Perdido Street Station - China Miéville With the opening pages, you are carried along the current and ferried into Mieville’s fractured, dingy world of New Corbuzon. Perdido Street Station wastes no time with acculturation. Mieville’s use of language seems to be the major complaint with most readers, but it’s the wordplay that kept me locked in his world. Whether it was the casual and frequent resurrection of long buried English synonyms or the interspersion of his New Corbuzon vocabulary, one feels immersed in another time. It was reminiscent of Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange in its unapologetic disorientation.

His rendering of New Corbuzon and the steampunk age is detailed and impressive. That’s not to say there aren’t flaws with the novel. The characters lack depth. The characters are more or less vehicles for plot progression. Even the most psychologically intriguing character, the garuda, fails to really be a character I cared about. And there are times when Mieville resorts to somewhat annoying deus ex machina tendencies to help move the story.

However, if you are looking for fantasy fiction that completely casts aside the yoke of recycled dragons, magic and adventurers, Perdido Street Station delivers. It is an impressive balance between familiarity and the fanciful which engulfs the reader in creativity without overwhelming in its the need for explanation.

Imagination like this is rare. And the artfulness to convey it even much more so.