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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Violence

Survival of the fittest sounds all neat and clean from a distance. Creatures grow and change in a nice line, just like on that little evolutionary chart. The strong survive and the weak... don't. H...

Society and Class

Our social class system kind of looks like a wedding cake. The lower class is the largest, and each higher class gets smaller and smaller until you get to the 1% at the top, looking down on everyon...

Appearances

Whether someone is meeting you in person, creeping your OKCupid profile, or carding you when you see an R-rated movie, they are checking out your appearance (and, man, that driver's license photo i...

Guilt and Blame

It's hard enough living with the guilt that you were playing ball in the house and broke your mother's favorite horse sculpture, or that due to your shoddy navigation skills a three-hour boat tour...

Courage

There are courageous teens all over the place in fiction: Harry Potter. Katniss Everdeen. Those kids dying of cancer in The Fault in Our Stars. While there are always exceptions and doubts, most of...

Admiration

Putting people on a pedestal almost always sets them up for a fall. A president has a scandalous affair. Your favorite American Idol contestant lip-syncs to the wrong track. A star sports player tu...

Technology and Modernization

Technology does a lot of wonderful things. We can carry hours and hours of music and reading on digital devices that fit into our pockets. We can scan people for diseases that are invisible to the...

Friendship

Mortal Engines can seem more like Mortal Kombat at times, with all the swords and blood and fatalities. But just as Mortal Kombat 2 introduced the "Friendship," Mortal Engines has a tender side as...

Religion

How weird would Madonna's "Like a Prayer" be if she were singing to Donald Duck? Pretty flipping strange, right? The people of Mortal Engines think the Ancients (read: us) worshiped Disney characte...
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