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The Word Warehouse

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Un Lun Dun - China Miéville If there was an award given for most imagination used in a novel, China Miéville would have more trophies than he would know what to do with.The man really outdoes himself in this one as he introduces a multitude of fascinating characters who are to say the least rather unusual. A man with a bird in a cage for a head, no-nonsense garbage cans wielding nunchucks appropriately called binjas, and the creepy black windows of Webminster Abbey, just to name a few.The comparison to Alice in Wonderland is obvious but it would be an injustice to compare the two. The world of Un Lun Dun is uniquely Miévillian, typically dark and forbidding with many gosh I didn’t see that coming moments. The plot proceeds along a twisting path while avoiding the mundane. Every chapter seems to bring forth a new revelation. Alliances are forged as the backdrop changes yet again. What dangerous creature sporting an ugly mug will appear next?The author also kicks to the curb all the stereotypical clichés so common in YA fiction. It’s the unexpected here folks. Like a talking book of knowledge written by clods. There are no easy solutions. Well, maybe except for the UnGun but even that has a different twist.One teeny item about the plot might have been done differently. It relies a shade much on the “is this person a good guy or a bad guy?” routine but overall it doesn’t matter. It’s like complaining the Mona Lisa has a speck of dust in a corner.I’ve rarely had so much fun reading a book written for a younger audience. If the author can make me root for an empty milk carton he can do anything. Recommended for everyone. If you’re a fan, for pity’s sake read this pronto! And if you aren’t you will be in short order. 5 stars all the way.