Bookin’ with Sunny may not have a cache of science fiction reviewers to draw on, but with that caveat, let me tell you that Kraken is one swell read. What could be more fun than finding yourself in the middle of a London driven mad in search of a giant squid specimen, Kraken himself, gone missing from the research department of London’s Natural History Museum?
Billy Harrow, the young man most responsible for the specimen being studied at the museum, is the obvious hero and is as important a character in China Miéville’s eighth novel as the missing Kraken. There is a dark and disturbing reason that the squid is no longer in residence and it’s worth every one of the 509 pages to find out why. Miéville has pulled out all the stops. There are the police and then the other police, all manner of the occult, criminals, religious zealots of almost every persuasion, mythological creatures and the ever present dread of the end of the world. If a book were on meth, this would be it.
Miéville writes with wit, intelligence and a pace that seldom slackens. The labyrinth plot interweaves nail-biting cliff-hangers entirely overturned by some very funny turns of events. Even though SF is not my favorite genre, Miéville is fast becoming my favorite writer of that genre.
I have a suggestion to all parents with goth, steampunk or SF loving sons and daughters: buy this book for yourselves (I promise you’ll love it) and then leave it in a casual but eye-catching place in your home. Then wait. That kid of yours, the one who hardly speaks to you, will notice Kraken. Just smile, “Good read, want to borrow it?” The world can be moved in many strange ways.