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Un Lun Dun by China Mieville : A sidekick comes into her own in this sublime book for the younger ones

Mieville has famously said that he plans to write a book in every genre. Un Lun Dun is Mieville’s attempt at writing a book for younger readers. The book seems to be inspired from Through the looking glass by C.S Lewis and many others.
The book starts out slow. The first hundred pages or so just feel like a drag. The protagonist who is supposed to be the chosen one is extremely extremely boring. It is at this point that I felt Mieville practically read my mind and made the sidekick the lead and the novel is immeasurably better for it.
Once the sidekick becomes the main lead the novel takes on a life of its own and Mieville flexes his considerable literary skills. In fact you could skip the first 200 or so pages and still come out feeling that you have read a complete novel. That is probably my only gripe. The book though turns the conventional ideas of fantasy completely upside down with destiny, prophecies et al taking a backseat.
All in all a fun read. I wish I had read it as a kid in fact if I had read it as a kid it would probably be my favorite book of all time (It is at it is one of my favorites) but I’d probably skip the beginning of the book.

You can buy Un Lun Dun here.


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