Looking for Jake is a collection of short stories that, for me, really worked. There is great variety in here, showcasing the authors breadth of imagi...moreLooking for Jake is a collection of short stories that, for me, really worked. There is great variety in here, showcasing the authors breadth of imagination and creativity.
One of the marks of a great short story is that it sticks in your head and lingers long after you've closed the pages. There are stories in this volume that persist years later, that have changed the way I perceived certain places and that have sparked my own imagination along new paths.
China Mieville brings together threads from fantasy, horror, mystery and mythology in a style that sometimes echoes in lovecraftian ways and yet remains distinct and beautifully crafted.
If you are looking to sample fantasy that's new, distinctive and vibrant, try this.(less)
I found The City & The City imaginative and entertaining. The one thing that immediately stands out about this book is the setting. In some ways...more I found The City & The City imaginative and entertaining. The one thing that immediately stands out about this book is the setting. In some ways it reminded me of Asimov's robot novels; The Caves of Steel and I, Robot (not the film) in that it is primarily a detective story, but with a setting that gives it a distinctive and subtle twist.
In this case, the twist is that The City (Beszel) and The City (Ul Coma) occupy the same geographic location with separation maintained by the citizens 'unseeing' the other location. Perhaps the only disappointment were the references to the strange devices that the archeologists uncovered. As in Chekov's gun, I really wanted to see what would happen then the things went off.
The characters in this book seemed well-focused and the plot was well-paced, though the climax was more mundane than I expected. Towards the end I found some of the dialogue hard to follow and ended up reading some passages repeatedly to get the sense of them, which rather de-railed me, hence three stars.
Overall, an entertaining and well-paced novel with plenty of mystery and an original and compelling setting.(less)