I had picked up this novel because I wanted to read a fantasy novel that was not the normal sword & sorcery or save the magic kingdom stuff we oft...moreI had picked up this novel because I wanted to read a fantasy novel that was not the normal sword & sorcery or save the magic kingdom stuff we often see. I had seen Miéville's name about and picked the up book while browsing though a used bookstore.
Once I began to read the novel, I found the setting to be rather intricate. It is definitely a fantasy setting, ripe with new races and other aberrations like the cray-people or the cactus men. The number of races is rather overwhelming to begin with, and the names keep on flashing by. However, by the time those races are important to the story, you know what they are.
The magic in the setting is definitely akin to our modern specialization of scientic studies. It makes the magic more grounded and subdued. It does not stand out as much, though it is important to the setting. It is by far NOT insignificant.
The main character is Bella Coldwine, a linguist on the run from New Crobuzon. She is rather flat on the surface, but it allows the reader to receive mostly unbiased perceptions of what is going on around. Do not get let her name mislead you though, she does have her biases and ambitions that fuel her through the entire book.
The plotting of the novel is rather intricate. You are bounced around from perceptions of what is going on and who is manipulating whom. It keeps you on your toes and is rather well done.
I would definitely advise reading The Scar if you want something different in the fantasy genre. Do not worry about reading Perido Street Station first. There is no necessary plotting between novels, though I head it is a cool read as well.(less)
After a friend showed me the illustrations inside The Plucker, the book intrigued me. I remember seeing Brom's art in different role-playing game book...moreAfter a friend showed me the illustrations inside The Plucker, the book intrigued me. I remember seeing Brom's art in different role-playing game books, and it has always has a dark and bent aspect to it. After a little consideration, I picked up the book and read it.
First off, the book is a quick read. At just under 150 pages, they just fly by. However, there is much more to the story than the printed words. Unlike a normal novel where another artist is interpreting a portion of the writer's work and putting it into art, Brom is producing his own art. It is not just a plate or two either. Though not a graphic novel, the art helps represent the action that is happening in the story. It was an enjoyable mixture.
The story itself is dark and inventive. It is not a children's tale (unless you have no issue with introducing a few nightmares to their already vivid imagination).
Set in the Southern United States during World War Two, a toy, Jack, is cast into the Underbed in the beginning and begins to be forgotten by the boy, Thomas. Jack struggles with being an outcast among the other toys, but he also befriends the beautiful Snow Angel. When Thomas' father returns home for a few hours, he brings a spirit guardian doll from Africa and gives it to his son. In the process, it falls and breaks, releasing the spirit bound within it, the Plucker. From there, the toys are terrorized by the Plucker and its minions as it seeks to devour them and possess Thomas. Jack stands against the spirit and balances on the brink of failure.
The story has enough twists to keep the reader interested. It is a rescue story, but it has themes of enlightenment, devotion and understanding the end of one's existence. I would definitely recommend this story to anyone interested in a dark tale with a weird tale who enjoys dark art. It is a good book to read and thumb through.(less)