I'm thinking it's more like in the movie Se7en
where the protagonists track that antagonist based on some of his bizarre library borrowing habits. If Charonte were to leak that his favorite book is Mein Kampf
, the Australian constabulary would be kicking his door in without so much as a how-do-you-do.
I just finished Perdido Street Station
and I would say it's worth a read. I picked it up because I've read somewhere that it is required reading for steampunk enthusiasts. While much of the beginning of the book may have been designed to set up this steampunk setting, I didn't appreciate it; I just wanted him to "get on with it."
Once he did, the reading was a blast. This bloke
mentions the emergence of a D&D
adventuring party, and this is precisely the "familiar cliche" I needed to cue me into the fact I was in for an adventure. Once that point was reached, the action rarely slowed and I really enjoyed it.
Now that the adventure is over, I can look back at Mieville's setting and appreciate it for what it is. It isn't high-fantasy and while magic can achieve remarkably impossible things, it isn't that common. Magic is treated as the powerful commodity I feel it should be, and I can buy into it.
Also, it is apparent that the world Mieville has created is persistent and thoroughly fleshed out. This is emphasized by the inclusion of aspects of the world that plug in snugly with the story of Perdido Street Station
while being wholy independent of it. It is clear that these aspects of the world have their own purpose and don't exist for this story alone.
If I were to reread this, I'd start about two fifths of the way into the book. I suggest that anybody reading this book for the first time could do the same, but I can't guarantee that they wouldn't be missing something in the beginning chapters.
I'm an introvert. Now shut up so I can be happy. Except for you, helpful sales bot. Also, download this