Alternate London + Pop Culture Sci-Fi = Fantastic
This book is a wonderful jumble of pop culture science fiction and fantasy blended with an alternate modern-day London. China Mieville is known for descriptive world building that makes you feel present in the story. He lives up to his reputation in Kraken. It is a very detailed book, and this is book is only for multi tasking if you are doing mindless tasks like laundry. If you do not focus on it you will miss some intelligent pieces of humor. This book definitely caters to those that love the sci fi/fantasy genres but you can still enjoy this book if you are only a casual sci fi/fantasy reader. I loved the fact China Mieville was willing to poke gentle fun at himself and his audience.
Kraken involves an alternate London that has regular London living obliviously amongst them with no idea that they have Gods, Londanmancers, cults, and familiars (currently on a union strike) living amongst them. Billy gets pulled into this world when he’s working at the Darwin Museum and a giant squid disappears. He’s pulled into this world by those that think he is the Kraken Prophet and is dodging multiple factions of cults, henchmen, assassins, a paranormal division of the police, and Chaos Nazis. My summary does not do it justice. You have to read it.
John Lee narrated it and I think for the most part he did a fabulous job, the only place I feel he may have fallen short was the character of Collingsworth, who is a paranormal, Amy Winehouse type, police woman. He doesn’t do terrible with it but I could see if I was reading it, my internal interpretation may have been a bit different. For the wealth of particular characters I don’t know anyone who could have done better.
I loved it and it will definitely go into the listen again pile because I am sure that on a second try I would pick up on even more of the pop culture references. I did notice some characterized this book as scary or horror and I tend to stay away from that genre because I can scare easy. I did not find it scary at all.