Review by Kira Toal, Teen Reviewer
Un Lun Dun by China Miéville
Un Lun Dun by China Miéville is the story of Zanna and Deeba, two twelve year old girls who discover the bizarre mirror version of London. Their presence in the nonsensical city of living umbrellas and predatory garbage bags appears to fulfill an ancient prophecy, but, instead of a hero returning to save UnLondon, things start to go horribly wrong.
I must admit that I was hesitant to pick up Un Lun Dun after reading the description on the book, which depicts the city as “London through the looking glass” and “an urban Wonderland of strange delights.” I often find that novels which try to recreate classics like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland lack the originality and creativity to keep me engaged and have trouble living up to the stories they draw inspiration from. However, even though Un Lun Dun did not contain the most innovative plot, the book is set apart by the inventive characters and settings. China Miéville’s gorgeous writing style made it easy for me to disregard the standard fairytale plot and helped me lose myself in the magic of UnLondon.
An important aspect of any story is the cast of characters, and I have to say I adored the wide array of unique personalities in Un Lun Dun. The fantasy component of the story opens up a whole new range of possibilities for characters, including half ghosts and even a giant, radioactive cloud composed of chemicals in the London air. The protagonist (who is not the character she first appears to be) is filled with strength and determination, and she grows more likable with every chapter.
Overall, Un Lun Dun’s plot was no revolution in the fantasy genre, but the imaginative characters and the author’s brilliant way with words kept me interested throughout the novel. 4 stars! –Kira Toal, Teen Reviewer
Find the book in our catalog: Un Lun Dun
Call number: JRHI MIEVILLE,C