Reread Review: The Scar by China Mieville

Author: China Mieville
Title: The Scar
Series: Bas-Lag novels
Format/Source: Paperback/my copy
Published: 2000
Publisher: Del Rey
Length: 578 pages
Genre: Mieville is his own genre (steampunk?)
Why I Read: In the mood for a strong ‘place as character’ book
Read If You:  Like original world-building, grounded characters or ocean adventures
Rating:  ★★★★★ [ratings guide]
Links: GoodReads IndieBound Chapters | Amazon
Third book for the Reread Challenge. Read my original review.

WHEN I First Read – At the start of January 2013, while I was house sitting for my aunt.

WHAT I Remember – The vivid and intense world building. The immensity of the avanc (real whales freak me out because of their size – I got chills reading the descriptions of the avanc). Down-to-earth Bellis. The general decency of most characters. And something vague about how the story ends, but nothing about how it got to that point.

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read I wanted to enter that sort of world again. I wanted a meaty book I could really get pulled into. I knew I could rely on this one to do that. I picked up a physical paperback while visiting a huge bookstore in Osaka that has half a floor of English books *-*

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading – Excellent! Why didn’t I give this five stars + favourite before? I think I read the ending too fast on my first read and didn’t quite understand it. I was surprised by how much of the story I had forgotten (for example, I did not remember Simon at all.) was pleased to find aspects of the novel that I liked the first time surpassed my expectations this time. Bellis is such a great character, I think one of the most realistic and believable characters I’ve read in an unbelievable situation.

WOULD I Re-Read Again – I think so. I love the prose, the characters and the world, but it’s a thick book that’s relatively plot heavy and I think some time would have to pass so I can ‘forget’ the plot and enjoy it again.

This wasn’t a book I thought I would reread this year, but I’m glad I did! Have you read anything by Mieville? Are there any fictional worlds you’ve been wanting to revisit?