KRAKEN by China Meiville

“What did you think of Kraken?”
“I saw it, you know, in the local Waterstone’s…”
“Yes, but what did you think of it.”
“Have you read it?”
“No, that’s why I’m asking you what you thought of it.”
“What about Perdito Street Station?  I read that, you know, when I was on holiday in Malta.”
“Yes, but for goodness sake, what did you think of Kraken?”
“It doesn’t really matter what I think, as we all like different things.  It might be more meaningful to ask why you are asking my opinion.”

So, what did I think of Kraken?  Answer – I think it is flawed, because of the circular nature of so many of its conversations, as demonstrated above.  Characters can sort of slip sideways from answering direct questions from time to time – but in Kraken it happened so many times that I got fed up with it.  And that tainted my overall opinion of the book.  As a result I wasn’t able to willingly suspend my disbelief, which I have happily done with other Meiville books.  I never really bought in to the plot – and I was suspicious about how quickly the main character slipped into the half-world of London that Meiville describes.  On top of all that, I thought there were too many splinter groups roaming around with their own agenda; some very bad baddies got their comeuppance in a way I'm surprised nobody else had figured out in the previous few centuries; and it seemed to me that something slightly magical or weird was conjured up just whenever it was needed to bolster whatever was happening.
Don’t get me wrong.  There’s plenty to enjoy – good characters, horrible violence, humour, clever wording.  But at the end of the day, it just didn’t quite work for me.
add comment | read comments (0) 2010-06-17