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Characters / Mortal Engines

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Characters in the Mortal Engines Quartet and the Fever Crumb series by Philip Reeve.

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     Both Series 

Shrike formerly Kit Solent

A very, very old stalker who adopted Hester.


  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": Refers to most humans as 'once-borns' to differentiate them from stalkers.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Cyborg built for combat? Check. Ruthless killing machine who undergoes enough Character Development to do a Face–Heel Turn? Check. Complicated Father/Son relationship with the protagonist? Check... sort of (since Hester is his adopted daughter).
  • Made of Iron: survives getting blasted with electrical weapons, shot in the face, over 1000 years of activity, being run over by 2 towns, being stabbed in the chest, a brutal stalker fight and falling out of an airship, and is ticking possibly millennia later.
  • Manchurian Agent: In infernal Devices, he is repaired and gifted to Stalker Fang to serve her as a bodyguard. However, his handler secretly programmes him to assassinate Fang if he hears her speak the Trigger Phrase "The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew tree are of equal duration."
  • Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot: Well, he's an undead cyborg who is surprisingly stealthy and sometimes works as an Assassin, so it's 3 out of 4.
  • Team Dad: By the end of the fourth book he's the one shepherding the motley bunch of adventurer's around. He even develops the world-weary deadpan to go with it.
  • Technical Pacifist: Becomes this in Infernal Devices, due to a combination of being reprogrammed by Oenone Zero and developing a natural conscience. Still has no problems disarming or pinning people for Hester to kill, or inflicting non-lethal injuries.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: He feels a strange sense of empathy towards children which he can't explain (implied to be residual memories of him being a father when he was alive). It's what motivated him to adopt Hester after her mother's death, and kill one of his employers when he asked Shrike to murder the children of a political rival.
     Mortal Engines Quartet 

Tom Natsworthy

Along with Hester, the central character of the story. A rather naïve apprentice historian from London in the first book, who ends up stranded on the hunting ground after foiling an assassination attempt.


  • Anti-Hero: He's a classical type. He spends most of the action scenes utterly terrified.
  • Action Survivor: In the first book, where he manages to temporarily kill Shrike, and shoots down the 13th Floor Elevator.
  • Heart Trauma: After his near fatal stab wound he suffers from a weakened heart, something that ends up eventually killing him.
  • Nice Guy: Probably the most moral character in the series.
  • Non-Action Guy: in the later books.
  • Opposites Attract: with Hester. Tom is handsome, well-educated, naïve and hates violence. Hester is horribly scarred, Book Dumb, cynical and borderline sociopathic.
  • The Pollyanna: A rare male example, and done believably. Tom endures - and does - terrible things over the course of roughly twenty years, and a lot of it weighs on him. Yet none of it truly crushes him - while he enters slumps of depression (most notably at the end of the first book after London is destroyed), he never stops being a genuinely kindhearted, pleasantly bright fellow, and rarely crosses into Stepford Smiler territory to boot.

Hester Shaw

The other main character of the series. She was horribly disfigured by Thaddeus Valentine, and tries to kill him in the first book, setting off the series plot.


Wren Natsworthy:

Tom and Hester's daughter, born shortly after Predator's Gold.


  • Action Survivor: manages to hold off Kobold for about a minute, which is quite impressive considering he's a trained soldier with a proper sword against her lump of metal.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: In Infernal Devices; she grows out of it.
  • Guile Hero: Unlike both her parents she learns to become an excellent liar.
  • Nice Girl: Seems to take after Tom, although she's rather more worldly.

Theo Ngoni

A runaway from Zagwa, Africa, who originally joined the Anti-Tractionist fanatics of the Green Storm sometime before Infernal Devices.


  • Action Survivor: On a similar level to Wren Natsworthy, constantly making rash decisions and usually just scraping by by the skin of his teeth, and usually only with outside help. Unsurprising considering he's still a teenager. Also borders on being the butt-monkey.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Hester and Shrike walk by while Theo is Grandma Gravy's slave, he calls out to Hester - not because he thinks he'd be saved, but because he wants Wren to know why he never came back, and what happened to him.
  • Made a Slave: Twice, and was nearly worked to death the second time. Three times, if you consider he was originally supposed to die in a suicide attack by piloting a bomb to its target for the Green Storm.

     Fever Crumb Series 

Fever Crumb:

The main character of the prequels. A former Apprentice Engineer who leaves the Guild to work with the archaeologist Kit Solent.


Auric Godshawk:

Fever's grandfather, who was killed by the Skinners before the start of the series.


Cluny Morvish:

The daughter of an Arkhangelsk leader, who has visions of Traction Cities.


  • Ambiguously Bi: It's not clear what her relationship with Fever is at the end of Scrivener's Moon.
  • Blind Seer: Kind of, she's a seer who later goes blind.
  • Closet Key: For Fever.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She starts to loosen up when away from her hated prophet duties, and has several good remarks in response to the odd things she comes across, including Fever's observations.
  • Oblivious to Love: Pretty much the last person to know about Fever being in love with her.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Which Fever adores.


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