Brandy's Reviews > King Rat

King Rat by China Miéville
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Jul 03, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 2008reads, speculative-fiction, adventure, boy-books, adult
Read in October, 2008

Some time back, I read an essay (or website, or something; it was a long time ago) about the human propensity toward "it's like ... but not" comparisons. We need to compare everything against others of its type; nothing can be evaluated in a vacuum.

With that in mind, King Rat is like Neverwhere, but not. It's like War For the Oaks, but not. It's like so much gritty urban fantasy, but still brings its own flavor. It's got the other-world-a-half-step-from-this-one motif, it's got the musician threads, it's got the slacker protagonist suddenly in a position of power and/or leadership. Despite all this, it doesn't feel like a knock-off or in any way derivative. It's a dark, engrossing story, with excellent pacing and good character development. There are a few instances of Cockney rhyming slang, which I just can't make any sense of, but they're not that frequent and they don't detract.

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message 1: by Benjamin (last edited Oct 23, 2008 06:20PM) (new)

Benjamin William Gibson's book *Pattern Recognition* includes a character musing on her tendency towards "it's like... but not" pattern matching (in almost those exact words).

Brandy You know, that's probably exactly where I picked it up, then--I've read it a couple of times. thanks!

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