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REVIEW: Perdido Street Station by China Meiville

REVIEW SUMMARY: A wonderfully original story that defies genre categorization.
MY RATING: rating

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In his efforts to help a grounded bird-man regain flight, a scientist unleashes a horror so terrible it threatens to consume the entire city of New Crobuzon.

MY REVIEW: While reading PSS I was reminded of other stories, but this book was a thing of it’s own. It perhaps borrows from other books and movies, but in the end, PSS is a brilliant, cohesive work in its own right.
PROS: Great new ideas in every chapter; the dilapidated, run down city of New Crobuzon is a character of its own; great combination of SF, fantasy and horror genres.
CONS: I can think of none.
BOTTOM LINE: A fun read for fans of SF, fantasy OR horror.


Perdido Street Station is a rare work indeed. Part action, part horror, part adventure, SF and a little fantasy to boot.
Isaac der Grimnebulin is a scientist in New Crobuzon working to help give flight to a grounded garuda bird-man. As part of his experimentation, he collects everything he can find that flies. When one of the creatures in his collections, a caterpillar emerges from its cocoon, bad, bad things start happening to New Crobuzon.
As I mentioned in the excerpt, I think that PSS does not really fit nicely into one genre. It says steam-punk on the book, and in some respects it’s like the Gibson/Sterling effort The Difference Engine (pre-electricity punch card computers.)
In other ways, the creatures in the story are completely horrifying, reminiscent of the movie Alien.
I loved the dilapidated city of New Crobuzon, with its various races and look forward to reading his other story set there, The Scar.

6 Comments on REVIEW: Perdido Street Station by China Meiville

  1. Yeah, like The Difference Engine, only better! And with more plot…

  2. Just curious…if the there are no “cons”, why not a five star rating?

  3. Who do you think he is, Harriet Klausner?

  4. Who do you think I am, Harriet Klausner? Oh wait, JP already said that. A 5-star book smacks me in the head and leaves my nose bleeding. This was darned good, and the smack on the head made my ears ring, but came just short of making my nose bleed.

  5. So, if I smack you in your head and make your nose bleed – I get a 5-star rating??? Hmmm thats almost worth a walk over to your office…

  6. The book is awesome. The Weaver made me reevaluate my lifelong hatred of spiders. I mean, I still hate them, but the Weaver is too cool. And I’m a sucker for unconventional characters and vivid settings, and this book has all of that. I would also give it four stars … maybe four and a half … because the story did get bogged down with words from time to time. Well written, but perhaps a tad overwritten.

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