Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Unlikely, Unbelievable, Unforgettable


Un Lun Dun
By China Mieville


In the same vein of Alice’s rabbit hole and Lucy’s wardrobe, Zanna and Deeba find their way into the other world known as Unlondon. Unlondon is an abcity to the actual city of London. There are more of these “not-cities” such as Parisn’t and Lost Angeles. A majority of London’s thrown out or forgotten items will make their way to Unlondon. Unlondon may look similar to the city of London as we know it, but it is full of animated trash, houses built of appliances without walls, clothes made from pages of books, and city buses that rely on other forms of propulsion than wheels such as hot air balloons and wings.

Zanna receives a business card in London telling her she is the “Shwazzy.” Soon Zanna, along with Deeba, find an entrance to Unlondon. Zanna discovers that she is the prophesized “Chosen One” who is supposed to save the city of Unlondon from ultimate destruction. Things don’t go according to the plan outlined in the prophetic talking book of the Prophseers. Both Zanna and the abcity are under attack from the Smog.

In Unlondon, the smog is a living being with the goal of total destruction. Deeba finds the responsibility of saving her best friend and an entire city resting on her shoulders. She, along with a group of friends including Conductor Jones, a half-ghost boy named Hemi, a man with a pincushion for a head and pins for hair named Obaday Fin, a talking book, and a milk carton named Curdle, go up against the most powerful and most deadly thing in all of Unlondon.

Un Lun Dun is a funny, fast-paced fantasy story that leaves you wanting a sequel. The characters are so ridiculous yet so real at the same time. Mieville takes obscure and impossible situations and breathes life into them so you feel as if you are really there. Un Lun Dun will make you start checking bookshelves and elevators for ways into these wacky worlds.

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