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The Scar by China Mieville

The Scar (original 2002; edition 2004)

by China Mieville

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,1441071,718 (4.11)225
Title:The Scar
Authors:China Mieville
Info:Del Rey (2004), Mass Market Paperback, 608 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Scar by China Miéville (2002)

  1. 20
    The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: New weird remade people. Plus pirates.
  2. 00
    City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (davisfamily)
    davisfamily: A mystery within a unique setting. Interesting mix of Religion and Politics.
  3. 12
    The Book on Fire by Keith Miller (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the depiction of the city.
  4. 03
    Scar Lover by Harry Crews (bertilak)

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» See also 225 mentions

English (105)  French (2)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
**The Scar** is the second volume of *Chine Miéville*'s **Bas-Lag** series, and it's as impressive as the first one. Only very loosely connected, we now explore the wider Bas-Lag world instead of New Crobuzon. Again, China Miéville excells with implicit worldbuilding, forcing the reader to think along and ahead (though there's less culture shock included than in **Perdido Street Station**).
I enjoyed that I was most of the time not cheering for the protagonist and her view of the world, and did not like her particularly, without hating her either. All characters were very morally ambiguous, nearly none just likeable. Same for the story – there was never a clear-cut villain, or a predictable course (for example: not all of the likeable characters got simply killed off). As I spend most of my reviews arguing for exactly this – morally ambiguous characters, implicit and clever worldbuilding, no Good v Evil – I was very pleased with this book. At no time it felt like something groundbreaking, but it definitely is a very good book, and I'm looking forward to the final work in the trilogy. ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
A terrific piece of highly unusual and unorthodox imaginative fiction that I look forward to reading again. Mieville invents a rich and richly detailed world that could probably produce hundreds of terrific stories. ( )
  Weisbrod08 | Jul 5, 2018 |
I enjoyed it more than Perdido Street Station, mainly because it had a much more satisfying ending. I wish there were another novel about Bellis. I really adored this book, some of the imagery and scenes have stayed with me weeks later. ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |
This book is rather amazing! I expected, from this author, for the setting to be phenomenal. The plot and characters are also excellent. Highly recommended.

Just a few tiny points continue to irritate me:
1. Overuse of the term "astonished," which is totally unacceptable from a writer with such a varied vocabulary. The lead character is "astonished" so often that I begin to doubt her intelligence.
2. Overuse of silly steampunk concepts like "chymicals" and cogs/gears.
3. The lack of a map of Bas-Lag. I understand that the Hidden Ocean is not, and cannot, be charted, but a map of New Crobuzon in relation to Cold Claw Lake, for instance, would have been helpful to visualize some key plot points. ( )
  librarianarpita | Apr 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miéville, Chinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lynch, DamianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mège, NathalieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villa, ElisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, AshleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
To Claudia, my mother.
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A mile below the lowest cloud, rock breaches water and the sea begins.
I am the Brucolac, and your sword won't save you. You think you can face me?
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New Weird pirate yarn:
Floating collectivist state/
Sea-beast chariot!

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:27 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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