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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
65
Railsea
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£5.66


on 13 July 2016
This is modelled on a sea yarn with the boats and sea monsters swapped for trains and giant moles.

The characters are likeable enough and believable in their setting.

The pace is good with plenty happening all the time as we gradually learn more about the world and its inhabitants and fauna, the pseudo-scientific style of description is a nice touch.

The idea of the Railsea and the angels is twisted and cynical with a few surprises.

The problem is that the plot is too simple, the young boy on a quest travelling with boon companions and a romantic interest is too predicatable even in such a strange setting.

It is ok but not one of his best.
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on 5 June 2014
I love China Mieville and this is one of his best. OK so its supposed to be a Young Adult book and is a little like a less 'full on' version of The Scar but its all the better for that. Don 't be put off by the tag as its still a very readable adult book as well.

The base story is a straightforward rites of passage adventure, not unlike Neil Gaiman's Stardust but based on Moby Dick ( well partly anyway). There is also an element of Anime, at least that's what it feels like, in the twin adventurers that form part of the story. I can just see this story as an anime similar to Steamboy. But the real grabber is the imagination of a world, not quite like ours, with a sea made of rails and the trains that run over them. Absolutely brilliant and don't miss the side references slipped in to give a history of the rails. This is only book and only writter I know that could slip in references to Beeching, Mary Anning and the Fat Contoller whilst chasing a large yellow mole across a sea of rails.

When's the next novel coming out ?
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on 21 December 2015
It took me a while to get into this, I think because I didn't have too much sympathy for the characters at the start but once the quest got underway it was easy enough. There are some lovely ideas and references to other literature, most obviously to Moby Dick, but Mieville puts an interesting twist on most of these and some provide pleasant comic moments - not laugh out loud comedy but interesting use of irony. The whole notion of substituting a world wide railway for the sea worked very well and the post apocalyptic notion was not intrusive. A reviewer compared him to Dickens and whilst that is stretching a point, he does make a convincing attempt at picturing a society as it faces change and attempts the draod sweep of the brush as he examines social mores and unrest. Ultimately, I enjoyed the read.
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on 27 February 2013
Another great book from Miéville, this is a fantastic starting point if you haven't read him before. In a world covered in rails, where if you touch the bare earth you're likely to be devoured, a young man named Sham Yes ap Soorap goes on his first mouldywarp hunt. Borrowing from moby dick, treasure island and others, this is a book I devoured so fast and felt sad when I'd finished because the characters are so well written you'll know you'll miss them.
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on 14 August 2014
This was my second China Mieville, after "The City and the City" - which I loved, but while I very much liked "Railsea", it's hard to believe it was written by the same guy. The most helpful reviews will tell you most of what you need to know. The main thing I would like to add is that if you like Neil Gaiman's novels aimed at the same market, you'll like this.
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on 28 February 2016
What an imagination this author has! I've read all his books, this one is not his best , but a good story. For one of best try Perdido Street Station
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on 3 October 2016
This was an excellent read and is probably one of Mieville's more accessible books.

Imagine Mad Max Fury Road, but instead of cars, the whole earth is covered in rails and everyone travels around on crazy looking trains.
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on 11 September 2013
A beautifully written book brimming with ideas and wonder. Billed as a YA book but so well written and full of ideas I suspect as many adults (such as myself) will enjoy every carefully crafted word and be sad to turn the final page. More please.
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on 14 December 2015
Up to the standard expected fron Mieville, a great read,
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on 17 March 2017
As with most of Mieville it's missing the 10% that would have made it truly astonishing.
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