Chris's Reviews > Railsea

Railsea by China Miéville
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's review
May 16, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 16 to 21, 2012

I was worried to hear that Miéville was jumping on the YA bandwagon. But I'm glad to report the fear was (for once) unfounded. This definitely is a YA book, but it also has all the beautiful writing, fantastic world, and even slumps in the plot where I'm reading more for the style than the story or characters that I expect from Miéville. It's refreshing to see a YA book that doesn't infantilize young adults. A tween may have to go the the dictionary a few times or read more slowly and carefully than they are used to, but they will also hopefully learn that the trappings of literature aren't constrained to old stories they are forced to read in school.

The only bad thing I have to say about the book is that I now have to read Moby Dickto know for sure what aspects of Railsea were mocking the book vs paying sincere homage to it.

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Derek Miéville didn't just "jump on the YA bandwagon". Un Lun Dun was explicitly YA, and King Rat and Kraken were as close to YA as Railsea, so far (I'm a third of the way through).

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