Author: China Miéville
Published: June 2010
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Billy Harrow is a cephalopod specialist in the Darwin Center of London’s Natural History Museum. The tour he conducts through the center has its climax at the center’s giant squid. This is their prize specimen. Except the squid isn’t there when the tour ends. This sparks a life or death struggle between forces Billy has been unaware of until now. The Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit (FSRC), which deals with sorcerous crimes for the London police, approaches Billy. He is also faced with a group of fanatics that worship the squid as the God Kraken and various other magical persons and entities. Billy has become the uncomfortable center of attention of this Magical underworld in London because he holds the key to powers that can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.
China Miéville’s Kraken borrows elements from H. P. Lovecraft to spin a thriller of magical intrigue that was witty. However, he overused the East London accent to the point where, unless you speak it yourself, it becomes distracting. Moreover, Miéville spent much of the book on setting up this complex world. If you like to get to the story proper, you will have to wait a bit. And, at five hundred plus pages, it is quite a wait.