Author: China Mieville
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Like Mieville’s The City and the City, the world building in Embassytown blew me away. It was a bit hard to follow as an audiobook because the world was complex and there was no exposition, but I loved how the author slowly revealed the world as the plot unfolded. The plot itself took a bit of a backseat (inevitable, perhaps, with world building this good) . I was interested in finding out what happened, but I was far less engaged towards the more action-packed ending than I was at the beginning, when I couldn’t wait to piece together more about the world the author created.
Also like The City and the City, Mieville doesn’t do much explaining of why things are the way they are, but in this case, that was a good thing. The alien race he creates seems to be in some ways beyond human comprehension and I love that. Even alien races who aren’t described as being humanoid so often act like people. In reality, I think aliens would be more likely to resemble the ciphers Mieville creates. I liked the focus on the power of language in the story, which was strengthened by the author’s incredible use of language to tell the story. I thought he invented believable slang and wrote amazing, vivid descriptions by using words in very unique ways. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone looking for an action-packed plot, but would highly recommend it (as a physical book especially) to anyone looking for beautiful writing and superb world building.