China Mieville

Books: Fantasy | Dystopia

Perdido Street Station (2000)


Year's Best Fantasy 3 (2003), Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Edition (2003), Hellboy: Oddest Jobs (2008)

Perdido Street Station (2000)

Perdido Street StationI've been reading this book since March, a page or two at a time and for awhile, I was beginning to think it was never going to end. It's not that this book isn't good--it is good--I just didn't care for it.

Isaac is a scientist--an eccentric scientist who is attached rather dubiously to New Crobuzon University, and who is one of the few humans who is willing to date a Khepri--one of the insect headed humanoids--even if it is secretly. Lin--the Khepri Isaac is dating--is an artist, who has decided to live outside the Kehpri district and integrate with larger society. Isaac receives a request from a Garuda--one of the bird people--to rebuild his wings. In Isaac's search for flight, he becomes involved with unexpected--and dangerous--matter.

The problem I had with Perdido Street Station is that it's a bunch of bad things happening, one after the other, and it got terrifically depressing.

The story is good, but it just didn't hold me. I could read a page or two, and then put the book down without any difficulty, even if really bad things were happening. I just figured I could put the book down, and when I picked it back up, the same bad things would be happening, and then some other bad things would happen.

The characters were good, but I just didn't like any of them. I found them interesting, and they acted realistically, but I didn't like them. Which made reading about them less appealing.

Additionally, there was a strong science fiction feel to the book--or at least it felt science fiction-y to me. That also dampened my enthusiasm for the book.

It's a good book, but it's not a book that I particularly liked. It's dark, but not the kind of dark that I particularly like. If you like science fiction, then this book may be more to your liking than it was mine.

Rating: 5/10


Year's Best Fantasy 3 (2003) David G. Hartwell

Published by Harper Voyager

Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Edition (2003) edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Published by St. Martin's Griffin

Hellboy: Oddest Jobs (2008) edited by Christopher Golden & Mike Mignola

Hellboy: Oddest Jobs

Publisher: Dark Horse Books