Having previously read Mieville's The City and The City and did not like it, I hadnt been in any rush to read any more of his books. What a huge mistake this was, Perdido Street Station is a fantastic book, and New Crubozon is an amazing setting, this towering edifice of architecture and history, this complexitude of money and slum.
Various races all live in this sprawl of a city: human, the insect headed Kephri, the Vodyanoi, an aquatic people who can blockade a river shipping route by shaping the water like clay, the Garuda bird-men capable of flight. These are the main races we meet in New Crobuzon but there are also the Remade; the Remade are usually (but not always) humans who are caught up in the criminal justice system and then forced to undergo a cruel alteration - limbs and other body parts replaced with steam-powered machinery, heavy mechanical metal parts, or grafted together with human or animal components.
Within the city we have Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin, a human hired by a wingless Garuda (Yagharek) to help him fly again. We have his Kephri girlfriend Lin hired by a gangster to create his sculpture. These events will clash but the journey to get there is fascinating.
There is a section where Isaac is waiting to see what will hatch from a giant chrysalis that has developed and I devoured these pages, genuinely excited to see what would hatch and I wasn't disappointed!
Incredible book with interesting characters in a hugely well thought out city, the end is perfect do not want to add anything else about it but wow.