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The Scar Audiobook

The Scar: New Crobuzon, Book 2

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Publisher's Summary

A mythmaker of the highest order, China Miéville has emblazoned the fantasy novel with fresh language, startling images, and stunning originality. Set in the same sprawling world of Miéville's Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel Perdido Street Station, this latest epic introduces a whole new cast of intriguing characters and dazzling creations.

Aboard a vast seafaring vessel, a band of prisoners and slaves, their bodies remade into grotesque biological oddities, is being transported to the fledgling colony of New Crobuzon. But the journey is not theirs alone. They are joined by a handful of travelers, each with a reason for fleeing the city. Among them is Bellis Coldwine, a renowned linguist whose services as an interpreter grant her passage - and escape from horrific punishment. For she is linked to Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin, the brilliant renegade scientist who has unwittingly unleashed a nightmare upon New Crobuzon.

For Bellis, the plan is clear: live among the new frontiersmen of the colony until it is safe to return home. But when the ship is besieged by pirates on the Swollen Ocean, the senior officers are summarily executed. The surviving passengers are brought to Armada, a city constructed from the hulls of pirated ships, a floating, landless mass ruled by the bizarre duality called the Lovers. On Armada, everyone is given work, and even Remades live as equals to humans, Cactae, and Cray. Yet no one may ever leave.

Lonely and embittered in her captivity, Bellis knows that to show dissent is a death sentence. Instead, she must furtively seek information about Armada's agenda. The answer lies in the dark, amorphous shapes that float undetected miles below the waters - terrifying entities with a singular, chilling mission.

China Miéville is a writer for a new era - and The Scar is a luminous, brilliantly imagined novel that is nothing short of spectacular.

©2002 China Mieville (P)2014 Random House Audio

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  •  
    Dave Whittier, CA 10-08-15
    Dave Whittier, CA 10-08-15 Member Since 2011
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    "There Is No Redemption in the Sea"

    Some books just leave a mark on you. In China Mieville’s The Scar, a character is told “Scars are not injuries…a scar is a healing. After injury, a scar is what makes you whole.” I don’t know whether or not that’s true — or if in the context of the book, Mieville is actually suggesting it’s true. Probably he’s saying it’s a possible truth. Because in this book, every character has their share of scars — be they physical and bloody or emotional and invisible. Sometimes the characters become better for it, and sometimes the characters are broken by them. Whether or not scars make you better or worse, they seem to be defining points in the lives of the characters who inhabit this book. For me, The Scar was a defining point in my reading.

    I first encountered The Scar back when it came out almost 15 years ago. I had devoured Perdido Street Station, and was delighted to discover this one. When I discovered audiobooks, I was disappointed I couldn’t find The Scar, because of what it carved out on me. So I was delighted that Random House finally brought it out in the U.S. last year. For those of you who don’t know, The Scar is as wild adventure story as the fantastic and untamed seas that it is set upon. Here be pirates, sea monsters, magic, strange creatures like the Mosquito Women and the Scabmettlers, rogues like the Brucolac and Uther Doel, and heroes like Bellis Coldwine and Tanner Sack.

    I’m happy to say that The Scar is an even better book than I remembered it being — where once the ending seemed rushed, I now realize it’s really Mieville’s subversion of popular fantasy tropes, particularly the hero’s quest. In this story, the journey is literally everything. And all the monsters, characters, and crazy-ass worldbuilding he created for this excursion to Bas Lag are as wicked, weird, and intoxicating as ever. I don’t know if I want to live on the floating city that is Armada, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to visit it. What I didn’t remember was how likeable Tanner Sack is (he reminds me a lot of Shadow from American Gods), how perfectly Bellis’s letter works as a coda for this book, and how deep the theme of manipulation runs.

    Gildart Jackson had a difficult job bringing all these iconic characters to life. And he does it with aplomb. I’m not quite sure how much I like his interpretation of Uther Doel’s voice, but it was a bold move, and I can understand why he made the choice to read the characters that way. However, his voices for Bellis, Tanner, the Brucolac, Shekel, Silas Fennec, and all the others are perfection, so I’ll take this possible Doel and smile.

    I’m happy I took the time to come back to Armada. I’m looking forward to voyaging to Bas Lag again and again, and wearing the scars from this book like trophies.

    (Originally posted at the AudioBookaneers)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 02-15-15
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 02-15-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Puissant scars + gouts of pages = Steampunked"

    “For every action, there's an infinity of outcomes. Countless trillions are possible, many milliards are likely, millions might be considered probable, several occur as possibilities to us as observers - and one comes true.”

    - China Miéville, 'The Scar'

    At some point there was an infinite number of possibilitites with this novel. This is the follow up to Perdido Street Station, book 2 in the Bas-Lag/New Crobuzon trilogy. There are chapters and lines and threads of this novel that contained amazing prose, brilliant ideas, funky characters, compelling themes, etc. I loved the motifs and themes China used: possibilities, scars, home, books, politics, community, etc. But there were also just too damn many pages. It could have been edited better. I'm not shy about books over 500 pages, but I don't want to read a 600+ page novel that really is just a fat 400 page novel.

    Also, someone (a puissant editor, perhaps?) should have told China to stop using the word puissant (or its variants) and gout (gouts of water, gouts of blood, gouts of pleasure, gouts of relief, gouts of binding energy, gouts of smoke, gouts everywhere; enough gouts to form a trip or a tribe). Unless you are Cormac McCarthy (and there is only one CM) you need to be VERY careful when dropping the word gout casually in a novel. A reader who is paying attention is going to allow a word like gout or puissant to pop up just a few times in a novel that is 600 pages. Once you start dropping it in almost every chapter it practically begs the reader to start snickering or slap their forehead.

    Finally, Miéville seemed unembarrassed by his use of steampunk cliches. He seemed to drag every single New Weird/Steampunk cliche into the light and wave it like an ensign. Obnoxious. But still I liked the novel. Hell, there were hours at a time when I REALLY enjoyed it. I devoted a few days to reading it. I loved its potential, and my review is just me letting off some steam (ba dum tss) about it not living up to what I hoped. I will, eventually, read his other books. I just don't feel compelled to read Iron Council tomorrow.

    So, I was hoping for another: Perdido Street Station - 5 stars
    And I didn't think it was equal to: Embassytown or The City & the City - 4 stars.
    For me at least, I felt the same let down after reading Kraken - 4 stars (but maybe 3).

    But hell, the guy still has managed to turn out better SF than most. Miéville's bottom stuff (that I've read) is way more compelling than a lot of the genre stuff out there. It was infinitely better than Cherie Priest's Boneshaker. Seriously, I had to bell, book and candle that piece of steampunk garbage. Only time healed those stupid steampunk wounds and I still have the scars.

    22 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Halifax, NS, Canada 10-04-16
    David Halifax, NS, Canada 10-04-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Huge and engrossing"

    In this novel, China Mieville explores the wider reaches of the complex world he created in Perdido Street Station. The device is Armada, a floating pirate city on a mysterious mission that takes it across the oceans and past many strange lands. Mieville creates a wonderfully rich and complex environment, especially when delineating the political rivalries among the neighbourhoods of Armada. It's not an easy listen as it demands your concentration, and possibly the end doesn't live up to the journey, but it's a majestic journey nonetheless.

    The reader is very good, but isn't very skilled at female voices, which is slightly irritating for a novel with a female protagonist...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 07-02-15
    Matt 07-02-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Truly, truly, truly extraordinary"
    Would you listen to The Scar again? Why?

    This is perhaps the most extraordinary fantasy/science fiction novel I have ever encountered. The imaginative richness it contains almost made me angry it's so abundant. Mieville should be considered a national treasure, dammit.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The complexity of the characters is beyond compelling. _The Scar_ is one of those books that can help a reader grow as a human being. Yes, really.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Heter 01-19-15
    Scott Heter 01-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Best creative mind in a generation"

    absolutely mind blowing. Loved it. I highly recommend reading Perdido Street Station first and then The Scar. Both are great

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zac Knoxville,Tn 11-18-14
    Zac Knoxville,Tn 11-18-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Speculative Fiction at its Finest"
    If you could sum up The Scar in three words, what would they be?

    Fantastically Weird Voyage


    What other book might you compare The Scar to and why?

    All Mieville's other stuff, Felix Gilman's Thunderer and Gears of the City, K.J. Bishop's Etched City, Vandermeer's Ambergris stuff, Bennett's City of Stairs, Harkaway's the Gone-Away World, and maybe some Gaiman. As to why, they're all uniquely weird, mysterious, and very well written.


    Which character – as performed by Gildart Jackson – was your favorite?

    The Bruculac or however it's spelled. And Tanner.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It filled me with wonder stretching my imagination and sketching a fantastic scene.


    Any additional comments?

    This is perhaps my favorite Mieville work and I recommend it to anyone that enjoys weird, fantastic fiction stretched about as far as it can be.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elltten Oceanside, CA, United States 11-19-17
    Elltten Oceanside, CA, United States 11-19-17 Member Since 2013
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    "I was mesmerized by the story!"

    I had listened to The City and the City several years ago and loved it. I began looking for other books by the Mieville and that's when I came across the New Crobuzon Series. Initially after reading the summary, I was put off since it was not the genre of book that I normallyI like to read. I finally decided to listen to Period Street Station. I became transfixed by the story and the characters. As soon as I finished the book, I began listening to The Scar, which I absolutely loved. The story seems to have infused itself somehow in my head. I just finished listening a few minutes ago and I am getting ready to purchase the 3rd book of the trilogy. I literally could not stop listening to this book. The ending of The Scar was also satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BTYC 09-30-17
    BTYC 09-30-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Beautifully descriptive, a story arc that enchants"

    In my view, book 2 was a well worthy successor to Perdido Street Station, while that book introduces you to the Bas Lag universe, this second builds on what you know, and takes you to new far flung locals that only brings a new view on an ever growing world.

    While the characters are interesting, with complex motivations and actions that keep you guessing, it is the landscape, city, floating backdrop that I found the most colourful and enchanting.

    Filled with a scale and sense of forward momentum (not as strong in PSS, and completely missing from booked 3), the story will draw you forward, onward and onward - as if being pulled my some mystical beast through the waters of Bas Lag

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Appenelli 08-24-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Weird!"

    I'd read the book years ago and wanted to revisit Armada. I was pleased with Mr. Jackson's performance and thoroughly enjoyed The Scar

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik van Mechelen 04-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    "creative!"

    immersive world, loads of fun, detailed characters and impressive setting concepts, very intrigued by concepts raised

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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