Originally reviewed 30th November, 2012
This has to get five stars because it kept me up at night, tantalised me when I didn’t get chance to read, and enchanted me totally. While it’s marketed (and shelved by me) as YA, it’s China Miéville: there’s plenty to keep you guessing no matter how old you are.
I love the ideas, the bits of other stories (Moby Dick being a prominent one), the worldbuilding, the pace of it… The use of an & sign for “and” took some getting used to, but all in all I loved it, and I think the prose was pretty awesome. The whole bit about the & being like a trainline…
The end, what they discover, sort of made me laugh, and then the sailing off at the end — perfect. The characters are all interesting, sympathetic in their own weird ways — I have huge affection for Daybe, and Captain Narphi fascinated me.
Really, even if you haven’t got on with China Miéville’s work before, I do recommend this one.