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A little disappointed - if only it was as good as it as it could have been
on 18 March 2010
This book has some fantastic (in every sense) writing. At its best, there is vivid prose and stunning imagination.
Sadly, this can't sustain an entire novel - especially not one this long - and, in other respects, Mieville's writing isn't anything like as good. His characterisation is sometimes rather weak. For a writer with a natural gift at describing a sense of place, the central location, a vast floating city, seems oddly unconincing in some ways.
The ending was a true disappointment: obvious when it should be subtle (in terms of what I think was supposed to be something of an unexpected reveal), leaving too much unresolved and the final climatic showdown between two of the characters is, weirdly, something that happens entirely 'off-screen'.
All-in-all, I was left more with a feeling of what might have been. If it could have sustained the heights of imaginative power and story telling this book would have been amazing; as it was, it suffered because it didn't and more disappointing because the potential seemed so great.