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, March 4, 2012


Once again I've taxed my mind with China Mieville's words that are untranslatable or seem germane, but are actually neologistical. If you read this weird sci-fi novel, have a lexicon handy!This book is filled with new sci-fi ideas that make it an enjoyable read, such as buildings, machinery, and houses that are semi-sentient and when under stress try to grow ears. It's a common thing in Embassytown or in the Arieka city that surrounds it. I have to give Mieville credit for having excellent adoxography for things or events that other writers wouldn't even amplify.

The first third of the novel flip-flops between past and present on the planet Arieka and the immer. The immer is some kind of subspace that a immerser travels through in space and time, if that makes any sense. The narrator of the book is Avice Benner Cho, who has just return from the immer to visit her birth place of Embassytown with her new husband Scile, a expert in languages. He wants to study the linguistics of the Ariekei, who surround the human compound. They are known as the Hosts and speak out of two mouths (the cut and turn) and only communicate with human Ambassadors. The Ambassadors are actually doppels that speak from one mind and two voices, otherwise the Hosts would only hear noise. This sounds like a normal story, right? Now keep in mind that a Host (who looks like a large dual winged insect) also requires similes to make comparisons to things that are unlike in order to communicate properly. Our narrator is one of the similes known as "The girl who was hurt in darkness and ate what was given to her"! I forgot to mention that these truly unusual Ariekei Hosts are also incapable of lying! Does the story have your interest yet?

The trouble begins when a new Ambassador, EzRa, arrives from the human's home planet of Bremen to become the new chief Ambassador of Embassaytown. At the Embassy reception, EzRa tells the Hosts "That it was a honor to meet them". Suddenly everything changes! Years of peace and calm are gone. What happened and what did the Hosts hear? What was said that brings the Hosts to a high state of mulligrubs! This is where the essence of the story takes off, later to culminate in an interesting and unexpected end. The books I've read by Mieville are entertaining , but with all the lacunae and peculiar vocabulary used, I'm always glad that the book is over. Is this good or bad?

The Hosts are probably the weirdest aliens I've read about since Larry Niven's elephant-like creators in the famous sci-fi novel Footfall. This is the first novel Mieville has done in science fiction, and I think it was a good effort. Maybe he should be hired to write the script for the next Star Trek movie. I have to tell the reader that while I recommend reading this novel, I warn you it's going to be a arduous task.

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars

Comment: The stylistically exuberant author is reported to have the best tattooed "guns in literature". He states that "ever since I was two, I've loved octopuses, monsters, abandoned buildings..." Now I know why he is the weird fiction king. Having read three Mieville books, I don't know if I have the energy to read a fourth.

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