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  • Writer's pictureKL Glanville

Gift From My Book Spy - Book Review - Un Lun Dun

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Originally Published April 25, 2012

My rating of this book: ☆☆☆ out of 5 stars

I think I originally found this book among the towers and stacks of books in my Book Spy’s living room during a visit. But alas, my visit was short, and I didn’t get to finish it. So she thoughtfully bought me my own copy for Christmas, because, well, that’s what great Book Spies do for their friends! Right?

Un Lun Dun is a VERY creative book, and the author, China Mieville, obviously had a lot of fun coming up with all sorts of wacky things. But before I tell more of my thoughts on it, let me tell you a bit about the story.

Un Lun Dun is Un-London–a kind of alternate reality version of the city of London that is bizarre and uniquely interconnected with, as well as interdependent on, the city of London. Things are similar, yet oddly different in Un Lun Dun. One thing they share, however, is a common enemy. In steps two school-girls from London. Their hero status seems foretold in the prophesies of Un Lun Dun. Yet things do not unravel quite according to plan. For the Londoners, surprises, adventures and dangers await around every odd corner.

I will admit, I am particularly biased toward books where the character development is deep, rich and thorough. I like to know my characters inside and out. And that was probably my one disappointment with this book. I didn’t feel like I really got to know the main character as much as I would have liked. I wanted to know more of what made her tick.

Besides that, the creativity of Mieville is quite extraordinary. The book is probably even a much richer treat for those who have lived in or spent a good amount of time in London. But you don’t have to have visited London to appreciate fun and funky buildings, people, creatures and predicaments. If you like to be immersed in the zany and wacky, you’ll probably love visiting Un Lun Dun.

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