By gods and Jabber! This is one pugnacious thaumaturgical book! (sorry, bad in-joke).
China Miéville an interesting and awe-inspiring author, he writes like an angel but looks like a football hooligan! This is the second of the New Crobuzon series
. Why it is not called The Bas-Lag
series I have no idea, all of the Scar is set outside the great sprawling city of New Crobuzon, though it is frequently referred to.
As with the amazing Perdido Street Station
this book is full of interesting characters and peculiar creatures (some of whom are pulling double duties as interesting characters also) full of magic (thaumaturgy, natch!). Miéville is a master of world building, plots, prose and characterization. The floating city of Armada is an amazing and vivid creation, a crazy yet believable place. The main protagonist Bellis Coldwine starts out being utterly unsympathetic and cold but she is gradually humanized as the story progresses. There are always surprises around the corner and the novel is never predictable.
Interestingly, with all this weirdness going on I am surprised that the most resonant part of the book for me is the brief scene where a young cabin boy (Shekel) learns to read and discover the joy of reading. Now that is something most of us Goodreads punters can identify with.
There are numerous wonders waiting to be discovered by the unsuspecting reader, and it all ends in a somewhat optimistic yet melancholy note. I find this book endlessly fascinating and I look forward to visit Bas-Lag again in the Iron Council