Embassytown - China Miéville The main character is a simile. She represents an idea that otherwise would not exist in an alien language. And that’s just what comes out in the opening pages. Sure, the idea that language defines the world we understand is no groundbreaking notion, but Mieville takes that idea a step further. Language becomes not a means simply to reference ideas, it is a way to experience. Fortunately, Mieveille is an exceptional writer and he makes this idea sound much less pretentious than I just did.

Embassytown‘s plot is brilliant and original. This is science fiction world building without the recycled ideas and images of the past. There is nothing cliché about his writing. Character development seems to take second place to plot, but when you have an amazing plot, you don’t mind so much. Mieville molds a world, a cast and a story around the intoxication of, and by, language.

Mieville’s books are enthralling. His command of language- the English language- combined with original motifs and storylines ensnare you. I am always left thinking about his books for days and weeks afterward and Embassytown is no exception.