Customer Review

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Mieville's best work, 13 July 2010
This review is from: Kraken (Hardcover)
Despite leaving the bas-lag universe, I've been looking forward to Kraken for a while. Perdido St Station was a work of pure wild imagination; a tour de force of Mieville's rip-roaring mind. I loved The Scar, a more tightly plotted, tightly characterised spin-off from PSS. Even Un Lun Dun was pretty good, and The City and The City was weaker, but relatively enjoyable. Unfortunately, it feels like Mieville is losing the plot. To anyone who has had the pleasure of reading Gaiman's Neverwhere, Kraken feels quite simply derivative. Not only that, but despite an interesting introduction, the plot meanders slowly, aimlessly and without structure towards a twist which feels unjustified - and unfortunately, by the time I reached it, I was bored and didn't care.

Kraken is set in the London we know and some people love, where Billy Harrow works in the Natural History Museum. After pickling a particularly large squid, things take a decidedly weird turn, and Mieville introduces the artifice and pseudomagic of his previous books. Billy plunges into a world alongside his own world, but quite unlike the one he knows - filled with squid cults, origamists who fold more than just paper, teleporters and fire mages. Trying to unfold the mystery, Billy gets in well over his head, and then some.

At first it does feel like the characters are well done, and the plot is fairly linear and well-paced, but after around a quarter of the book, the book no longer gripped me. There's a large cast of characters, but their movements aren't particularly well explained, and the plot isn't particularly well structured. It does have a start, a finish, a few points where you feel like Mieville is trying to set waypoints, but for the rest of the book it meanders aimlessly. And unfortunately, unlike the wonderful, sprawling Perdido St Station, which is so magnificently weird that you don't mind, Kraken just doesn't pull it off. I really hope that Embassytown is better or I'm going to start losing faith.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.4 out of 5 stars (91 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (27)
4 star:
 (18)
3 star:
 (16)
2 star:
 (20)
1 star:
 (10)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 10,621