I’ll keep it quick: advance copies have been out for a few weeks, and some reviews of the long-awaited new novella by China Miéville are finally trickling onto the net.
A Goodreads user named Mike was the very first, according to my daily googling (yes, I’m that obsessed). Check out his review here! He liked it, calling it “dark” and a “suspenseful tale of a murder that may or may not have happened”. There are some minor spoilers about the setting and SF/F elements of the story, so heads up if you care to stay in the dark about those.
The first professional review is by Kirkus Reviews, which you can read here. They call the novella “brief and dreamlike”, and describe a bit more about the story’s setting, the events that happen, and the narrator. Again, minor spoilers.
I have to admit, as an enormous fan of Miéville’s biggest and most bombastic novels such as The Scar, that this doesn’t sound like it’ll be entirely up my alley. I’ve always preferred stories with strong, clear fantasy worldbuilding over vague, magical-realism-inflected tales. The fact that in the UK the more literature-focused imprint Picador is publishing this, shows that this will be unlike any of Miéville’s other works to date.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Miéville has shown time and time again that he can draw almost any genre from a hat and make it his own. I still look forward to this book!