I recently completed the four books of the Mortal Engines series (Mortal Engines, Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices, and A Darkling Plain). I was drawn in by the premise — that whole cities have gone mobile, something like giant tanks, and have taken to eating each other — but it was the depth of the love stories that drew me to finish it.
I recently re-read The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (the last time was in high school, for English class). I was pleasantly surprised by how short it was (~90 pages) and delighted by the prose: so much of the “modern” texts I read are either soulless corporate speak, that say very little, particularly about the things that actually matter, or flowery advertising speak, that serves more to misdirect and hide, or bland and flat, by writers who are exposed to very little soulful writing (or is this a description of my fears of own writing??). It’s hard to tease apart how much is a result of being written in over a century ago in 1899, how much is the writer displaying his craft, and how much of the structure is borrowed from Conrad’s native Polish.