In the Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre’s prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux—better known as the Giant Squid. But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.
As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens—human and otherwise—are adept in magic and murder.
All of them—and others—are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.
Ok -- I don't always like to take summaries from another source, but for this book, I thought it might be best. For me to attempt to summarize what's going on in this story would be .... confusing. No doubt I'd miss something, or not explain it well enough... and there's so much here, so much wonderful rich detail, that I know I wouldn't be able to do justice to this book by trying to tell you what it's about.
I have met people who loved Un Lun Dun (a book group I'm in read that book), but I tell them: even if you love that story, you might not love anything else by this author. Just because I love The Scar and Perdido Street Station and Iron Council didn't mean I was going to love The City and the City (although yes, I did love that book, as well). I find this author extremely compelling just because what he writes is strange and uncomfortable, and like nothing I've ever read.
Let's leave with a little sentence that made me smile..... "The world lurched again. Reeled, as in the was punched sense, rather than the dancing." p. 391
And where did I get this book? I treated myself to a copy from The Book Depository UK.
And, this book met the guidelines for the Chunkster Challenge by being 450+ pages of adult literature. This weighs in at 481.