The world-building in this novel is wonderfully creative. Industries have cropped up around salvaging technology from the more prosperous past and pollution has seeped into the ground and created mutant creatures that thrive in the empty wastelands between cities. In this world there are many captains like Ahab from Moby Dick and it's become a trend to have a 'philosophy,' a specific creature that has wronged a captain and which the captain has sworn to hunt until one or both of them dies. Mieville uses slang and dialect to help set the atmosphere and it’s fun to puzzle it out and unravel how it relates to the world. I'd give this to science fiction fans looking for something with intricate world-building or those looking for a new take on Moby Dick.
Railsea by China Mieville
7th - 8th grade
Tags: Adventure, Dystopian, Retellings, Science Fiction