Mieville has so many bizarre and astonishing good ideas and he packs them in, one after another. In particular, his conception of "science" is worth aMieville has so many bizarre and astonishing good ideas and he packs them in, one after another. In particular, his conception of "science" is worth a graduate thesis or two, and the creatures he conjures up--the slake moths, the garuda, the re-made--are wholly original (and often creepy, and gross, and terrifying).
It's also refreshing to have a fantasy writer working in an urban setting with a smart sense of politics. Best, he has a knack for writing strong characters--especially his protagonist, Isaac--a skill which can get you a long way down the road even when the plot starts to fray.
And, over the first 3-400 pages this book had me totally in its thrall - five stars for sure. But then it meandered for the second half and ended with a clunk, so a few points off. Still all-in-all, very much worth a look for anyone interested in unusual and well-done speculative fiction. ...more