Lee's Reviews > Perdido Street Station

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
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's review
Jun 30, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy
Read from July 01 to 07, 2011

My first Goodreads review.

Story: 3/5
1: Being Vague, rambling plot with no little believable storyline
5: Ripping yarn. Clever, thought provoking

The story is based in a sordid police state world. Where medical advancements have bizarrely evolved yet weaponry remains in the 1700's. It is a dark and dirty setting that reminded me of Neverwhere. Unfortunately Mieville needs you to completely picture this world in your head, to a degree that is utterly frustrating at first. A description of an event, like walking into a store to buy berries, should warrant 2 lines, Mieville turns that into a page. A simple event like swimming down the river, 2 lines surely that's all you need, but no...... 4 pages later! sigh.

You will read a lot of reviews about his style, but it also has to be said, this over indulging in information is offset later in the last half of the book, where it really shines. When all the action is happening and you are completely immersed in the story, you can see and feel the city, the constructs, the remades. You do really live the story. But ya gotta do the hard work, you have to read the first 100 pages and build the scene. Speed reading helps.
The book eventually develops into a bit if a horror story, the moths become a major factor in the story, they are both horrifying and frightening. The story lines surrounding the moths, especially Motleys involvement is very realistic and believable.
Overall, the story really builds and leads to the obvious outcome. So I was pleasantly surprised that the ending was nothing like I envisaged. It did leave me with lots of questions, which if your writing a series, then that's a good finish.

Characters: 3/5
1: Unrealistic/unbelievable. Feel nothing for these characters
5: Fully engaged with the characters, believable. Researched.

The main characters, are some what of a mix in strength. The main male character, Issac is brilliantly written, portrayed as a egocentric, antagonistic scientist, Mieville pulls off the character wonderfully. You have moments of scientific brilliance followed by a stream of cursing and temper tantrums.
The main female role is Derkham, some will argue over my choice of main female roles. But hey, its my review. I felt this character was weakly done. There was considerable potential with her role, and I think Mieville shied away from doing any work with her. You only get a very small glimpse of who she is when she meets Andrej. This was disappointing, because i really wanted to like her.
Yagherek as the other main character, is alien, dark, and not a happy chappy. It works, but I really didn't feel much for his part. I really liked the way the story ended with Yaghereks character, and it did shed light. Some of the other characters were well done, Motley, Lemuel and the bizarre Weaver were all interesting and believable. Well maybe Weaver was a stretch to the imagination.
I have left Lin out so far. I just don't know how I feel about her character, without giving away spoilers. It is hard to discuss her without giving anything away, so I will just leave it at: I thought she was interestingly written.

Read Weight: 4.5/5
1: Fluffy, 2: Light, 3: Solid, 4: Heavy, 5: Struggle

This goes from a 5 to a 3 during the story. As I have already outlined, the first 1/3rd of the book is hard to read, then it gets easier, then it just flows as a solid novel should do. But it gets a 4.5 for making me read the first 1/3 as a 5.

Readability: 3/5
1: Not fussed about finishing
5: Could stay up all night

I looked forward to reading the next chapters. Was interested in how it was all going to play out. But I didn't stay up late to do so.

Recommend: 3/5
1: Would advise you to read something else
5: Go read it now. It is THAT good

I could see myself recommending this to people who liked Neil Gaiman or if you enjoyed Dan Simmons series Olympos.
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12/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie this is great Lee!
I actually have this book on my bookcase. it keeps falling further down to TBR list as I keep buying other books...maybe I'll have to bump it up a bit

message 2: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Excellently written review Lee!

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

You have certainly raised the bar on writing reviews. As I have two Gaiman on my bookshelves waiting to be read I'll have a better indication whether this book is worth picking up.

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