Philip Reeve 2008

Philip Reeve

Philip Reeve (born 1966 in Brighton, United Kingdom) is a British author and illustrator. He wrote the Mortal Engines Quartet. He presently lives on Dartmoor with his wife Sarah and their son Sam. He made a cameo in the film adaptation.


Reeve studied illustration, first at Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (CCAT - now Anglia Ruskin University), where he contributed a comic strip to the Student Union magazine, and later at Brighton Polytechnic (now the University of Brighton). Before becoming a professional illustrator he worked at a bookshop in Brighton for several years. During his student years and for a few years afterwards he wrote for and performed in comedy sketch shows with a variety of collaborators under various group names, among them The Charles Atlas Sisters.

He provided cartoon illustrations for many books, including the Horrible Histories and Murderous Maths series, and wrote the Buster Bayliss series series of books: Night of the Living Veg, The Big Freeze, Day of the Hamster, and Custardfinger. He is also the author of a Dead Famous book, Horatio Nelson and His Victory.

His first book for older readers was Mortal Engines which won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize Gold Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Book Award. Mortal Engines is the first book in the Mortal Engines Quartet, which also includes Predator's Gold, Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain. The books are about the lives of two young adventurers, Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw, both of them are played by Robert Sheehan and Hera Hilmar respectively in the film adaptations, who live in a lawless post-apocalyptic world inhabited by moving cities; the latter character was his favourite.

Reeve himself professes that, when planning out stories for his novels, "I see it as a film that I run in my head, and I just keep running alternative versions of it until I come up with a cut I like."

His 2007 novel, Here Lies Arthur, an alternative version of the Arthurian legend, was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 2008.


Mortal Engines Quartet

Buster Bayliss series

  • Night of the Living Veg (2002)
  • The Big Freeze (2002)
  • Day of the Hamster (2002)
  • Custardfinger! (2003)

Fever Crumb series

Goblins series

  • Goblins (2012)
  • Goblins vs Dwarves (2013)
  • Goblin Quest (2014)

Larklight trilogy

  • Larklight (2006)
  • Starcross (2007)
  • Mothstorm (2008)

Railhead series

  • Railhead (2015)
  • Black Light Express (2016)
  • Station Zero (2018)

Other novels

  • Here Lies Arthur (2007)
  • No Such Thing As Dragons (2009)

Books as illustrator

  • Pantsacadabra! (2006) (with Kjartan Poskitt)
  • Urgum the Axeman (2006) (with Kjartan Poskitt)
  • Murderous Maths (series)
  • No Such Thing As Dragons (self)


  1. Winner of the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Mortal Engines)
  2. Short-listed for the Whitbread Book Award (Mortal Engines)
  3. Winner of the Carnegie Medal (Here Lies Arthur)
  4. Winner of the Guardian Award (A Darkling Plain)
  5. Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction (A Darkling Plain)

External links