The mind of Geraldine McCaughrean is one of the great natural wonders of our universe. Ever since I first discovered her books in the early 1990s I have been eagerly awaiting each new one, like an astronomer watching for radio bursts from a distant nebula, eager for clues about what’s going on in there. In her previous novel, the Carnegie Medal winning Where the World Ends , Geraldine restricted herself to a small cast and a single location - not even an island, just a storm-scoured sea stack where her characters were marooned. The Supreme Lie takes the opposite approach, creating a whole imaginary country and cramming it with people and animals. We are in Afalia, which I visualise as being somewhere in South America (there are snakes, fire ants, and mighty rivers) and somewhere in the Twentieth Century (there are cars, planes, and telephones ). The charismatic ruler, Madam Suprema, is somewhere on the Eva Peron/Servalan border, but even she is unable to cope when terri
Reviews and ruminations by Philip Reeve, author of the Mortal Engines series, the Railhead trilogy, Here Lies Arthur, Goblins, and The Legend of Kevin, Pugs of the Frozen North, etc, with Sarah McIntyre.