Customer Reviews for

Kraken

Average Rating 3.5
( 163 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

wild urban fantasy

In London's Natural History Museum, curator Billy Harrow escorts a tour into the Darwin Center where a giant squid resides in a special tank prepared by him. Billy is proud of what he and most experts consider the top attraction of the Darwin center and perhaps the ent...
In London's Natural History Museum, curator Billy Harrow escorts a tour into the Darwin Center where a giant squid resides in a special tank prepared by him. Billy is proud of what he and most experts consider the top attraction of the Darwin center and perhaps the entire museum. When he and the tour group reach their destination, Billy is stunned to find it empty as that is not possible. What is more eerie is that not just the squid is gone, but the tank and preservative too.

Investigating police officer Kath Collingswood explains magical teleportation to a shocked Billy. He has now entered the realm of sorcery where Kath explains the only way to fight back is with sorcery. As Billy learns more about a part of London he and most residents never knew existed, the Congregation of God Kraken worship the giant squid while one of their flock Dane Parnell tries to keep curious Billy safe from two nasty wizards who get off with torture. Sent by their leader Tattoo the insane gangster survived sans body of his own as a tattoo put on the flesh of a wretched soul thanks to the greatest dead wizard. As the curator becomes more acquainted with the other London, city's familiars are refusing to perform as they picket for better pay, improved working conditions and health care.

Kraken is a wild over the top of Big Ben urban fantasy starring a likable curator, a fascinating dedicated cop-mage, and a vision of London that feels like something from Alice in Wonderland or Simon R. Green. Although the plot meanders much more than a Hyde Street Park speaker, and at times is overwhelmed by the paranormal antics throughout the city, fans of China Mieville will enjoy his jocular lampooning of the police procedural-amateur sleuth in an urban fantasy environs.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on May 31, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Weird In More Ways Than One

China Mieville has constructed a loving homage to H.P. Lovecraft, right down to the odd characters, mysterious beastlies, and awkward phrasing. Dialogue and sentence construction take backseats to the concepts, though every few pages there is a laugh-outloud line that w...
China Mieville has constructed a loving homage to H.P. Lovecraft, right down to the odd characters, mysterious beastlies, and awkward phrasing. Dialogue and sentence construction take backseats to the concepts, though every few pages there is a laugh-outloud line that will keep the reader entertained--but not, necessarily, engaged. KRAKEN reminds me a lot of Warren Ellis's fiction debut, ONE CROOKED VEIN, another "weird" book that seemed to run off the rails at times. A reviewer in the UK put it best: "Less is more where weirdness is concerned." Readers will either embrace the madness or go mad trying to make it through KRAKEN.

posted by Andrew_Shaffer on July 5, 2010

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  • Posted July 5, 2010

    Weird In More Ways Than One

    China Mieville has constructed a loving homage to H.P. Lovecraft, right down to the odd characters, mysterious beastlies, and awkward phrasing. Dialogue and sentence construction take backseats to the concepts, though every few pages there is a laugh-outloud line that will keep the reader entertained--but not, necessarily, engaged. KRAKEN reminds me a lot of Warren Ellis's fiction debut, ONE CROOKED VEIN, another "weird" book that seemed to run off the rails at times. A reviewer in the UK put it best: "Less is more where weirdness is concerned." Readers will either embrace the madness or go mad trying to make it through KRAKEN.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Too Complicated. Will Read At Another Time. Maybe

    After reading the synopsis I was super excited and really looking forward to this book. It was so overwhelming with all the different kinds of characters, various factions, and bizarre action (real London/alternative London) that I found it hard to understand what was going on, so I would re-read what I just read. Then I was just reading it to simply enjoy the story. Then I was just reading the words not focusing, until after some time I was asking myself what I had just read. It has a great and interesting start with Billy a museum curator being sought after by the magic-wielding Krakenists and being chased by the dangerous pair Goss and Subby. But by half way through the book, (at the end of Part 2), I simply could not go on. It's rare that I am not able to finish a book, so that is saying something for me. (The Historian, Icehenge, and this book Kraken are the only ones I've never been able to finish reading.) I realize that some may like this book; I even expect others who've read some of China Miéville's other books may have a one up on me. I do not recommend this book, because it was too difficult to get into the story, stay focused on what's happening, and it's too dry and boring. I give it 1 ½ stars instead of just 1star because I didn't outright hate it. However, I am intrigued by what one of my favorite authors had to say about Kraken. Terry Brooks Reviews: Kraken April 5, 2011 ~ T.B. Rating: 5 of 5 stars This month I am recommending a book that has been out for a year or so, China Miéville's Kraken. No one writes books like China. Some have said this is a good thing because China's prose is dense and complex and his language might require that you keep a dictionary close at hand. But this is a really wonderful, compelling story. It possesses elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror and myth, and it is impossible to describe here. But I will take a shot at it anyway. Kraken is an end of the world story centered around a stolen Kraken corpse, a Kraken worshipping cult, strange collections of magic wielders both good and bad, a paranormal police unit, a gaggle of odd heroes and a couple of really terrible villains. It reminded me of Stephen King, among others. You have to work at this book, but even given that I had to put some effort into reading it I could not put it down. It builds as it goes and thunders to a surprisingly satisfying ending. It made me envy China's storytelling skills, and that doesn't happen very often.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Big fan but prefer his other books.

    Embassytown may be one of my favorite books evrt but this was was just a little too unchained for me. Still a good read.

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