Railsea

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Railsea

by China Mieville

Random House Publishing Group | May 15, 2012 | Hardcover

Railsea is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 2.
On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can''t shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea–even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it''s a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he''d bargained for. Soon he''s hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham''s life that''s about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.

From China Miéville comes a novel for readers of all ages, a gripping and brilliantly imagined take on Herman Melville''s Moby-Dick that confirms his status as "the most original and talented voice to appear in several years." (Science Fiction Chronicle)

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 8.54 × 5.82 × 1.42 in

Published: May 15, 2012

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345524527

ISBN - 13: 9780345524522

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another original from Mieville! One of my favourite events is when a new Mieville novel comes out - he is the author of many of my all-time favourite books and everything he has written thus far has been entertaining and very original. This novel is no exception. Although marketed for the teen crowd, this story is fairly advanced as it builds upon a strange future where people exist in isolated towns connected by a literal "sea" of railway tracks. Effectively these tracks are analogous to our present day oceans with the towns serving as "islands" somewhat. The reader must quickly learn the unique society and culture surrounding this milieu as well as the terminology and slang associated with it. This primarily makes the story a little more demanding than Harry Potter or Twilight. Is it worth it? Damn right it is. Most fantasy these days is either vampires or wizards and it is great to see some original ideas. In this story, we follow an aimless youth, Sham, as he is apprenticed as a doctor's assistant on a moler train. To explain further, trains are used similar to 19th century whaling vessels with the space between the rails acting as the ocean, and enormous burrowing animals, such as moles, the object of the hunt. As Sham's trains scuttles off to hunt its prey, he ends up getting involved with some peculiar salvage hunters and a top secret quest to find the edge of the railsea. The action throughout the book is fairly constant and the reader will not get bored. The greatest asset however is the amazing job that Mieville does with convincing the reader that this world is both possible and very real and he does this by including snippets of information and flashbacks that complete the image without boring us with endless chapters of data. This book is highly recommended and, if you have read previous works of Mieville, you will know what to expect.
Date published: 2012-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant and interesting take on the fantasy novel China Mieville is a brilliant fantasy writer. His work takes the genre to new and exciting places and his newest, Railsea, is no exception. This book is an imaginative retelling of the Moby Dick story, but instead of a white whale there's a giant mole rat called Tracker Jack and instead of ships, there are trains. It's a crazy and intriguing premise and he totally makes it work. I haven't read Moby Dick before but I certainly want to now, just to see how this hold up against the original tale. The neat thing about this story, is instead of revealing the details of the fantasy world all at once - like you would expect - it is divulged layer but layer right up until the last few pages of the novel. I kept turning the pages, excited to see what else would be revealed to me. As an added bonus, this novel is graced with amazing characters. The main character, Sham is a delight. Adventerous and headstrong yet cautious and naive. He dreams of a more exciting life - and who among us can't relate to that? The female characters - Caldera and Captain Naphi - we're especially well written. I loved Caldera attitude and I loved how complicated Captain Naphi turned out to be. I became heavily invested in these characters and where this adventure was going to take them. If you need any further convincing that you should read this book, the prose has this rolling soothing quality to it. For a story so exciting and adventure filled, the writing was very calming. I was happy to be reading this book on an e-reader, so I could highlight all the passages I fell in love with. I have never highlighted a book so frequently. I feel that Railsea is the type of book that every time you re-read it you'll find new things to love and appreciate, and because of that it has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf. Final Recommendation: For Fantasy and Speculative Fiction fans who want a break from the same old same old and for literary fiction fans that want to be wowed. This and other reviews at Hooked on Books (http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com)
Date published: 2012-05-27

– More About This Product –

Railsea

by China Mieville

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 8.54 × 5.82 × 1.42 in

Published: May 15, 2012

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345524527

ISBN - 13: 9780345524522

About the Book

Critically acclaimed author Mieville ("Kraken, Un Lun Dun") delivers a gripping reimagining of Herman Melville's classic novel "Moby-Dick, " but this time, the giant whale is an ivory-colored mole.

Read from the Book

One A meat island! No. Back a bit. A looming carcase? Bit more. Here. Weeks out, back when it was colder. The last several days spent fruitlessly pootling through rock passes & in the blue shadows of ice cliffs, late afternoon under a flinty sky. The boy, not yet bloodstained, was watching penguins. He stared at little rock islands furred in huddled birds plumping their oily feathers & shuffling together for comfort & warmth. He’d been giving them his attention for hours. When at last there came a sound from the speakers above, it made him start. It was the alarm for which he & the rest of the crew of the Medes had been waiting. A crackling blare. Then from the intercom came the exclamation: “There she blows!” An instant frantic readiness. Mops were abandoned, spanners dropped, letters half-written & carvings half-whittled were thrust into pockets, never mind their wet ink, their sawdusty unfinishedness. To windows, to guardrails! Everyone leaned into the whipping air. The crew squinted into the frigid wind, stared past big slate teeth. They swayed with the Medes’s motion. Birds gusted nearby in hope, but no one was throwing scraps now. Way off where perspective made the line of old rails meet, soil seethed. Rocks jostled. The ground violently rearranged. From beneath came a dust-muffled howl. Amid strange landforms & stubs of antique plastic, black earth coned into a sudden hill. & up something clawed. Such a great & da
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From the Publisher

On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can''t shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea–even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it''s a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he''d bargained for. Soon he''s hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham''s life that''s about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.

From China Miéville comes a novel for readers of all ages, a gripping and brilliantly imagined take on Herman Melville''s Moby-Dick that confirms his status as "the most original and talented voice to appear in several years." (Science Fiction Chronicle)

About the Author

China Miéville is the author of several books, including Un Lun Dun, Perdido Street Station, The City & The City, Kraken, & Embassytown. His works have won the Hugo, the British Science Fiction Award (twice), the Arthur C. Clarke Award (three times) & the World Fantasy Award. He lives & works in London.

Editorial Reviews

“Other names besides [Herman] Melville’s will surely come to mind as you read this thrilling tale—there’s Dune’s Frank Herbert. . . . But in this, as in all of his works, Miéville has that special knack for evoking other writers even while making the story wholly his own.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“[Miéville] gives all readers a lot to dig into here, be it emotional drama, Godzilla-esque monster carnage, or the high adventure that comes only with riding the rails.”—USA Today
 
“Superb . . . massively imaginative.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Riveting . . . a great adventure.”—NPR
 
“Wildly inventive . . . Every sentence is packed with wit.”—The Guardian (London)
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