Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

When a brilliant and ruthless scientist is asked by mutilated being to help it to fly, his research unleashes a deadly terror on the sprawling, rambunctious, decadent city of New Crobuzon, and only his belief in crisis theory may save the human and non-human inhabitants, including Isaac’s lover Lin, a khepri with the body of a beautiful woman and a scarab beetle for a head.

I have long passed over China Mieville out of a kind of reverse snobbery, assuming that a writer so embraced by the literati wouldn’t be able to deliver to me the genre thrills I seek. (AKA Neil Gaiman syndrome. Heresy, I know, but I can’t stand him.) But anyone who has read Perdido Street Station will know me for a fool because it’s so fucking good I hate myself for not reading it sooner.

The world building is astonishing. There are so many different kinds of beings in Mieville’s world and transcend their D&D origins. The plotting uses horror elements masterfully, and Mieville isn’t afraid to go for tragedy. The love story had depth, passion, and tension. Reluctantly but willingly I am embracing Mieville fandom and will definitely be reading more.

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