Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Perdido Street Station, China Miéville (2000)

Reviewer: Cock-Eyed Bobby Eff

Rating: 4 sharp-cheddar pierogies

Review: I picked up Perdido Street Station because I wanted to read something different and the title sounded so enigmatic. (A quick search reveals that perdido is Spanish for "lost".) And while I picked it up as a bit of sci-fi escapism, what I got was a horror story married to science fiction and fantasy. China Mieville sets the story in the teeming totalitarian/industrial and magical world of New Crobuzon.  A world populated with humans and modified humans, AI's, insects and flying races. Much of the opening of the novel is centered on Isaac, the human protagonist, and the intertwining story-lines within these disparate groups and the back-history of New Crobuzon. These story lines distract you so much so that it lulls you into the belief that the novel will remain comfortably in the sci-fi genre.  That illusion is shattered as the story takes a stunning turn into sheer horror -much as the movie Aliens did, and the reader is pulled along to observe the predation of the unleashed horror on the denizens of New Crobuzon. While the overall plot is perhaps a bit light, the stunning realm, plot twists and myriad characters keeps the story rolling to a great conclusion. If like sci-fi and you want to get knocked off your seat a bit, this is the story to read.

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