Iron Council by China Mieville

The Iron Council was good but not as good as the first two IMHO. I have to agree I didn't like the jumping around in time to develop the characters more, but it was necessary. I was sad to hear the constructs, at first I thought this what the Iron council was going to be. I never really got the train idea it seemed a bit pointless did it say somewhere that they were traveling at more than ten miles per hour I find the impossible, they would of been better to construct tracks for the train and where did all the wood and steel come from ?

This book left me with more question than the others, the end was also a bit of an anti climax. But lets face it China still owns most other authors :D
I think the idea was that they kept reusing the rails and sleepers (US: ties) as they went along; I assume that where sleepers were broken, they replaced them from whatever timber they found along the way. (The book may have explained this, but my memory of a book's content doesn't cope well with lots of details. :))

I agree that it doesn't appear to be the best way of travelling about the place, but with one locomotive and many carriages and wagons (cars), it's hard to imagine a system without guides or rails. (Of course, the Aussies on this network will tell us all about road trains - well, let them! :p)
They must of had a huge supply of rails which would not have been as easy to make as sleepers. plus carrying them from the back to the front would be a monumental task, to gain any real speed.
I really liked the concept of this - it's the only Mieville book I've read so far. The legend v. reality aspect of the train, the characters (which I did find generally sympathetic), the end... they were all intriguing. And odd, but interesting book, and I'd like to read more of Mieville's work.
I read Iron Council a little while ago, but I couldn't get on with it as well as I thought I would. I liked the concept, and it was well written - perhaps it's one of those books that I'll pick up in a couple of months and thoroughly enjoy it.
The Scar is my favorite of the Bas-Lag novels. I think it was pretty much a perfect book, at least for my tastes. I liked Iron Council a good deal, but I thought it was a few steps below both The Scar and Perdido Street Station. I read them in the order they came out. I found IC interesting, and it probably had the best ending of the three, but I was not as into the characters or as blown away by the story as I was by the other two. Also, for the first time, while reading it, I actually started to get an "I've already seen that" feeling, which is something I rarely get from Mieville. Particularly when the Weaver showed up, I felt like he'd already used the Weaver very effectively in PSS, and it didn't seem as fresh to me. As much as I'd like to read new Bas-Lag stories, I'm glad he has taken a break from them (though I hope he returns soon enough).
I just finished IC and I have to agree with some of the comments here that it does not have the same degree of impact as PSS or The Scar. Of course, even as a less masterful China Mieville story, it does have several brilliantly written parts, like the golem-maker Judah Low's background story, the formation of the Iron Council and the spreading of violent unrest across New Crobuzon, but the sum is appreciably less. My main problem is that unlike the previous books none of the main characters really hooked me, so I never felt as emotionally impacted by their fates.
I just read this for the second time last month. The first time I read it was when it came out back in 2004, and at that time it had been over a year since I'd read PSS, so I'd forgotten all about New Crobuzon. As much as Iron Council is a standalone story, the only way to read it (in my opinion) is directly after PSS, because PSS goes very intricately into the city itself (it being such a huge part of both books) while Iron Council barely does.

So, the first time I read Iron Council, I was kind of rushing through it (mainly because my brother told me that they go into the Cacotopic Stain, so I was eager to get to that point). I missed out on a lot that time around. My second read through was amazing, and now I consider IC to be my favourite fantasy novel. I especially loved the Judah back story, all the golemetry, all the creatures and landscape descriptions, and the slightly more literary tone. Also, every scene with Weather Wrightby in it was so damn good I had to read them aloud.

I loved this book. God, how long do we have to wait for the 4th Bas Lag novel?

Similar threads