threemonkeys: (Waxlion)
It is a perfectly valid thing to do to make assumptions. It is just not valid to rely to heavily on one being correct. Over the years I have heard a number of children's or YA books being described as "works for adults too". Those descriptions are usually proved correct when I read the books in question. The authors have the skill to make their work appeal at multiple levels. The assumption I made about Un Lun Dun was author China Mieville would be the sort of writer who would attempt to make his work accessible in this way. I based this on the complexity of his adult fantasy novels. Un Lun Dun is advertised as being for younger readers. In my estimation it certainly is for younger readers - I would say about readers about 10-12 years old. The thing is, it does not really work for older readers. The layers I assumed would be there were not present. I could see the odd piece of writing where I think the author was attempting it, but it does not string together into a whole. It was all a bit flat and simple for me really.

So how was it as a book for kids? The thing is, I'm not sure I am qualified to comment. If you are looking for a fantasy for your 10 year old that tells a story in an alternative London, the only thing I can comment is that at 500 pages it seems awfully long for the target audience. If it helps, Mark the YA buyer at Dymocks-Wellington thinks it is pretty good without being great.

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threemonkeys

June 2015

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