Mortal Engines was published in 2001 and I would absolutely bestow the epithet 'classic' up on it. It's bloomin' awesome. Philip Reeve's imagination throws us forward to a time when cities have become moving human ecosystems which hunt and devour each other. The protagonist, Tom, lives in London and he thinks he understands the way things are, but getting to meet his hero and accidentally witnessing an assassination attempt hurls him out of London and turns him into a fugitive. His new perspective on the world raises lots of questions about what he's been told as a citizen of London.
This is a gripping adventure in a beautifully drawn world. Once you open this book you won't want to put it down. The characters are wonderfully vivid and fascinating. The writing is skilled and stunningly visual.
After reading this book I ordered a bunch of Reeve's other books, because I knew I would be happy to read anything he writes. Mortal Engines is the beginning of a series of books, so if you like the world Reeve creates there's more adventures to enjoy.