Kathryn's Reviews > Kraken

Kraken by China Miéville
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's review
Sep 04, 10

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, horror, sci-fi-fantasy

It took me a month to read this book, party because it is VERY dense in places, but mostly because I just didn't want it to end. I wanted to keep on stumbling over China Mieville's crazy, disturbing, almost random inventions: a give 'em hell policewoman who specializes in sorcery that she mostly makes up as she goes along. A cult that worships a giant squid, and another that worships London (that's London the living entity, if you're wondering). Reading entrails of something you didn't expect. Bizarre ways to get murdered and people who have...changed themselves to get better at murdering. And WHERE exactly would an Element have an embassy? I could go on for pages.

"Kraken", like all of the Mieville books I've loved best, is wonderfully creepy. Mieville respects his readers enough to throw things out there that you don't understand...yet. And the wonderful phrases he creates, whether talking about helpers that don't exist in the normal sense ("a clot of angry vectors, a verdigris-like stain on the air, an excitable parameter." And later, "Sometimes they felt like warmth, or a gauzy clot of caterpillar threads hanging from a tree, or a sense of guilt.") or describing having to battle the Sisterhood of Sideways ("and that ain't easy, Son, what when the wall is all gone floors and you're falling longways parallel to the ground.") Even the dense, hard-to-get sections can just be soaked in, since it all (mostly, sometimes) will be explained later. And don't worry about the parts that you don't understand; most of the time even the characters don't REALLY know what's going on, even when they think they do.

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