Embassytown by China Mieville

81%

17 Critic Reviews

...a paradoxical pleasure to come across a novel that reminds us so ingeniously and enjoyably of the conditions of fiction, and of the power that fictional language retains to shape and reshape our transactions with the world.
-Guardian

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak. Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language. When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties: to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak—but which speaks through her, whether she likes it or not.
 

About China Mieville

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China Miéville is the author of several books, including Perdido Street Station, The City & The City, and Kraken. His works have won the Hugo, the British Science Fiction Award (twice), the Arthur C. Clarke Award (three times) and the World Fantasy Award. He lives and works in London.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published May 17, 2011 by Del Rey. 369 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Embassytown
All: 17 | Positive: 14 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Good
on Jun 03 2011

“Embassytown” has the feel of a word-puzzle, and much of the pleasure of figuring out the logic of the world...

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Guardian

Good
on May 20 2011

...a paradoxical pleasure to come across a novel that reminds us so ingeniously and enjoyably of the conditions of fiction, and of the power that fictional language retains to shape and reshape our transactions with the world.

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Guardian

Good
on May 07 2011

The story, at first a bit hard to follow, very soon attains faultless impetus and pacing. If Miéville has been known to set up a novel on a marvellous metaphor and then not know quite where to take it, he's outgrown that...

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Blog Critics

Excellent
on Jul 31 2011

Rich with nuance, meaning, and power that never comprises the overall fictive dream, or even the pure fun of its fictional world, this is a novel to read, re-read, and then re-read again.

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AV Club

Above average
on Jun 09 2011

...the book’s arc is so solidly realized that even the minor hiccups in plotting are easy to forgive.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
on May 18 2011

Miéville's slow-burn narrative is by turns amusing and horrifying,

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LA Times

Good
on Jun 19 2011

It is a testament to Miéville's skill that all these elements add up to a compelling mystery. And it is the signature delight of the book that the puzzle at the center of this vast and complex world is language.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
on May 11 2011

Miéville has constructed a breathtaking world of understanding: a new system of measuring time and neologisms that crackle in nearly every paragraph, adding style to the plot.

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Tor

Excellent
on May 13 2011

Embassytown is post-colonial science fiction at its horrorshow best.

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Oregon Live

Excellent
on May 27 2011

...By stretching our own language to accommodate ideas it wasn't meant to express, he makes us realize how much our everyday lives and perceptions are bound by the words we use.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Excellent
on May 17 2011

Miéville's ruminations on language are brilliant...

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About.com

Excellent

Embassytown is immensely worth reading - among the best books I've read - even if you've never read science fiction or thought much about how language helps organize thought.

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The Millions

Below average
on May 17 2011

The book is one-third gone before the gears of the story mesh. The wait is too long, and nearly disastrous.

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Chamber Four

Below average
on Aug 19 2011

In the end, Embassytown is something of an alien travelogue. You journey somewhere new...but none it really means anything.

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io9

Good
on Apr 15 2011

If you are fascinated by stories of genuinely alien cultures, you need to read Embassytown...And if you're a fan of China Miéville...you're in for a treat

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Escape Pod

Excellent
on Jun 14 2011

Embassytown is a great book. You should read it. It’s another home run by an author who seems to hit nothing but.

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Crikey

Below average
on May 06 2011

It’s a weird, hard, frustrating and detailed novel...

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Reader Rating for Embassytown
66%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 440 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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