The Blog's Mission

Wikipedia defines a book review as: “a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. A book review can be a primary source opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review”. My mission is to provide the reader with my thoughts on the author’s work whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. I read all genres of books, so some of the reviews may be on hard to find books, or currently out of print. All of my reviews will also be available on I will write a comment section at the end of each review to provide the reader with some little known facts about the author, or the subject of the book. Every now and then, I’ve had an author email me concerning the reading and reviewing of their work. If an author wants to contact me, you can email me at I would be glad to read, review and comment on any nascent, or experienced writer’s books. If warranted, I like to add a little comedy to accent my reviews, so enjoy!
Thanks, Rick O.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The choice of China Mieville's diction is highly suspect in this weird fantasy novel written in 2010. I think good vocabulary is not necessarily good when one doesn't understand what you are talking about. His loquacious style of penning real and made-up words require a college lexicon! It almost seems that he wrote this book for the late William F. Buckley, Jr. Yet, somehow, I understood what he was saying without looking the words up. He has Charles Dickens's ability to make a fake word seem real. And why does he constantly use double words through out the novel such as, that that! I don't know know!! Anyway, I had my say say.

The novel opens with our hero Billy Harrow, curator of mollusks at London's Darwin Centre, conducting a tour, when he discovers the star of the show, Architeuthis, an eight meter long squid, is missing. Where did it go (tank and all), and what does it mean? A cult squad, made up of officers Baron, Vardy, and Collingswood from the London Police quickly get involved. Apparently London is filled with arcane cults, magicians, familiars, thugs, and spirits without the general population's knowledge.

Billy gets involved with the Congregation of the God Kraken, and finds out the end of the world can result from this purloined squid. Billy and Dane Parnell, a member of the God Kraken, head out to find the preserved squid. They are not alone. Also looking are the shamanic Londonmancers, the Talking Tattoo with his numerous Fistheads, the frightful Goss and Subby, and the infamous Grisamentum and his hired Gunfarmers. The Talking Tattoo on the back of a man named Paul and his hirelings, Goss and Subby, are relentless in their pursuit.

Mr. Mieville comes up with some interesting fantasies: Did you know with extreme origami, you can fold up a person and carry it without the weight? Did you know Angels of Memory exist? What about the Brotherhood of the Blessed Flood, with the Sea as their God? My favorite is Wati, the ancient Egyptian spirit, who leaps from statue to toy to statue to communicate while helping Billy or leading his familiars on a strike. The biggest fantasy is why all these groups think the Apocalypse is coming just because a dead fish is missing!

Although the final chapters are exciting, I'm not sure I understood the ending. With Mieville's writting style and use of unknown words, things get a little foggy. I did enjoy the book, but I am not sure I would read another Mieville novel. Sometimes reading certain authors is painful, but I did finish this in normal acceptable time.

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars

Comment: China Mieville has won many awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke, Locus, British Fantasy, and the Hugo. Mieville is a accomplished Dungeons and Dragons player. He is active in Englands politics, leaning towards Marxism.

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