Thursday, January 12, 2012
Embassytown by China Mieville
The first ”pure” science fiction novel by China Mieville.
A woman who has spent most of life travelling on the galaxy has returned to her birthplace, Embassytown. It is a town on an alien planet which specializes in communicating with very strange aliens who live on the planet. The communication with them demands special “ambassadors”; which are identical twins tweaked with genetic manipulation. The major plot point of the book is the alien language and its intricacies. It is so major plot point, that it is practically impossible to discuss it without major spoilers. Let’s say that the language aliens speak is very unique and fascinating and has major implications to the entire though process of its speakers.
The writing is excellent and complex and the plot is entertaining. The end resolution seemed slightly too easy, but it was surprising and logical. This is a very good book, but for some reason it didn’t grab me as powerfully as his “The City and the City”. Especially the beginning was weaker than the last half, and it took fairly long time before the main plot started. However, I believe that this book will very like be found as a nominee of most major awards.