Embassytown: a city of contradictions on the outskirts of the universe. Avice is an immerser, a traveller on the immer, the sea of space and time below the everyday, now returned to her birth planet. Here on Arieka, humans are not the only intelligent life, and Avice has a rare bond with the natives, the enigmatic Hosts – who cannot lie. Only a tiny cadre of unique human Ambassadors can speak Language, and connect the two communities. But an unimaginable new arrival has come to Embassytown. And when this Ambassador speaks, everything changes. Catastrophe looms. Avice knows the only hope is for her to speak directly to the alien Hosts. And that is impossible. (via Goodreads)
My Thoughts (sans spoilers):
Embassytown was my first Miéville book, and it won’t be my last. It ranks up there with A Canticle for Leibowitz, Sleepless and The Reapers are the Angels, to name a few. Phenomenal, but not an easy read. There was a moment early on when I doubted I was cut out to read this book. Mieville’s writing is complex and sometimes mysterious. I can’t compare this to his other works, but with Embassytown you must pay attention to every detail. If you’re a patient reader it all comes together. This is a book that makes you use your brain!
What I found most challenging (and rewarding) was deciphering the world Miéville created. Visualizing a future so foreign and a species so alien pulled me deeper into the story and the characters. By the end of the book my heart was racing in hopes that Avice’s plan would work. My gaze shifted from seeing the Hosts as awkward aliens to real individuals.
Embassytown is the best Science Fiction I’ve read this year. If you’ve begun reading it but put it down, pick it back up!! The first 100 pages can seem overwhelming in complexity and scene changes, but if you can push through, the story does come into focus and you’ll be amazed. I gave it five stars, not a common occurrence.
**I received Embassytown through LibraryThing’s Early Reviews Program.