Starred Review. Grade 5–9—In present-day London, strange things start happening around Zanna: dogs stop to stare at her, birds circle her head. Then, she and her friend Deeba find themselves in an alternate reality where obsolete objects such as old typewriters eventually "seep" and strange people and creatures dwell, including sentient "unbrellas." The girls learn that Zanna is the chosen one, the "shwazzy," of UnLondon. However, her first fight with the nefarious Smog isn't what was predicted in the book of prophecies. The girls soon end up back in London with Zanna unable to recall their time away. Alone in the memory, Deeba pieces together the Smog's plot and finds a way back to UnLondon via library stacks. Readers soon realize that sometimes the chosen one doesn't get to save a city, and that sometimes steps in a preordained quest don't come out as planned. Miéville's fantastical city is vivid and splendidly crafted. Who would have thought a milk carton could make such an endearing pet? Or that words, or utterlings, could have a life and form of their own? Fans of Neil Gaiman's Coraline (HarperCollins, 2002) or Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth (Knopf, 1961) will love this novel. The story is exceptional and the action moves along at a quick pace. Given that the girls are 12, older readers might be put off, but it is well worth selling to them.—Nancy Kunz, Tuckahoe Public Library, NY
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Award-winning author China Miéville (King Rat; Perdido Street Station; The Scar; Iron Council, HHHH Jan/Feb 2005) claims that he meant Un Lun Dun for younger readers, but, like the Harry Potterseries, the novel will appeal to a wide range of ages. While it includes the basics of the genremagic, monsters, quests, heroesit breaks the mold in many ways. An urban adventure with a strong environmental message, the novel harkens back to London's Great Smog of 1952, which bridges the real and the fantastical. Miéville's playful, clever language and plot, reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's, also impressed most critics, though a few thought them contrived and tedious. "Finding it as a grown-up may not be the optimum way to stumble into UnLondon," concludes Salon, "but it's pretty miraculous all the same."
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I almost stopped reading the book, several times. It really is only getting the three stars for the ending. The beginning was rubish. Read morePublished 2 months ago by L. J. Rinaldi
Fabulous children's tale that manages to be suitable for adults as well. Recommended.Published 2 months ago by CascaGreen
My first book by China Mieville was Perdido Street Station. After a grand adventure like that I couldn't resist reading more of his work. UN Lun Dun is another great one by him. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lephiro
Excellent imagery and characterizations. It could have been divided into two or three books, however... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mary
China Miéville's urban fantasy, on the surface, seems to have a lot of roots in Gaiman's Neverwhere, but as you progress through the novel, you soon realize that Un Lun Dun... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Patrick McDonald
Ever felt that life was a bit, well, boring? If so, then welcome to Un Lun Dun(A.K.A Unlondon), where there are clothes made of books, carnivorous giraffes roam the city, and the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Student
BORING NO ACTION..lame needs excitement very lame. And the other side of my life is a black man's pumpkin. Gosh geezPublished 7 months ago by pokemonpoker
Fun and quirky, may be a YA offering, but still fun for an adult read.Published 9 months ago by Paul Bentz
At first I was going to skip this one as it was listed as for young readers. I am glad I did not, however. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ken Sodemann