I've long wanted to read something by China Mieville, but in the three+ years I've had my store open, no one has ever brought in a book by him. So I was pleased to see his new novel offered on the Goodreads First Reads program, and even more pleased when I won a copy. I wasn't sure I could write a review of it (and it's been nearly a week since I finished it) until my partner asked me about it, and I went on and on describing it to her. One of the great things about this book is that nothing is really explicitly explained to the reader, but enough clues exist to give one an interesting picture of the world Mieville has created here while still leaving enough unclear to leave some questions which are still bouncing around in my head. The book is narrated and told from the viewpoint of a young boy so we see things from his perspective and what he understands (or doesn't). It felt like a medieval fantasy setting to begin with until certain clues led me to believe it's more of a post-apocalyptic one. Maybe. There are a lot of really intriguing things in this novel, and I might otherwise be upset with the author for not explaining them, but it's so fascinating as it is that I'm left pleased to think about them more myself. The writing is beautiful and, like I said, the narrator is young, although it also seems to be an adult looking back at his youth. It also shifts between third person and first person narration (and for a short time, second person), and I'm sure there's a really good reason for it that I haven't picked up on. This is definitely a book to make the reader think, and after talking it over with my partner, I'm feeling inclined to read it again now that I've finished (something I never do). It's short (200 pages) and that would be easy enough to do, given that I read the last half of the book in one sitting. (In fact, it's referred to as a "novella" although I've read many novels of the same length or even shorter.) Now, more than ever, I want to read more by China Mieville.