Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Embassytown Paperback – January 31, 2012
|New from||Used from|
The Valley (The Valley Trilogy)
50% off the new debut from the bestselling author of War Brides Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
“A fully achieved work of art.”—Ursula K. Le Guin
“The most engrossing book I’ve read this year, and the latest evidence that brilliant, challenging, rewarding writing of the highest order is just as likely to be found in the section labeled Science Fiction as the one marked Literature.”—Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Original, sophisticated, bristling with subversive ideas, and filled with unforgettably alien images . . . an amazing, sometimes brutal rhapsody on the uses of language.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Richly conceived . . . Embassytown has the feel of a word-puzzle, and much of the pleasure of figuring out the logic of the world and the story comes from gradually catching the full resonance of its invented and imported words.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Miéville’s swing-for-the-fences gusto thrills. This is Big Idea Sci-Fi at its most propulsively readable.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Miéville [is] one of today’s most exciting fabulist writers.”—Los Angeles Times
About the Author
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
"Embassytown" is told through the eyes of Immerser Avice Benner Cho. She first chronicles her childhood on the planet Ariekei, giving us glimpses of Mieville's multi-layered world: most children don't grow up with their birth parents. They live in communal homes with multiple parents (much like counselors.) Humans share their world with "exots"--aliens (exoterres). But this isn't some two-dimensional Star Wars or silly Futurama-type melting pot. Exots are screened. With one important exception, exots can only settle on Ariekei if their sociologic and, to an extent, genetic makeup (they must have language, move comfortably in a human-run world, have similar thought processes, et cetera) is similar enough to allow integration with humans.
Humans do not own Ariekei, however. We are settlers, only living on the planet because beings known only as Hosts permit us to.
The Hosts protect themselves. While benevolent, especially toward children, they have a part of the planet only they can enter; humans can't breathe in their area. They circumvent the human similarity, as well (it's their planet, after all.Read more ›
Miéville uses theoretical questions about the nature of language as a jumping-off point, but doesn't explore them in any rigorous way; this is not so much a novel of ideas as of images. As ever, the author excels at portraying an urban existence that's alien and yet based in universal aspects of city life. Embassytown is first seen through a child's eyes, as flashbacks detail Avice's early years, the games and myths that spring up in the lives of children surrounded by strangers, whether those strangers belong to a different ethnic group or a different species. No awkward exposition blunts the mystery of Avice's city, and readers not familiar with the immersive quality of novels like this one may find themselves lost. But before too much time passes, Miéville weaves seemingly-disparate threads together into a deeply satisfying moment of revelation. At that point, the novel truly takes off.Read more ›
The protagonist, Avice, grew up in the one human town - Embassytown - on the alien's planet. The town was an outpost of a human-dominated world and not a large place to live. Mieville does a good job of grounding the reader in the culture of the synergy between humans and aliens by allowing Avice to tell certain important parts of her childhood.
The story begins in a time of rapid and traumatic change that threatens to destroy the aliens' world and Embassytown. The snowballing events pressure breakthroughs that offer changes as devastating as the ones at the beginning of the story.
I had two problems with the advanced proofs that I received for review. (The book is due to be released in May.) First, about 50-to-75 pages near the center of the book slowed down to the point of slogging through mud. (Mieville spends too many pages getting through the times when any action is taking place out of Avice's sight.) Second, one of the subplots that seemed to be important several times in the book - Avice's relationship with Ehrsul - ended strangely, even for sci-fi. Those are the only reasons that I rated the book with four stars instead of five.
With all truly well written science fiction stories, the first reading is for orientation to a new world and to make the paradigm shifts necessary to understanding the plot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An avid sci fi reader since the 1970s, I was pleasantly surprised to find a novel as well-crafted as, if not even better than, Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Ana Kothe
You don’t have to have read any Ferdinand de Saussure to enjoy this book, though it would help. This book is a fascinating exploration of the Other and of the nature of language. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Roxy Katt, author of NAUGHTY TALES OF LEATHER AND LATEX
China Mieville is one of the most creative abhors that I've read. He creates a consistent but odd world and follows its implications through to the end.Published 1 month ago by Stuart Roth
This is the third of Mieville’s novels I’ve read, after Perdido Street Station and The City and the City. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nigel Farquharson
I love China Mieville. I really do. For those that haven't read his work, though, you have to know going in that China's writing is DENSE. This is not a beach book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rob
Long, complex story with a believable narrator. Nice to have it wrapped up n one book rather than a trilogy too.Published 4 months ago by the 202
Richly detailed world, but I stopped reading halfway through because the characters were neither interesting nor sympathetic.Published 4 months ago by smlgrl42
An amazingly imaginative world. I don't often encounter science fiction with new ideas.Published 6 months ago by A. Hills