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Summary

A colossal fantasy of incredible diversity and spellbinding imagination. Damian Lynch narrates China Mieville's British Fantasy Award-winning novel of human cargo bound for servitude in exile.

A pirate city hauled across the oceans.... A hidden miracle about be revealed.... These are the ingredients of an astonishing story. It is the story of a prisoner's journey. Of the search for the island of a forgotten people, for the most astonishing beast in the seas, and ultimately for a fabled place - a massive wound in reality, a source of unthinkable power and danger.

©2002 China Mieville (P)2011 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

" The Scar demonstrates enough invention and brutal energy, firmly ruled by a calm architectonic intelligence, to show that Miéville is one of the most imaginative young writers around in any kind of fiction." ( The Guardian)
" The Scar is a feat of the imagination, a rich reclamation of the pleasures of every genre. It's also a caution against imagination, a sobering look at the chaos left in the wake of every mad visionary." (Kim Newman, The Independent)
"Mieville's creatures end up none the wiser, but there is nothing uncertain about his confidence in his own inventions. And it is wonderfully infectious; Armada, like New Crobuzon, has the feel and complexity of a living place - it's just that you wouldn't want to live there." (Andrew McKie, Sunday Telegraph)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    87
  • 4 Stars
    82
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    52
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    9

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    72
  • 4 Stars
    66
  • 3 Stars
    21
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    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • scotty
  • cannock, United Kingdom
  • 29-04-12

A Stunning, Thought Provoking Read

China Mieville has got to be one of the hardest working authors I've ever read. He puts stunning little side plots and nuggets into his fiction that would be a whole novel to a lesser writer! Anyway...

The Scar is a fascinating story that develops around a lady running away from her home city and finding a city like she never dreamed. Full of danger, intrigue, the strange and familiar it calls to our heroine (Bellis) and she is torn between love and fear of her lost home.

When the chance comes to betray her new, floating, home in Armada she does but ultimately is a pawn in a larger game. The small cog in a larger wheel is a recurring theme in CM's work and is appealing as a starting point for character development. On the subject of characters, the diversity, depth and sheer imagination of CM's vision is amazing.

My only criticism of CM's stories is, and please bear in mind I'm a fan of Perdido Street Station, Iron Council and The Scar, that I never like the way the stories end. It's my personal opinion only.

This is a great, sweeping, imaginative story that will take you from the familiar ie politics (Mr Mieville like the theme) to philosophy to religion and beyond, all in an easily accessible 'steampunk' past-present.

Give it a try, you'll enjoy!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

not too bad

I wasn't sure about carrying on with this series because I had mixed feelings about Perdido St Station (long, exhausting but ultimately quite satisfying). I should say that The Scar is not at all a sequel to the previous book, it's simply set in the same world with the occurrences from Perdido only peripheral comments to this story. In The Scar, I liked some of the concepts, and many of the characters had potential but they never really followed through. For all that the story should have been epic, it actually all felt a bit pointless by the end. The narrator was ok but I much preferred the chap who did the previous novel. I think his grandiose style better suited the story. In summary, it was ok, some good bits, some tension but, to be honest, I was a bit indifferent about the fate of the characters by the end. I'd say it's worth a credit if you enjoyed the Bas Lag setting but I wouldn't put it at the top of your wishlist.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A great series of books let down by the narration

I love China Mieville but I can't recommend the audiobooks.

There seems to have been a lot of odd choices when it comes to the narrators and I feel Damian Lynch's reading style, even voice, doesn't really suit the theme.

I've read a lot of similar sentiments about this and his other audiobooks in the series and that is what spurned me to write this short comment and confirm what others have said.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andy
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • 09-04-14

Compelling story, poor narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The story is great but Lynch seems to struggle to handle what sounds like a clumsy sight reading of the text.

What did you like best about this story?

As usual Mieville's work crackles with great ideas, weird landscapes and a rich, deep world building

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The contrast between the dialogue, which pops with personality, and the narrative which stumbles under a stilted delivery of two to three sentence chunks really grates after a while.

Did The Scar inspire you to do anything?

Sadly, it inspired me to stop listening

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good overall, but.....

Good overall, but there is some very careless editing where several passages are read twice (presumably due to the reader making an error such as using an incorrect inflection the first time which has subsequently not been edited out)....only a sentence or so each time, but detracts from an otherwise enjoyable listen.....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Appalling choice of narrator

After the superb experience of listening to perdido street station I immediately went on to buy the sequel. If only they had kept the same reader. Damien Lynch's narration has no sense of awe, drama or any real emotion stronger than mild boredom. It's as if this is the first time he has read the text and is unaware of the power of the words he is speaking. Shame, this book deserved more. Definitely one to read rather than to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sorry to say ...

What disappointed you about The Scar?

This is just not read well: I've thought about this a lot, and I think the problem is that he doesn't sound as though he believes what he's reading (always tricky, of course, with Mieville's amazing worlds). It sounds as though he's reading a children's story..Harry Potter maybe, where the grown-ups know it's not real ...

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Scar?

I love Mielville's writing and the battle scenes are excellently written.

What didn’t you like about Damian Lynch’s performance?

see above

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment, I think

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bizarre. Wild. Epic.

Absolutely incredible second volume in China Mieville's steampunk world of Bas-Lag, - The Scar is set several months after Perdido Street Station but far away from the sprawling city of New Crobuzon. Here, Bellis Coldwine - a woman in the run is one of several survivors 'recruited' into Armada - a vast floating city made up of hundreds of vessels and searching for a phenomenal and dangerous prize. Mieville is an incredible and original writer and his imagination seems endless, - from the wonderful to weird to frightening. Highly recommended. The only reason for the three star performance is my only minor niggle with this audiobook - while for the most part he is finesse a narrator, where he comes to other voices is his let down, he seems to use the same voice for every character - which is a little unimaginative and a bit of a let down, - especially when it comes to talking inhuman creatures.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Cracking epic read

having read and listened to periodontal Street station I was looking forward to this. initially I was a bit thrown by the opening chapters and the change of narrator. however I soon settled into it and really enjoyed it's tale of a floating city, sea monsters and cracks in the world

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Once you crack how to listen to this it's great

run this at .85 speed and you will love it. The reader reads too fast and I found myself rewinding and relistening to the beginning maybe four times.

I eventually realised that slowing it down would make it readable.

Great story. I preferred the first of the trilogy but this was a close second. I'll try the third soon, with the same narrator so I suspect I'll have to slow that one too

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matt
  • 19-11-12

Fantastic story let down by subpar rendition

Damian Lynch couldn't ruin one of my favourite books for me, but he gave it a real go. He stumbles and brachiates through the sentences as if each one were a tongue-twister (although, to be fair, it IS Miéville), reading nouns as verbs and verbs as nouns and not really betraying any understanding of what he's reading. Perhaps the most troubling part is that a disturbing number of these errors, even when picked up on and re-read by Mr Lynch, have not been edited out (I counted five untouched gaffes in one unhappy half-hour), possibly due to the soporific monotone in which the story is read. China Miéville is one of my very favourite authors, and I'm quite sad to see Mr Lynch has been further involved in the presentation of his works, not least of all because, of those books, The Scar would seem to be the MOST hospitable to Mr Lynch's tendency to give every character with an accent a Caribbean lilt. Susan Duerden's performance of Embassytown was vastly superior, and I'd hoped I'd get to hear her as Bellis Coldwine. No such luck. Boo.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful