August 5th, 2013


August Books 2) Kraken, by China Miéville

London does fit well as a setting for intense occult novels - its long history of being a storehouse of knowledge and ritual, and the intimacy demanded of you if you want to engage with its geography: historical landmarks above ground, Underground stations below. Kraken reminded me very much both of Paul Cornell's London Falling and of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere; perhaps more of the former, in that the plot involves an occult police team (though here they are not the central characters) pursuing an ancient and murderous mystery, though some of the details along the way are more Gaimanesque. After a strong start, with the theft of a giant squid exhibit from a museum, there are lots of good touches but it didn't quite come together as I had hoped. Unusually mainstream for Miéville, which I don't see as necessarily a Bad Thing.