Study Guide

Mortal Engines Friendship

By Philip Reeve


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 well.

Amidst all the carnage, Katherine and Bevis go from strangers to friends to sweethearts to… dead, but we're trying to focus on the positive here. Even Tom learns to look past Hester's ugly face and get to know the not-quite-as-ugly person within. Although Katherine and Bevis's friendship ends up leading to their doom, Tom and Hester's friendship saves them. As usual, everything has two sides in Mortal Engines.

Questions About Friendship

  1. At what point do Tom and Hester become friends? Why do they become friends? Are they ever more than friends?
  2. Would Tom and Katherine have been friends if their situation had been different?
  3. Were Hester and Grike friends? Is it possible for Grike to even have friends?

Chew on This

Friendship isn't much of a factor in Municipal Darwinism. When living in a town-eat-town world, most people think about how they can get ahead... and friendship would just slow them down.

Hester avoids being friends with Tom for so long because she's been betrayed in the past, or because she's lost people she's loved. Friendship means trusting someone else, and that's hard for her.