Review of 'Embassytown'

Embassytown by China Miéville

Avice is an immerser, one who travels between worlds who returns home to “Embassytown” where humans live side by side with the “Hosts” which are an odd race that speak not only with a dual-mouth language but also emotion – and cannot lie. Humans known as ambassadors are bred to work side by side to communicate with the Hosts. When the Ambassador EzRa arrives and talks the Hosts start exhibiting addictive behaviour…Behaviour that leads to war…Avice might just be able to figure out what to do…

I found it took quite a long time to get into this book with the odd premise and setting but once I did so it was quite interesting. I can't say it was “unputdownable” like China's other books but it was quite readable nonetheless. Interested as I am in language I found this book quite intriguing with it's completely novel setting (as are China's other books).

I am not sure if China was intending the book to be a bit of a social commentary on the blind following of the masses to whatever leaders say (the addiction which is the focus of the novel) or the rise of the people (as China is a socialist) but this certainly did not detract in any way from the book.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2011-08-30

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: MacMillan

Publication Date: 2011

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