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[personal profile] helloladies
a black book cover showing a mole surfacing from a tangle of cogs, picked out in yellow - the author's name is in large white letters at the top of the cover

'On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea–even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it's a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he'd bargained for. Soon he's hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham's life that's about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.' (source)

Continuing their theme of being full on China Miéville fan-girls, Maree and Jodie read his new YA novel in August 2012, 'Railsea'. Predictably they had A LOT to say:

Jodie: This is probably the most excited I've been to discuss a book in ages because 'Railsea' was just so much fun for me to read. I giggled out loud (this rarely happens outside of books by Terry Pratchett or Danny Wallace). I feel like I spent the last two weeks on an intellectual romp, where all the jokes were funny and smart rather than laboured and "intelligent". So I guess first I want to know was it the same for you - how was your reading experience?

Maree: My reading experience was similar. I was pulling for Sham so very hard, and the Shroake siblings? BEST characters.

It's a YA novel for sure, but it's so very clever. You can see Miéville's intellectualism all over it, but it's very accessible. And what other writer would write a romp like this, set it in some distant dystopic future, make it a Moby Dick ... is it allegory I want? and STILL make it hugely fun and thinky.

It's SO clever and yes, I love it. :D

Avast me hearties, but 'ware the spoilers )

Jodie: Any closing thoughts?

Maree: I want my very own daybat. (And YAY MIEVILLE for NOT killing off the animal!)

Jodie: Day-be lives!

Maree: Yay, Day-be!

Jodie: So, can we plan the next Miéville readlong (I am super tempted by 'King Rat' now, have you read that?).

Maree: I need you to read Un Lun Dun - Miéville's other YA novel, because I'd like to discuss comparisons.

Jodie: Should I read 'UnLun Dun' first and then maybe we could put in 'King Rat' for the end of the year/start of next year (ahhh how did that happen?). They're both in my local library.

Maree: Yes yes read Un Lun Dun first! I love Un Lun Dun! :D

I know right? It's SEPTEMBER!!! Yes, end of year/start of next year sounds good for King Rat, barring the zombie apocalypse :-)

We shall return!

Our previous flail posts about Miéville's work:

'The City and the City'
'Iron Council'

Reviews of 'Railsea':

things mean a lot
The Book Smugglers
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
[personal profile] renay
cover of Kraken deep blue with the letters K R and K of the title forming long tentacles off their ends

Hold on to your tentacles, this post is jam-packed full of words and revelations, although not of the spiritual kind. There are massive spoilers, including the ending for the entire book. If you care about being spoiled for this book before you read it, don't read this. Onward to FEELINGS.

Oh, China Miéville, why did you do this to me on our first date? I thought we had something special. I read one hundred pages of this book and recommended it to Chris! He probably had to go put on pants to buy this book! I added your entire back list to my reading list in a year when I can only read one book by a dude after I read five books by ladies. I gushed at people about this book. I HAD SO MANY FEELINGS AND THEY STILL HAVEN'T GONE AWAY. I need healing fanfic and none exists.

I both loved and loathed this book. Kraken was recommended to me by Jodie and Maree after I spent several successful years pretending I wasn't avoiding Miéville's work out of abject fear that my brain wouldn't measure up to the telescopic gaze of his prose. I kept a tight grip on my terror that I would be found wanting and then discarded in the margins as the narrative chugged on without me, inaccessible to my puny intellect. Have you read the first chapter of Perdido Street Station? I have! It will be a vodka-fueled adventure quest before I go back into that novel again, or any of the other Bas-Lag stories, for that matter.

Cut for spoilers and feelings. )

Other reviews:
things mean a lot, Jodie & Maree, The Book Smugglers, Ashley Crump (SF Signal), Theresa Delucci (Tor.com), yours?


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Ira is an illustrator and gamer who decided that disagreeing with everyone would be a good way to spend their time on the internet. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

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KJ KJ is an underemployed librarian, lifelong reader, and more recently an avid gamer. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

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