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Reeve, Philip

Reeve, Philip

PERSONAL:

Born in Brighton, England; married; children: one son.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Devon, England.

CAREER:

Cartoonist, book illustrator, and author, 1994—. Has also worked as a bookseller and a producer and director of stage plays.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Whitbread Children's Book Award finalist, Gold Medal, Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, 2002, Best Book of the Year, Washington Post, Best Book for Young Adults selection, American Library Association, and Blue Peter Book of the Year Award, 2003, all for Mortal Engines; W.H. Smith People's Choice Award shortlist, 2004, for Predator's Gold; Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, 2006, for A Darkling Plain.

WRITINGS:

ILLUSTRATOR:

Peter Corey, Coping with Love, Scholastic (London, England), 1997.

Mind-blowing Music, Scholastic (London, England), 1997.

Michael Cox, Awful Art, Scholastic (London, England), 1997.

Chris d'Lacey, Henry Spaloosh!, Scholastic (London, England), 1997.

Michael Cox, Smashin' Fashion, Scholastic (London, England), 1998.

Chris d'Lacey, The Snail Patrol, Scholastic (London, England), 1998.

Haydn Middleton, Come and Have a Go If You Think You're Cool Enough!, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

Hadyn Middleton, Come and Have a Go If You Think You're Mad Enough!, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

Kjartan Poskitt, The Magic of Pants: A Conjuror's Compendium of Underpants Tricks to Delight All Ages (and Sizes), Scholastic (London, England), 2004.

Kjartan Poskitt, A Brief History of Pants: The Rudiments of Pantology, Scholastic (London, England), 2005.

"HORRIBLE HISTORIES" SERIES; ILLUSTRATOR

Terry Deary, Wicked Words, Deutsch (London, England), 1996.

Terry Deary, The Angry Aztecs, Scholastic (London, England), 1997.

Terry Deary, Dark Knights and Dingy Castles, Scholastic (London, England), 1997.

Terry Deary, Rowdy Revolutions, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

Terry Deary, The Incredible Incas, Scholastic (London, England), 2000.

Terry Deary, The Angry Aztecs and The Incredible Incas: Two Horrible Books in One, Scholastic (London, England), 2001.

"MURDEROUS MATH" SERIES; ILLUSTRATOR

Kjartan Poskitt, More Murderous Maths, Scholastic (London, England), 1998.

Kjartan Poskitt, Do You Feel Lucky? The Secrets of Probability, Scholastic (London, England), 2001.

Kjartan Poskitt, Vicious Circles and Other Savage Shapes, Scholastic (London, England), 2002.

Kjartan Poskitt, Numbers: The Key to the Universe, Scholastic (London, England), 2002.

Kjartan Poskitt, Professor Fiendish's Book of Diabolical Brainbenders, Scholastic (London, England), 2002.

Kjartan Poskitt, The Phantom X, Scholastic (London, England), 2003.

Kjartan Poskitt, The Perfect Sausage, Scholastic (London, England), 2005.

"SPARK FILES" SERIES; ILLUSTRATOR

Terry Deary and Barbara Allen, Space Race, Faber (London, England), 1998.

Terry Deary and Barbara Allen, Chop and Change, Faber (London, England), 1998.

Terry Deary and Barbara Allen, Shock Tactics, Faber (London, England), 1998.

Terry Deary and Barbara Allen, Bat and Bell, Faber (London, England), 1998.

Terry Deary and Barbara Allen, Magical Magnets, Faber (London, England), 1999.

Terry Deary and Barbara Allen, The Secrets of Science, Faber (London, England), 2000.

"DEAD FAMOUS" SERIES; ILLUSTRATOR

Alan MacDonald, Henry VIII and His Chopping Block, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

Kjartan Poskitt, Isaac Newton and His Apple, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

Alan MacDonald, Al Capone and His Gang, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

Alan MacDonald, Oliver Cromwell and His Warts, Scholastic (London, England), 2000.

Margaret Simpson, Cleopatra and Her Asp, Scholastic (London, England), 2000.

Margaret Simpson, Elizabeth I and Her Conquests, Scholastic (London, England), 2001.

Margaret Simpson, Mary Queen of Scots and Her Hopeless Husbands, Scholastic (London, England), 2001.

Michael Cox, Elvis and His Pelvis, Scholastic (London, England), 2001.

Mike Goldsmith, Albert Einstein and His Inflatable Universe, Scholastic (London, England), 2001.

Phil Robins, Joan of Arc and Her Marching Orders, Scholastic (London, England), 2002.

(And author) Horatio Nelson and His Victory, Scholastic (London, England), 2003.

"BUSTER BAYLISS" CHILDREN'S BOOK SERIES

Buster Bayliss: Night of the Living Veg, illustrated by Graham Philpot, Scholastic Children's Books (London, England), 2002.

Buster Bayliss: The Big Freeze, illustrated by Graham Philpot, Scholastic Children's Books (London, England), 2002.

Buster Bayliss: Day of the Hamster, illustrated by Graham Philpot, Scholastic Children's Books (London, England), 2002.

Buster Bayliss: Custardfinger, illustrated by Graham Philpot, Scholastic Children's Books (London, England), 2003.

"HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES" YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

Mortal Engines, Scholastic (London, England), 2001, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Predator's Gold, Eos (New York, NY), 2004.

Infernal Devices, Eos (New York, NY), 2005.

A Darkling Plain, Eos (New York, NY), 2007.

OTHER

Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space, Bloomsbury Children's Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Here Lies Arthur, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2007.

Starcross: A Stirring Adventure of Spies, Time Travel and Curious Hats, illustrated by David Wyatt, Bloomsbury Children's Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Also author of Urgum the Axe Man, 2007. Coauthor, with Brian P. Mitchell, of The Ministry of Biscuits, a musical.

SIDELIGHTS:

A former bookseller and a highly successful illustrator of children's books, Philip Reeve has garnered critical acclaim for his "Hungry City Chronicles," a science fiction series for young adults. Imaginative and clever, the series, which includes Mortal Engines and Infernal Devices, has been compared to Philip Pullman's famed "Dark Materials" trilogy.

Mortal Engines takes place in a bleak future, "in which larger, faster cities literally gobble up the resources of smaller towns in order to feed the never-ending need for fuel," as Janice M. Del Negro explained in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. In a mobile London, scavenger Thaddeus Valentine has discovered an ancient energy source that will enable the city to overwhelm the stationery but well-defended cities of Asia. When a horribly disfigured girl named Hester Shaw attempts to take Valentine's life, young apprentice historian Tom Natsworthy saves his hero. But to his surprise, instead of rewarding him, Valentine shoves both Hester and Tom down a waste chute. Tom soon learns that Valentine killed Hester's parents, and he joins her quest for vengeance as the two set out across a landscape of pirates and slave traders in pursuit of east-bound London. "The book's tone of high adventure and danger; the grimy yet fantastical post-apocalyptic setting; the narrow escapes, deepening loyalties, and not-infrequent bitter losses—all keep readers' attention riveted," commented Anita L. Burkam in Horn Book. Kliatt reviewer Paula Rohrlick stated that the "wildly imaginative British tale is full of marvelous details … humor, and grand adventures." Chronicle contributor Don D'Ammassa found the book "well worth the time of readers of any age."

Reeve's follow-up, Predator's Gold, finds Tom and Hester in Anchorage, Alaska. The town is under the control of Freya. When Freya recalls old stories of lush fields in the old continental United States, she decides to take Anchorage on a perilous journey across the ice wastes. Unfortunately, Hester sees Tom kissing pretty Freya one day, and in a jealous rage she betrays Anchorage's location to the predatory city of Arkangel. At the same time the "Lost Boys" are spying on the city and trying to kidnap Tom while the Anti-Traction League is seeking to destroy Anchorage, with the help of a resurrected aviatrix from the first book who has been transformed into a horrible cyborg. According to Horn Book contributor Anita L. Burkam, "the technological wizardry will gratify young sci-fi gearheads, while the intense emotions drive the thrilling plot at top speed." Once again, Kliatt reviewer Paula Rohrlick commended "Reeve's marvelous imagination and emotional depth, the sympathetic young protagonists, and the thrilling adventures" in this sequel. Booklist contributor Salle Estes noted that despite a complex plot and multiple characters, the story "is still easy to follow [and] gripping enough to leave readers anxious to find out what's to come."

Infernal Devices, the third work in the "Hungry City Chronicles," takes place some sixteen years after the events in Predator's Gold. Tom and Hester have settled in Anchorage-in-Vineland to raise their teenage daughter, Wren, who finds life in the peaceful town dull and confining. When a submarine arrives carrying a group of the Lost Boys, Wren jumps at the chance for adventure and agrees to steal the legendary Tin Book, which contains mysterious technological secrets. Wren is kidnapped, however, and sold into slavery aboard the raft-city of Brighton. As her parents mount a rescue effort, they encounter such formidable enemies as Pennyroyal and the Stalker Fang. "Reeve keeps the multiple plots moving with surprises, tragedy, and multiple betrayals," observed School Library Journal contributor Tim Wadham, and Rohrlick noted that fans of the series "will quickly be enthralled once again by Reeve's wonderfully imaginative world and enjoy the new characters he introduces."

In A Darkling Plain, the final installment in the "Hungry City Chronicles," an uneasy truce exists between the voracious Traction Cities and the violent forces of the Green Storm. When factions inside both movements fracture the peace, chaos ensues, engulfing Tom, Hester, and Wren and paving the way for a resurrected Stalker Fang to unleash a doomsday weapon upon the planet. Although A Darkling Plain "is just as action-packed as the previous books," commented Martin Lewis in Strange Horizons, "Reeve does manage to engineer a deeply satisfying conclusion. Without resorting to simplistically pairing up couples like models on a wedding cake, he gives each of his characters a deserved closing." Writing in School Library Journal, Beth Wright called the novel "a worthy conclusion to a series that ranks among the best science fiction for young people in recent years." "Complex, intelligent and rewarding," remarked a Publishers Weekly critic, "Reeve's world is truly one to get lost in."

Reeve is also the author of Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space, "a genre-defying work that melds deadpan comedy, anticolonial political satire, sci-fi epic, and pirate caper with aplomb," noted Horn Book reviewer Claire E. Gross. Set in an alternate universe in 1851, in which the British Empire extends into outer space, the work centers on Art Mumby and his sister, Myrtle, who live with their father in Larklight, a free-floating Victorian mansion that orbits the Moon. When the Mumbys are attacked by giant spiders, Art and Myrtle flee to the lunar surface, where they are rescued by teenage pirate Jack Havock and his crew of extraterrestrials. "Robots, aliens, famous explorers, and hoverhogs also play a role in this rollicking heroic romp," noted Booklist contributor Diana Herald. According to Connie Tyrrell Burns, writing in School Library Journal, "Reeve's cinematic prose describes his fantastic universe while also conveying a Victorian sensibility." "Jolly good fun, all around," remarked a critic in Kirkus Reviews.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 2003, Sally Estes, review of Mortal Engines, p. 491; August, 2004, Sally Estes, review of Predator's Gold, p. 1920; May 15, 2006, Sally Estes, review of Infernal Devices, p. 61; October 1, 2006, Diana Herald, review of Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space, p. 52; July 1, 2007, Sally Estes, review of A Darkling Plain, p. 58.

Bookseller, August 10, 2001, Tara Stephenson, review of Mortal Engines, p. 33; February 18, 2005, review of Infernal Devices, p. 40; February 17, 2006, review of A Darkling Plain, p. 36.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March, 2004, Janice M. Del Negro, review of Mortal Engines, p. 293; July 1, 2006, Elizabeth Bush, review of Infernal Devices, p. 513; February, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of Larklight, p. 264; July 1, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of A Darkling Plain, p. 481.

Chronicle, January, 2004, Don D'Ammassa, review of Mortal Engines, p. 31.

Guardian (London, England), June 2, 2007, Kathryn Hughes, "The Dark Side of Camelot," review of Here Lies Arthur.

Horn Book, November-December, 2003, Anita L. Burkam, review of Mortal Engines, p. 755; September-October, 2004, Anita L. Burkam, review of Predator's Gold, p. 596; July 1, 2006, Martha V. Parravano, review of Infernal Devices, p. 450; November 1, 2006, Claire E. Gross, review of Larklight, p. 724.

January Magazine, February, 2007, Sue Bursztynski, "Steam Punk 101," review of Larklight.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2003, review of Mortal Engines, p. 1275; August 15, 2004, review of Predator's Gold, p. 216; May 1, 2006, review of Infernal Devices, p. 466; September 15, 2006, review of Larklight, p. 965.

Kliatt, November, 2003, Paula Rohrlick, review of Mortal Engines, p. 10; September, 2004, Paula Rohrlick, review of Predator's Gold, p. 1; May, 2006, Paula Rohrlick, review of Infernal Devices, p. 13.

Library Media Connection, February, 2007, Spencer Korson, review of Larklight, p. 77.

Magpies, July, 2006, Rayma Turton, review of A Darkling Plain, p. 44; November, 2006, Ben Gilholme, review of Larklight, p. 38; July, 2007, Rayma Turton, review of Here Lies Arthur, p. 38.

Publishers Weekly, August 16, 2004, review of Predator's Gold, p. 64; August 28, 2006, review of Larklight, p. 54; May 28, 2007, review of A Darkling Plain, p. 64.

School Librarian, summer, 1999, reviews of Bat and Bell, Chop and Change, Shock Tactics, Space Race, and The Table Football League; winter, 1999, review of Rowdy Revolutions; spring, 2000, review of Isaac Newton and His Apple; winter; 2001, review of Mary Queen of Scots and Her Hopeless Husbands; winter, 2002, review of Buster Bayliss: Night of the Living Veg; summer, 2006, Rachel Ayers Nelson, review of A Darkling Plain; spring, 2007, Sarah Merrett, review of Urgum the Axe Man; summer, 2007, Dennis Hamley, review of Here Lies Arthur.

School Library Journal, December, 2003, Sharon Rawlins, review of Mortal Engines, p. 864; September, 2004, Sharon Rawlins, review of Predator's Gold, p. 216; June, 2006, Tim Wadham, review of Infernal Devices, p. 164; November, 2006, Rick Margolis, "Brits in Space," p. 33, and Connie Tyrrell Burns, review of Larklight, p. 148; June, 2007, Beth Wright, review of A Darkling Plain, p. 158.

Times Educational Supplement, October 9, 1998, reviews of Bat and Bell, Chop and Change, Shock Tactics, and Space Race, p. 9.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 2006, Teresa Copeland, review of Larklight, p. 450.

ONLINE

British Broadcasting Company Web site,http://www.bbc.co.uk/ (September 29, 2004), interview with Philip Reeve.

ContemporaryWriters.com,http://www.contemporarywriters.com/ (September 1, 2007), "Philip Reeve."

Philip Reeve Home Page, http://www.philipreeve.co.uk(September 1, 2007).

Strange Horizons,http://www.strangehorizons.com/ (May 9, 2006), Martin Lewis, review of A Darkling Plain.

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