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The Scar by China Miéville
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The Scar (2002)

by China Miéville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bas-Lag (2)

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English (79)  French (2)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
China Mieville has a bit of an ego as an author. He writes extravagant plots, uses a 1 dollar word when there is a perfectly good 5 cent word available. But, luckily for China Mieville - he is a damn good author. Other authors could not get away with a book like this ... the extravagant plot is all needed ( I did a mental edit... and couldn't really come up with a part that wasn't necessary). The characters are cold but are humanely flawed. This world is strange- but doesn't need explaining.

This book is dark. Very very dark. There is not a spot of humour or light in it all, just various shades of gray, some parts a lighter gray than others. It is not happy book. But it is intriguing and interesting, and as a reader, I wanted to know more. Because of the darkness of this book - I found myself having to push myself to finish it - reading it in bits and pieces.

As for the book itself, the writing is poetic. Mieville has a way with words that I haven't found in a modern author. The characters are well written and are interesting. The plot is fantastic, but always grounded. This is a scary world.

The only true flaw... and I'm not sure its a flaw... is the ending. It takes an unexpected turn and leaves a reader with a "That's All?" sort of feeling.

So, read it, but know its an odd, difficult read. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Oct 8, 2013 |
Felt somehow a little flatter than [b:Perdido Street Station|68494|Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon, #1)|China Miéville|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327891688s/68494.jpg|3221410], and I'm not completely sure why. Maybe just that it wasn't about a city, and therefore didn't resonate with me quite as strongly. I also didn't ever feel like I could really relate to Bellis; I disliked her for her coldness and self-absorption at the beginning, and while I warmed up to her a little over the course of the book, I can't really say I ever felt like I understood her.

What points Miéville loses for the weirdly ambiguous ending, he easily gains back with his incredible world-building, complex characters, and some seriously creepy monsters. Not to mention that everything about his writing is completely delicious... As with Perdido Street Station, I found myself reading pretty slowly, sometimes rereading passages several times, because they were so dense with meaning and rewarding to linger over. ( )
  wirehead | Jul 9, 2013 |
String theory and pirates. Steampunk dirigibles and mosquito women vampires...and fish men. Weird fer sure ... a beautifully written dystopian tale. Whales and magic... ( )
  Clueless | Jul 8, 2013 |
This is the first of Mieville's works I've read and I liked it very much. I had a hard time warming up to Bellis as a character, perhaps because the things going on around her were so intriguing and her reaction to them was so unexpected. (Clearly, I would have assimilated quickly and easily into Armada, and been one of those pushovers Bellis loathed. ;) ) As the story progressed, however, I came to appreciate her unexpected attitudes and reactions as an aspect of good storytelling. Also, every time I thought I knew what the story was about, something bigger was introduced. I confess that while I found the conclusion mostly satisfying, I would very much like to find out what happened to the Lover. Uther Doul was also something of a mystery to me. He is the story's golden child: he is beautiful, he fights with skill beyond measure, his voice is melodious, he has a secret history, and is intelligent beyond measure. Such a combination of traits is grating in a protagonist, but in a secondary character it is mostly baffling. I'd like to know more about him. ( )
  Snukes | Jun 14, 2013 |
I'm giving this book the same rating that I gave Perdido Street Station, but I definitely liked this follow-up better. The Scar doesn't require any knowledge of PSS, as they're only tenuously linked, and I recommend this one to anyone who was overwhelmed by the slog through the insane detail in PSS. Miéville does a much better job being descriptive without wallowing in it here, and the story moves forward at a pretty decent pace even though it's nearly 600 pages long. I spent the last 100 pages or so reading very slowly and in short clumps, because I didn't want to be finished with it yet. ( )
2 vote BrookeAshley | May 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miéville, Chinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mège, NathalieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villa, ElisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, AshleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Has the (non-series) sequel

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Epigraph
Yet the memory would not set into the setting sun, that green and frozen glance to the wide blue sea where broken hearts are wrecked out of their wounds. A blind sky bleached white the intellect of human bone, skinning the emotions from the fracture to reveal the grief underneath. And the mirror reveals me, a naked and vulnerable fact. --Dambudzo Marechera, Black Sunlight
Dedication
To Claudia, my mother.
First words
A mile below the lowest cloud, rock breaches water and the sea begins.
Quotations
I am the Brucolac, and your sword won't save you. You think you can face me?
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.

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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
New Weird pirate yarn:
Floating collectivist state/
Sea-beast chariot!
(Longshanks)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345460014, Mass Market Paperback)

In the third book in an astounding, genre-breaking run, China Miéville expands the horizon beyond the boundaries of New Crobuzon, setting sail on the high seas of his ever-growing world of Bas Lag.

The Scar begins with Miéville's frantic heroine, Bellis Coldwine, fleeing her beloved New Crobuzon in the peripheral wake of events relayed in Perdidio Street Station. But her voyage to the colony of Nova Esperium is cut short when she is shanghaied and stranded on Armada, a legendary floating pirate city. Bellis becomes the reader's unbelieving eyes as she reluctantly learns to live on the gargantuan flotilla of stolen ships populated by a rabble of pirates, mercenaries, and press-ganged refugees. Meanwhile, Armada and Bellis's future is skippered by the "Lovers," an enigmatic couple whose mirror-image scarring belies the twisted depth of their passion. To give up any more of Miéville’s masterful plot here would only ruin the voyage through dangerous straits, political uprisings, watery nightmares, mutinous revenge, monstrous power plays, and grand aspirations.

Miéville's skill in articulating brilliantly macabre and involving descriptions is paralleled only by his ability to set up world-moving plot twists that continually blow away the reader's expectations. Man-made mutations, amphibious aliens, transdimensional beings, human mosquitoes, and even vampires are merely neighbors, coworkers, friends, and enemies coexisting in the dizzying tapestry of diversity that is Armada. The Scar proves Miéville has the muscle and talent to become a defining force as he effortlessly transcends the usual clichés of the genre. --Jeremy Pugh

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:49 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A group of prisoners and slaves, their bodies remade into grotesque biological oddities, find themselves on the Armada, a floating city whose bizarre leaders harbor a sinister agenda.

» see all 4 descriptions

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