Un Lun Dun
By China Mieville
Del Rey Books
Young Adult Fantasy
We all read Harry Potter. I’ve grown up reading the Narnia series and Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time books. There’s many more in the fantasy world, all written for the young adult. Chine Mieville joins this with Un Lun Dun. I predict this will become a classic in time, with future generations of kids reading this, along with adults too.
The story starts in an unremarkable room, in a nondescript building, where a man was working on very nondescript theories. So says the first sentence. You know when you read the first couple pages that something is happening, something not good. Then we are led into the first chapter where we meet our two heroines, Deeba and Zanna. A fox is watching Zanna, and Deeba remarks on it. We are told there’s something about Zanna that draws attention. It’s not that she can do sports well enough or her schoolwork or dancing. But we are led to know something about Zanna is not ordinary. The strangeness has been going on for a while, but gets worse. Then one night something comes in the night to Zanna’s bedroom window. By this time she is staying at Deeba’s house but they see it leave the bins (garbage cans) and crawl over to Zanna’s home. When it goes away, both girls trail it and end up in Un Lun Dun, an oddball version of London. There they meet all sorts of people and animals, find that giraffes can be real terrifying, and that things from the garbage heap are alive and can become pets. Where Zanna is known as The Shwazzy. Worse, there are enemies in Un Lun Dun, where they’ll try and stop Zanna and the others.
A wonderful book of twists and turns, where the magical alter world is not the normal one read in countless books before. It sucked me into the story from the very first sentence and even though I had real life butt in, I had to finish it because the story demanded I do. I hope there’s a sequel to it, because the ending prepares one for it. With a cup of tea or coffee nearby, relax in a comfortable chair and be prepared to travel to a different and interesting world. You won’t be sorry.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Review of Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
Un Lun Dun