Monday, September 28, 2009

Un Lun Dun

This was a totally spontaneous purchase at my local used-book shop. I'm familiar with the author because many of my favorite blogs tend to rave about his work, but my only previous experience was with Perdido Street Station which was brilliant, and made me think, but was rather bleak and depressing. It didn't make me want to run out and read everything else China Mieville had ever written. Yet somehow this book just called out to me as I walked past it, and then wound up coming home with me. It took me about two weeks to realize that the title is actually "UnLondon" (I have a horrible time with verbal puns), but once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.

He takes the familiar theme of "hero, marked out by signs and portents, who will complete a series of and finish by freeing the world of all evil", and totally turns it on its head. I've read enough to be thoroughly tired of that particular theme (re-read the Belgariad at least 16 times in grade school) and this was incredibly refreshing. It is going on my list of books that I plan to read with Elli as soon as she's got the attention span to cope with it. The characters are fun, the setting is amazing (based on the two books I've read, China Mieville does fantastical cities better than anyone else I've read), and the story itself is amazing. Oh, and the whole book is full of fanciful little sketches - by the author.

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