Philip Reeve

Philip Reeve

Philip Reeve is best known as the author of Mortal Engines, but has written many other works, including Railhead, Here Lies Arthur, and a series of popular books for younger readers with the illustrator Sarah McIntyre. Philip was born and raised in Brighton, where he worked in a bookshop for a number of years while also co-writing, producing and directing a number of no-budget theatre projects. Philip then began illustrating, and has since provided illustrations, cartoons and comic strips for around forty children's books, including the best-selling Horrible Histories, Murderous Maths and Dead Famous series. It was while working on these that he wrote Mortal Engines, his first novel. Mortal Engines is a gripping adventure story set in a future world where moving cities trawl the globe. It was shortlisted for several awards and was the Gold Award winner at the Nestle Smarties Book Prize 2002 and the winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year at the 2003 Awards. A movie adaptation, written and produced by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and directed by Christian Rivers, was released in 2018. Predator's Gold is the second book in the Mortal Engines quartet, Infernal Devices the third and A Darkling Plain concludes the series to date. A Darkling Plain was published in 2006 and won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. In 2007, Philip took a new direction with publication of Here Lies Arthur, a story which this time looks back into history. Set in the Dark Ages, the book is a gripping adventure story and at the same time explores how a myth can be created through story-telling. Here Lies Arthur was shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Award, the Nestle Children's Book Prize and won the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2008. Fever Crumb, published in 2009 and set many generations before the events of Mortal Engines, was short-listed for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010.  It was followed by A Web of Air (2010) and Scrivener's Moon (2011). Philip is also the author of Goblins ,Goblins Vs Dwarves, and Goblin Quest (comic fantasies about the bloodthirsty goblins of Clovenstone) and a trilogy of steam-powered Victorian space adventures Larklight, Starcross and Mothstorm, all gloriously illustrated by David Wyatt. In recent years Philip has begun a successful collaboration with the illustrator Sarah McIntyre. Their books together include Oliver and the Seawigs, Cakes in Space, Pugs of the Frozen North, and Jinks and O’Hare Funfair Repair. The Legend of Kevin, about a roly-poly flying pony, was followed by three sequels: Kevin's Great Escape, Kevin and the Biscuit Bandit and Kevin vs the Unicorns. In March 2023 Philip and Sarah published the first of their new Adventuremice series: Otter Chaos. Based on paintings Sarah did during the pandemic lockdowns, and lavishly illustrated in full colour, the first book tells the story of Pedro, a young mouse who sets off in search of the fabled Mouse Islands, and meets the daring Adventuremice. Inspired by working on the Reeve & McIntyre series, Philip returned to large-scale sci-fi with his YA novel Railhead, set in a future where human beings live in a galactic empire linked by hyperspace railways, Railhead tells the story of a young thief named Zen, who is recruited to commit an elaborate robbery. Zen’s adventures continue in a sequel, Black Light Express, and Station Zero completes the trilogy. Philip's most recent novels are Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep and Utterly Dark and the Heart of the Wild. Described by the Guardian as 'a superbly weird tale of wonder, peril, tragedy and the thin places between worlds', it is set on the imaginary 19th Century island of Wildsea, where young Utterly Dark keeps watch for even more imaginary islands which appear sometimes on the western horizon, and the terrifying being who lives on them. 'The writing is superbly descriptive, strongly evoking landscapes, weathers and moods. Much of the earlier part of the story feels lyrical and echoes the writing of the period in which it is set, without ever feeling in any way archaic. But…the story rapidly builds to a cataclysmic and hugely exciting sequence of climaxes.’ (Gordon Askew, Magic Fiction Since Potter.) The second book follows Utterly to another island, where old magic is stirring beneath the hills. Philip lives on Dartmoor with his wife and son. 
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