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Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet 1) - Philip Reeve

Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines Quartet 1) - Philip Reeve

Title: Mortal Engines

Author:  Philip Reeve

ISBN:  9780439993456

Weight:  771g

Signed first edition, first printing



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Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea…

The great traction city London is on the move again.  It has been lying low, skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground.  But now, as its great mountain of metal lumbers along in hot pursuit of its quarry, the sinister plans it has harboured for years can finally start to unfold behind its soaring walls…

Thaddeus Valentine, London’s Head Historian and most famous archaeologist, and his daughter, Katherine, are down in The Gut when the young assassin with the black head scarf strikes.  Only the quick intervention of Tom, a lowly third-class apprentice, prevents Valentine from being stabbed in the heart.

Madly racing after the fleeing girl, Tom suddenly glimpses her hideous face: scarred from forehead to jaw, nose a smashed stump, a single eye glaring back at him.  “Look at what your Valentine did to me!” she screams.  “Ask him!  Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw!” And with that she jumps down the waste chute to her death.  Minutes later Tom finds himself tumbling down the same chute and stranded in the Out-Country, a sea of mud scored by the huge caterpillar tracks of cities like the one now steaming off over the horizon.

In a stunning literary debut, Philip Reeve has created an unforgettable adventure story set in a dark and utterly original world fuelled by Municipal Darwinism and betrayal.

Peer & Press Reviews

This big, brave, brilliant book combines a thrilling adventure story with endless moral conundrums.


Reeve has managed to marry the hugeness of his imagination with an utterly compelling and child-friendly storyline.

Anthony Horowitz

Wildly imaginative, full of marvelous details, humour, and grand adventures.

KLIATT magazine

Bibliographic Info

TitleMortal Engines
Book Features
Edition / printingFirst edition, first printing
SeriesMortal Engines Quartet – book 1
Overall conditionFine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
SignedOn the title page
Awards and Media
Awards and prizes

Blue Peter Book of the Year 2003

Nestlé Smarties Book Prize 2002 – winner (9-11 year olds)

Whitbread Award 2002 – shortlist

Media adaptation

Mortal Engines has been adapted for the big screen by Peter Jackson and co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.  The film is directed by Jackson’s long-time collaborator Christian Rivers.

An American-New Zealand co-production, the cast stars Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide and Stephen Lang.

Universal Pictures will release the film in the UK on 14 December 2018.

Book Stats
ImprintScholastic Children’s Books
Publication date
Printed byWS Bookwell, Finland
ISBN 139780439993456
ISBN 100439993458
FormatHardcover with dust jacket
Size (h x w x d)220 x 147 x 33mm
Image and Design Credits
Author photographSarah Reeve
Jacket illustrationDavid Frankland

Modern Signed Editions Ltd