Perdido Street Station –
Miéville (Published 2000) China
Sub-genre: New Weird, with lashings of Steampunk
Completed: October 7 2010
Then I read the second half of the novel. Perhaps Miéville was overambitious. The most obvious flaw is with the plot. Without going into too much detail in this mini review, the focus of the story shifts drastically away from Yagharek’s (a bird-man of sorts) struggle to have his flight restored and on to Isaac’s (the ‘mad’ scientist) effort to destroy the creatures he has accidentally unleashed on New Crobuzon. At times a somewhat complicated character known as the Weaver is required to step in and save our heroes as a classic deus ex machina.
It would be too strong to declare that the ending betrays the promise of the story. It is foreshadowed, but it still feels disappointing. Realistically, the conclusion is disappointing only in proportion to how superb the first half was.
Perdido Street Station certainly contains mind blowing passages that would merit 5 stars if the same quality was maintained throughout, but the inconsistency results in a solid 3.5 stars.