Saturday, December 22, 2007

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

First sentence:

"Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth."


"Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none -- not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.

Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger.

While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger -- and more consuming -- by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon -- and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes..."

My thoughts:

I have to admit I was nervous about approaching this book again. I had started reading it years ago, but didn't get far. This time, I kept going, and I'm glad I did. Perdido Street Station is a intensely descriptive book filled with so much detail about New Crobuzon and its inhabitants. Woven throughout is the story of Isaac and his quest to help Yagharek fly and what that quest ultimately leads to. It'll be a while before the images of this book leave me and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Scar.

Date read: 12/20/2007
Book #: 109
Challenges: Unread Authors Challenge; Fall into Reading Challenge; Book Awards Challenge
Series: New Crobuzon, #1
Awards: Arthur C. Clark Award (2001); British Fantasy Society (2001)
Rating: 4* = great
Genre: Urban Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0345459407
ISBN-13: 9780345459404
Publisher: Del Rey
Year: 2003
# of Pages: 623
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing Page

No comments: