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China Mieville has got to be one of the hardest working authors I've ever read. He puts stunning little side plots and nuggets into his fiction that would be a whole novel to a lesser writer! Anyway...
The Scar is a fascinating story that develops around a lady running away from her home city and finding a city like she never dreamed. Full of danger, intrigue, the strange and familiar it calls to our heroine (Bellis) and she is torn between love and fear of her lost home.
When the chance comes to betray her new, floating, home in Armada she does but ultimately is a pawn in a larger game. The small cog in a larger wheel is a recurring theme in CM's work and is appealing as a starting point for character development. On the subject of characters, the diversity, depth and sheer imagination of CM's vision is amazing.
My only criticism of CM's stories is, and please bear in mind I'm a fan of Perdido Street Station, Iron Council and The Scar, that I never like the way the stories end. It's my personal opinion only.
This is a great, sweeping, imaginative story that will take you from the familiar ie politics (Mr Mieville like the theme) to philosophy to religion and beyond, all in an easily accessible 'steampunk' past-present.
Give it a try, you'll enjoy!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I wasn't sure about carrying on with this series because I had mixed feelings about Perdido St Station (long, exhausting but ultimately quite satisfying). I should say that The Scar is not at all a sequel to the previous book, it's simply set in the same world with the occurrences from Perdido only peripheral comments to this story. In The Scar, I liked some of the concepts, and many of the characters had potential but they never really followed through. For all that the story should have been epic, it actually all felt a bit pointless by the end. The narrator was ok but I much preferred the chap who did the previous novel. I think his grandiose style better suited the story. In summary, it was ok, some good bits, some tension but, to be honest, I was a bit indifferent about the fate of the characters by the end. I'd say it's worth a credit if you enjoyed the Bas Lag setting but I wouldn't put it at the top of your wishlist.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Damian Lynch couldn't ruin one of my favourite books for me, but he gave it a real go. He stumbles and brachiates through the sentences as if each one were a tongue-twister (although, to be fair, it IS Miéville), reading nouns as verbs and verbs as nouns and not really betraying any understanding of what he's reading. Perhaps the most troubling part is that a disturbing number of these errors, even when picked up on and re-read by Mr Lynch, have not been edited out (I counted five untouched gaffes in one unhappy half-hour), possibly due to the soporific monotone in which the story is read. China Miéville is one of my very favourite authors, and I'm quite sad to see Mr Lynch has been further involved in the presentation of his works, not least of all because, of those books, The Scar would seem to be the MOST hospitable to Mr Lynch's tendency to give every character with an accent a Caribbean lilt. Susan Duerden's performance of Embassytown was vastly superior, and I'd hoped I'd get to hear her as Bellis Coldwine. No such luck. Boo.