Nobody can build a world better than China Miéville. Plus his creativity knows no bounds. This is one of the most literary YA books I’ve ever read. I can just imagine a 12 year old stumbling over words like rumbustious. Actually there’s debate over whether or not this belongs in the YA category but whatever label you choose it’s a great read.His prose is less dense in this novel but it has the author’s usual characteristics of a blend of different elements. A bit of science fiction here, a dash of fantasy there. Imagine a world where trains are the only form of transportation and huge burrowing animals threaten to undermine the tracks at every turn. This is a coming of age story with all sorts of interesting characters and although there are a myriad of places to explore the resolution to the most mysterious of them waits until the very end.The strength of this novel is in the revealing of an amazing world. If there was a bit more to the plot I would’ve given it 5 stars. I wish this site had half stars because I would have given it 4 ½ stars. For those new to the author this is great place to start. Then you can be mesmerized by Perdido Street Station and The Scar.