Perdido Street Station - China Mieville

Set in New Crobuzon which is inhabited by humans, remade and a host of alien creatures including kephrin (insect people), cactacae (cactus people), garuda (bird people) and vodyanoi (water people) among others. The remade are usually fusions of humans or aliens and metal parts carried out as punnishments many times. For example one woman has been convicted for killing her baby and her punnishment is to serve 10 years in prison as well as having her babies arms remade on to her face as a constant reminder of what she did.

Isaac der Grimnebulin is a human scientist operating on the fringe of mainstream discoveries compounded by having a kephri girlfriend called Lin who is an artist. Both get drawn down different paths, Isaac investigating flight for a broken and outcast garuda, Yagharek, and Lin doing a sculpture for crime lord Motley. Isaac begins to study all creatures who fly or larvae who have the potential to fly, including a brightly coloured grub that unbeknownst to him will turn into a terrifying slake-moth with no known predator who sucks out peoples dreams. Lin is being drawn further and further into Motley's criminal world which you know can only end badly for her.

A dark mixture of fantasy, science fiction and horror with constructs who gain sentinence and giant spiders called weavers. It is a pretty long book and the first half was very slow paced introducing you to life in New Crobuzon, the different races and the different characters. The second half was much more action based with the hunt for the slake-moths taking over the main plotline with Isaac and his gang being hunted by the government militia as well as Motley's thugs. I am looking forward to seeing what the next book in the series is like.