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Aboard a vast seafaring vessel, a band of prisoners and slaves, their bodies remade into grotesque biological oddities, is being transported to the fledgling colony of New Crobuzon. But the journey is not theirs alone. They are joined by a handful of travelers, each with a reason for fleeing the city. Among them is Bellis Coldwine, a renowned linguist whose services as an interpreter grant her passage - and escape from horrific punishment. For she is linked to Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin, the brilliant renegade scientist who has unwittingly unleashed a nightmare upon New Crobuzon.
For Bellis, the plan is clear: live among the new frontiersmen of the colony until it is safe to return home. But when the ship is besieged by pirates on the Swollen Ocean, the senior officers are summarily executed. The surviving passengers are brought to Armada, a city constructed from the hulls of pirated ships, a floating, landless mass ruled by the bizarre duality called the Lovers. On Armada, everyone is given work, and even Remades live as equals to humans, Cactae, and Cray. Yet no one may ever leave.
Lonely and embittered in her captivity, Bellis knows that to show dissent is a death sentence. Instead, she must furtively seek information about Armada's agenda. The answer lies in the dark, amorphous shapes that float undetected miles below the waters - terrifying entities with a singular, chilling mission.
China Miéville is a writer for a new era - and The Scar is a luminous, brilliantly imagined novel that is nothing short of spectacular.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By David on 10-04-16
Huge and engrossing
In this novel, China Mieville explores the wider reaches of the complex world he created in Perdido Street Station. The device is Armada, a floating pirate city on a mysterious mission that takes it across the oceans and past many strange lands. Mieville creates a wonderfully rich and complex environment, especially when delineating the political rivalries among the neighbourhoods of Armada. It's not an easy listen as it demands your concentration, and possibly the end doesn't live up to the journey, but it's a majestic journey nonetheless.
The reader is very good, but isn't very skilled at female voices, which is slightly irritating for a novel with a female protagonist...
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Allan Nielsen on 02-22-17
Brilliant dark fantasy - a true classic
What made the experience of listening to The Scar the most enjoyable?
The endless and twisting ingenuity of Mieville - like being in the mirror dimension of classic fantasy, except the darkness beyond is constantly pulling you in. Great!
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Scar?
So many scenes. Armada is a true treat. The floating city of continually unfolding secrets. The hidden behind the scenes political plotting, you truly get the sense that it is a living, breathing place connected to the greater world.
Have you listened to any of Gildart Jackson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Great job - solid all the way through.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful