book review: kraken

I loved the fuck out of this book. Kraken is China Mieville’s second book to come out in the last year. It’s a lot fatter than The City & The City but more straightforward. Basically there’s a giant squid preserved at the Darwin Centre in London. And then it disappears. We follow a bunch of characters (primarily the curator who discovered the missing squid) who’re trying to find out where it went and why and how. There are occult cops, and apocalyptic squid-cults, and people learning about the weirdness in London through internet forums. There’s a crime boss who is known as Tattoo because he was magically imprisoned on some guy’s back as a tattoo. This crime boss has a workshop where he does experiments on people and changes them into living radios and bipeds with fists for hands (and dicks). There are Londonmancers and djinn, and the Sea has an embassy for those in the know. Super fucking cool book.

It was slightly less “spin in a completely new direction at each turn” than Iron Council (which is my favourite Mieville) and not as much of a mindfuck as The City & The City (tied for favourite), but yes, great stuff.

If you like it, and play roleplaying games, check out Unknown Armies from Atlas Games. It’s a game that does a lot of similar things with a bit more structure to make it gamable.

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