beyond their control to defend everything important from an undead sorcerer and his hoard.

**An alien race has blended in so well with earth society that we don’t know they’re here…until their traditional enemies think, “Hey…nice place. Mine now.”