1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
(Don't) release the Kraken!,
This review is from: Kraken (Paperback)
Welcome to London. Its all happening, init?
The Natural History museum's latest exhibit is the remains of a mysterious giant squid. For curator Billy Harrow, the squid is just another specimen to be documented and studied. For London's secret occult community, it means war. Everyone is up in arms. Occult gangsters, unionised familiars, secret Kraken congregations, Londonmancers, pyrotechnics, mystic rigorists, and spell casting cops. Its about to go down, because someone is planning to steal the Kraken.
I was really looking forward to reading a book by China Mieville. I love science fiction and fantasy, and given all those Arthur C Clarke Awards on Mieville's mantelpiece, I regretted ignoring him for so long. The book begins with three pages of praise from professional reviewers, so I had high expectations. I was sure this book was going to be really good.
It was not what I expected.
In a sentence, I would describe Kraken as low budget Terry Pratchett, minus the charm and humour.
Why did I dislike the book? Boring ping pong dialogue. Flat characters. Unconvincing narrative twists. Cardboard protagonists that didn't feel like real people. Everything is clichéd, and even when Mieville is trying to achieve a surprising twist, I found them predictable. The book is a checklist of Cuthulu tropes, yet without the rich, creeping horror of Lovecraft's classic stories
Honestly, Mieville was pretty brave to choose the contemporary London setting. A novel set in a magic world hidden in plain sight within modern London sounds quite similar to Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Kraken is a far inferior book.
I don't feel good about giving this book one star, but I just didn't enjoy it at all. I wanted to like it, but honestly, I could not recommend it.