Before I start reviewing this, I just want you to do one thing, read the title of this book. Railsea. Now imagine what that means. If you have imagined a world covered in railtracks, with trains as ships then you have gotten a bit of an inkling about the world this book is set in. […]
Embassytown is a human colony on the planet Areika, the inhaitants are known by the local humans as the Hosts, and they are unique among life-forms as they cannot lie. Their Language is so tied up with meaning that they physically cannot speak what is not true. Avice grows up on Areika, but she has the talent of immersing, which is a sort of navigation through space, and so goes off-world. but one of her platonic husbands is a linguist, and fascinated by Language, so they return to Areika. And just in time to witness the whole world go to hell with the arrival of a new Ambassador.
The sea is full of saints.
Billy works in the Natural History Museum in London. The book opens with him running through his usual spiel on the exhibits of Darwin House, but he knows what everyone has come to see. The giant squid is the highlight of the tour. Trouble is, it seems to have gone missing! Which is impossible. I mean it is a giant squid in a giant tank, why on earth would anyone want to steal it. And how? But gone it is. And all of a sudden Billy finds himself in the middle of a London he knows nothing about. Where people with knacks might help him out, or quite possibly be about to bring about the end of the world. A world with Kraken Gods, and speaking tattoos, and gunfarmers, and invisible piggy spirity things.
I really loved this book.
This is the third of Mieville’;s books to be set in the wonderful world of New Crobuzon, and so far my favourite of this ‘verse. I enjoyed Perdido Street Station, admired more than liked The Scar, but Iron Council surpasses both of them. I was a little doubtful at first, not really getting the character of Cutter. But once the story began it sucked me in.
The ‘verse Mieville has created is simply fantastic, in both sense of the word. A variety of characters, races, and peoples all battle for the reader’s attention, and just when you want to read more about some one in particular another comes along to steal your attention.