Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

DESCRIPTION: The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of the world. Humans and mutants and arcane races brood in the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the river is sluggish with unnatural effluent, and factories and foundries pound into the night. For more than a thousand years, the Parliament and its brutal militia have ruled here over a vast economy of workers and artists, spies and soldiers, magicians, junkies and whores. Now a stranger has arrived with a pocket full of gold and an impossible demand. And inadvertently, clumsily, something unthinkable is released.
As the city becomes gripped by an alien terror, the fate of millions lies with a clutch of renegades and outcasts on the run from lawmakers and crimelords alike. The urban nightscape becomes a hunting ground. Battles rage in the shadows of uncanny architectures. And a reckoning is due at the city's heart, under the vast chaotic vaults of Perdido Street Station.

First line: A window burst open high above the market.

My Thoughts: This book is China MiƩville's second novel, and it is the first in a series that is set in Bas-Lag, a world where both magic and technology exist. The contrast between the technology and the everyday lives of the characters lend it a steampunkish feel. China Mieville spends spends a lot of time and a lot of words painting fantastic pictures in this novel. The details were wonderful, bringing the characters, the city and the world to life. However, at times the story line was put aside for these vivid descriptions. I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved the unique setting and the characters that peopled the book. The story line was interesting and engaging. I loved the way the author could make me picture the scenes, his world building was wonderful. But.....for me, there were way too many pages spent on this. I got this for my Kindle and I read and read and didn't seem to get anywhere (looking at the percentage read at the bottom of the Kindle.) I looked the book up and found that it has 880 pages! There were a LOT of words I had to look up. That was handy on the Kindle. If you are a scifi/fantasy/steampunk fan I think you will like this. I don't think it would appeal to someone looking to read these genres for the first time.

My rating:

Quote: I can dig my claws into the rim of a building's crown and spread my arms and feel the buffets and gouts of boisterous air and I can close my eyes and remember, for a moment, what it is to fly.

SF Site
Races of Bas-Lag

Winner: Arthur C. Clarke Award (2001)
Winner: August Derleth Award (2001)
Winner: Premio Ignotus, Best Foreign Novel (2002)
Winner: Kurd Lasswitz Award, Best Foreign Novel (2002)
1st place: Editors' Choice, Fantasy (2001)
Shortlisted: Nebula Award, Novel (2002)
Shortlisted: Hugo Award, Best Novel (2002)
Shortlisted: World Fantasy Award, Novel (2001)
Shortlisted: James Tiptree, Jr. Award (2000)
Shortlisted: BSFA Awards, Novel (2000)
4th place: Locus Poll Award, Best Fantasy Novel (2001)

No comments: