by China Miéville
Reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
Over the last decade, the speculative fiction genre has become increasingly steeped in weirdness, and author China Miéville has lead that charge, with a twisted and brilliant body of work that has put him in a class by himself. But while Miéville’s bizarre ideas are second to none, his execution is sometimes uneven.
Such is the case in his novel Kraken, a foray into real-world Urban Fantasy that exemplifies both the best and worst aspects of Miéville’s writing style.
Billy Harrow is a curator at the Darwin Centre at the London Natural History Museum, in charge of preserving biological specimens. His crowning career achievement is the preservation of a giant squid, located in an immense glass vat at the heart of the museum. But while conducting a museum tour one day, Billy discovers that the squid has—impossibly—been stolen, vat and all.
Billy wonders why the police investigation is being led by a unit that specializes in religious fringe groups and occult crimes—until he gets tangled up with members of a squid cult, who usher Billy into a supernatural London underground of obscure and absurd religions rife with mystical occult powers and dangerous magical beings. As it turns out, the squidnapping is somehow tied to an encroaching apocalypse, and Billy is the key to stopping it...
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