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The Scar Mass Market Paperback – Jun 29 2004


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (June 29 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345460014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345460011
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 10.8 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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It is only ten miles beyond the city that the river loses its momentum, drooling into the brackish estuary that feeds Iron Bay. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge on July 7 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
China Mieville, The Scar (Ballantine, 2002)
Comparing any fantasy novel to Mieville's mighty Perdido Street Station invites a bad review. But it can't be helped, in the case of The Scar. After all, it's the sequel to Perdido Street Station. It's not surprising that it doesn't measure up; what is surprising is how close it comes to doing so.
Not long after the events of Perdido Street Station, Grimnebulin's sometime-girlfriend, Bellis Coldwine, flees New Crobuzon when she feels the militia closing in. Boarding the Terpsichoria, she heads off for the colonies on the other side of the world, stopping at Salkrikaltor Cray on the way for some negotiations. Not long after they leave Cray, however, they are ambushed by pirates from a nation who are completely unconcerned with New Crobuzon's might, and taken prisoner. Things go, to put it mildly, downhill from there.
It seemed to me throughout that much of Mieville's impetus for writing The Scar was to explore and flesh out some of the places that were just mentioned in Perdido Street Station. All well and good, as much of what was praised about the former novel was Mieville's ability to build a world with an awe-inspiring amount of descriptive realism. So it's no surprise that the same happens here, as Mieville takes us thousands of miles north and west of New Crobuzon, jumping around the map and filling in pieces of it we didn't get to see before. Mieville's descriptive talents are as strong as ever.
The plot's got a good deal going for it, as well. The pirates are not your normal brand of pirate, and Bellis spends much of her time trying to figure out what's really going on as a possible means of somehow winning her freedom from her captors.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was afraid the second book of the bas-lag would not be as good as Perdido Street Station. Fortunately, The Scar is also an exciting, well written and original novel. I personally liked PST better, but the Scar is also outstanding. Let me stress this: Mieville is not only a good science fiction author (is that science fiction, actually?) but an excellent author, period.
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By OpenMind TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 7 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
China Mieville: frustratingly creative, unfathomably skilful, thoroughly uncompromising. Such has been my experience with his other works, and now The Scar can be added to the list.
The second of his Bas-Lag trilogy (although not a sequel to Perdido Street Station--merely set in the same universe), this novel is bursting at the seams with an ensemble cast of well-developed characters (whose motives and behaviours are delightfully elaborated upon, from the ambitious and ruthless Uther Doul to the kind and loyal Remade man, Tanner Sack), unusual races (with their own attributes and desires, from the rapidly-clotting gladiator race of Scabmettlers to the terrifying, predatory Grindylow), and rich history. And as if the original characters and setting weren't enough, there's a hell of a story here, too. The highly secret, free-floating pirate city of Armada comprises several ridings--each ruled and inhabited by a diverse population--has one goal: to survive. At constant risk of discovery, and therefore annihilation, by the city-state of New Crobuzon, Armadans and their leaders are constantly in search of more people to enlist, ships to annex, and "puissance" to wield. When an ancient text within the library of Armada appears to yield information about an ancient, extra-dimensional source of motive power, the leaders of Armada go in search of this engine in the hope that it will allow them to cover more ground in a faster amount of time, opening up realms (and booty) previously thought out of reach.
Someone is working to undermine their efforts.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A second novel to be set in China Mieville's fantasy world of Bas-Lag, The Scar once more displays the author's prodigious imagination and command of language. Sea battles, weird science, fantastical creatures, monsters of the deep and a piratical floating city feature in this compelling story. The characterisation is subtle, with a main protagonist who is somewhat cold and inexpressive. Some plotlines are not developed too well and go nowhere, but there is more than enough great stuff to compensate. Most impressive creature has to be the avanc. Scariest creatures, in my opinion are the anophelii, mosquito women from hell!
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Format: Paperback
THE SCAR is even more original and twice as artful as Mieville's previous PERDIDO STREET STATION. If you like great writing, get it. If you like wondrous, original, vivid imaginary worlds, get it. I haven't seen such a marvelous imaginary world in years.
However, if you like characters who set out to make a positive difference in their world and succeed, don't get this book. Mieville likes to write about good guys who aren't really good and who lose even when they win. If he had to do a Churchill biography he'd write about everything except World War II. If he had to do a Presidential biography he'd choose Clinton over Lincoln or Washington every time.
I think he prefers to close his eyes to heroes.
But the world he creates in THE SCAR is gorgeous. It's wonderful. A floating city, a whale as a steed, two different kinds of underwater civilizations, battles with magic and ironclads and airships, an isle of mosquito people, catcus pirates, a magic based on probability theory and oil drilling as a means of magical power--there's just so much stuff in this book. If you want a world you haven't seen before, one wonderfully written, full of life, completely different and completely believable--this is for you.
It's got drama, too, plenty of it, even if Mieville likes to put lots of depressing bits in alongside the successes. There's heroism and war and titan-scale engineering and mysterious magic.
Did I mention that this book is packed full of stuff? And that the world is wonderfully original?
THE SCAR is set in the same universe as PERDIDO STREET STATION, but it goes leagues beyond that in quality.
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