Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ARC review: the city and the city by china mieville

the city and the city

china mieville

on sale now!

from the back:

new york times bestselling author china mieville delivers his most accomplished novel yet, an existential thriller set in an enthralling city that is unlike any other - real or imagined.

when the body of a murdered woman is found in the decaying city of beszel, somewhere at the edge of europe, it looks like a routine case for inspector tyador borlu of the extreme crime squad. but as he probes, the eidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger.

borlu must travel to the only metroplis on earth asstrane as his own, across a border like no other. it is a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen, a journey to beszel's equal, rival,andintimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of ul quoma.

with shades of kafka and phillip k. dick, raymond chandler and 1984, the city and the city is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

my review:

i enjoy sci-fi and mysteries, so at first glance this book was very interesting to me. the problem? i felt like it started very slowly, mainly because of all the scene setting necessary to explain the two cities. they are overlaid, one on top of the other, with streets crosshatching and citizens walking side by side, but in different cities. it is illegal to see or acknowledge anything happening in the other city, and things that are seen must quickly be unseen before breach, a secretive police force, enters and takes you away. the concept of these twin cities was fascinating.

at the beginning of the novel, a body is found and tyador begins to investigate. he is quickly drawn into a series of conspiracies and a mythical city between the two cities. like i mentioned before, it was hard for me to get into the story because of all the 'splainin. the last thirdof the story was gripping and jam-packed with excitement however, so if this soundsl ike an interesting plot and setting, i would definitely recommend working through the first half to get to the second half.

if you've read it, let me know what you think!

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