|This article does not cite any sources. (December 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Cover artist||David Frankland|
|Series||Mortal Engines Quartet|
|Genre||Steampunk, Adventure novel|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Mortal Engines|
|Followed by||Infernal Devices|
Predator's Gold is set two years after Mortal Engines. In that time, lovers Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw have been using the Jenny Haniver, their deceased comrade Anna Fang's airship, to travel across the world trading and adventuring.
Tom and Hester meet adventurer and author Nimrod Pennyroyal aboard Airhaven, who persuades them to take him as a passenger. They are soon pursued by airships of the Green Storm, a fanatical splinter group of the Anti-Traction League, and drift helplessly over the Ice Wastes. They are rescued by Anchorage: once a thriving Traction City that relied primarily upon trade, but now devastated by an excavated biological weapon. The survivors have set a course for North America, which has been a radioactive wasteland since the Sixty Minute War. The city is ruled by Freya Rasmussen, who treats all three of them as honoured guests. Tom and Hester rebuild the Jenny Haniver. Hester is jealous of his growing closeness to Freya, and disturbed by the sightings of "ghosts" in the city. Eventually she sees Tom kissing Freya, and flies away from the city in the Jenny Haniver. Thereafter Hester sells Anchorage's course to Piotr Masgard, the leader of the "Huntsmen" of the Traction City of Arkangel, who intends to capture the city through an airship invasion; but insists that when Arkangel eats Anchorage, Tom will be returned to her. As she returns to the Jenny Haniver, however, she is drugged and kidnapped by a Green Storm informant.
Hester is taken to Rogue's Roost, an island south of Greenland, where the Green Storm have converted Anna Fang's body into a Stalker. They hope to restore Fang's memories by showing her Hester. The Green Storm also reveal that, according to their intelligence, Hester's father was Thaddeus Valentine. Tom and Pennyroyal are now stranded on Anchorage; and Pennyroyal miserably confesses that he never went to America, and based his entire book thereof, on an old explorer's map in the Reykjavík library. Tom later finds that the "ghosts" sighted around the city are thieves, operating out of a parasite submarine attached to the bottom of the city, who call themselves the Lost Boys and work out of a larger group in the sunken city of Grimsby. With their secret discovered, they kidnap Tom and leave the city. Tom develops a sort of friendship with one of the Lost Boys, Caul, on their trip to Grimsby. Caul tells him that the city is ruled by "Uncle": a man who founded it as a base of thieves. When they arrive in Grimsby Tom is taken to see Uncle, who tells him there is something valuable in Rogue's Roost, which he wants Tom to steal for him. In return, Tom will have the chance to rescue Hester. Tom climbs a ladder up the rocky cliffs to infiltrate the base; but is soon discovered. Caul, however, prematurely detonates the charges the Lost Boys had planted; risking their operation, but saving Tom and Hester. In their confusion, the Lost Boys make their way to the chamber where the Stalker Fang is kept, and the Stalker easily kills most of the Lost Boys, with only Caul and a few others escaping in a submarine. It pursues Tom and Hester into a hangar where the Jenny Haniver is kept, but lets them escape, and then takes command of the Green Storm forces.
In Grimsby, Caul is left to die by hanging. He is saved by another Lost Boy, Gargle, who gives him the Reykjavik map.
Arkangel is catching up to Anchorage, and its Huntsmen capture Anchorage and leave it helpless on the ice; but Tom and Hester return to the city, where Pennyroyal has evaded capture. Hester sends Tom to hide, and later liberates the palace and kills the Huntsmen, while Tom confronts Pennyroyal, who is attempting to fly off in the Jenny Haniver. Attempting to scare Tom off, Pennyroyal accidentally wounds Tom. He then steals the airship, and escapes. Arkangel is still pursuing Anchorage, but becomes trapped over thin ice. With the revelation that Pennyroyal is a fraud, the survivors have lost hope in the salvation of their city, until Caul arrives with the Reykjavik map, and convinces them to continue. Pennyroyal escapes to the Hunting Ground, and soon publishes a book retelling the events of Anchorage's flight west, with himself as the hero. Arkangel is evacuated and eventually sinks to the bottom of the ocean. In Asia, the Green Storm, under the leadership of the Stalker Fang, topples the old Anti-Traction League. Anchorage eventually makes it to North America, and finds it verdant and lush. Tom recovers from his wound, but is still very weak. Hester takes comfort in the knowledge that the city will be secret and safe in this new land, and is pleased to discover that she is pregnant.