This book is a 2007 Fantasy and Science Fiction Cybils Award Nominee.
Wonderland, the Phantom Tollbooth, Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, the London of Neverwhere...and UnLondon.
In his latest novel, Un Lun Dun, China Miéville has created UnLondon, a fantastical alternate city that is sure to join the list of classic wondrous settings that lie just this side of the reality we know. UnLondon is full of quirky magic, sly humor, and engaging, imaginative personages from the outlandish to the silly--reanimated rubbish that has seeped across the barrier from London, giant flies manned by crews of air-pirates, people with pincushions or diving helmets or occupied birdcages for heads.
But UnLondon is in danger. When twelve-year-old Zanna and her best friend Deeba accidentally stumble upon a secret entrance to UnLondon, they find themselves caught up in a prophecy--one that foretells the coming of a hero to save UnLondon from the toxic, all-consuming Smog. As the Smog feeds itself from the smoke of fires and pollution, it grows, forcing more and more of UnLondon's residents to flee to unoccupied parts of the city. Can Brokkenbroll, head of the broken-umbrella mafia, help fight the Smog? What about the prophecy in the talking book--why does it all seem to be going wrong?
This book is highly imaginative, visually vivid, and just a wee bit strange--and to me, these are ALL good things. Not only that, one of the main characters--Deeba--is South Asian. Woo!! And (tiny spoiler alert here, but nothing that'll ruin the end or anything) Deeba turns out to be the sidekick who steals the show. Ever wondered what would happen to the Chosen Prophesied One...'s best friend? Well, this is the story of that best friend. An unusual and fascinating read.