This took me a long time to read and a long time to bother to review, which sums up my general ambivalence towards it.
This was my first Miéville, recommended by my partner, as I wanted to try an author I hadn’t read before. I ignored my favorite advice in reading, which is don’t be afraid to give up on a book early on if you don’t love it.
If you haven’t read it, The City & The City is a quasi-dystopian, quasi-crime fantasy novel about — yes — two cities. I enjoy all those genres but the central conceit remains completely opaque unexplained for much of the book, which I found a bit frustrating. That said, I did enjoy it a lot more as plot developed more substantively (from part two), and thought it was clever, if not as absorbing as I had expected it to be.
The lesson? You’re always better off bailing if you’re not enjoying a book — there are loads of great reads out there.