Tuesday 30 October 2007

Children's Fantasy

Finished October 28
Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
This fantasy novel is set in London, England and Un Lun Dun, a parallel world populated by a mix of individuals including some who used to live in London. Un Lun Dun is the place lost and broken items go, including many of the things people place out by the curb hoping someone else will take them. There are ways to travel between the two, but they aren't predictable and just because you try, doesn't mean that you can get there, or get back.
Here, Un Lun Dun is being threatened and it is awaiting its hero, who coming was foretold in the pages of a talking book. 12-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find an entrance one night after following a broken umbrella and it seems like the prophesy is coming true, but things start going wrong despite help from Brokkenbroll, master of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is a large pincushion; Joe Jones, a bus conductor; and a milk carton named Deeba names Curdle.
Will the girls be able to make it back to London, and if they do will their families still remember them? And what about the evil menacing Un Lun Dun?
This is a wonderful tale, with humour and excitement (including carnivorous giraffes) and the heroes learn not to judge by outward appearances. There is also an environmental aspect to this book, which is relevant to our times.
I loved it.

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