Book picks similar to
Kraken by China Miéville


fantasy
fiction
urban-fantasy
science-fiction

The Library at Mount Char


Scott Hawkins - 2015
    A woman too busy to notice her heart slipping away.  Carolyn's not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts.  After all, she was a normal American herself once.   That was a long time ago, of course. Before her parents died. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father. In the years since then, Carolyn hasn't had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient customs. They've studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.  Now, Father is missing—perhaps even dead—and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation. As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her, all of them with powers that far exceed her own. But Carolyn has accounted for this. And Carolyn has a plan. The only trouble is that in the war to make a new God, she's forgotten to protect the things that make her human.Populated by an unforgettable cast of characters and propelled by a plot that will shock you again and again, The Library at Mount Char is at once horrifying and hilarious, mind-blowingly alien and heartbreakingly human, sweepingly visionary and nail-bitingly thrilling—and signals the arrival of a major new voice in fantasy.From the Hardcover edition.

American Gods


Neil Gaiman - 2001
    Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You'll be surprised by what - and who - it finds there...This is the author's preferred text, never before published in the UK, and is about 12,000 words longer than the previous UK edition.

Three Parts Dead


Max Gladstone - 2012
    Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

John Dies at the End


David Wong - 2007
    You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me.The important thing is this: The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. John and I never had the chance to say no. You still do. I'm sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: None of this was my fault.

The Thirteen Hallows


Michael Scott - 2011
    Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction?A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret.For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keping them safe, hidden, and apart from one another. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood.Now, only a few remain.With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a virtual stranger, to deliver her Hallow--a broken sword with devastating powers--to her nephew, Owen. The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chased by both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress.As Sarah and Owen search for the surviving Keepers, they unravel a deadly secret the Keepers were charged to protect. The mystery leads Sarah and Owen on a cat-and-mouse chase through England and Wales--and history itself--as they discover that the sword may be the only thing standing between the world... and a horror beyond imagining.

The Hike


Drew Magary - 2016
    Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects.  On a quest of epic, life-or-death proportions, Ben finds help comes in some of the most unexpected forms, including a profane crustacean and a variety of magical objects, tools, and potions. Desperate to return to his family, Ben is determined to track down the “Producer,” the creator of the world in which he is being held hostage and the only one who can free him from the path.   At once bitingly funny and emotionally absorbing, Magary’s novel is a remarkably unique addition to the contemporary fantasy genre, one that draws as easily from the world of classic folk tales as it does from video games. In The Hike, Magary takes readers on a daring odyssey away from our day-to-day grind and transports them into an enthralling world propelled by heart, imagination, and survival.

Annihilation


Jeff VanderMeer - 2014
    Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

Weaveworld


Clive Barker - 2001
    With its volatile mix of the fantastical and the contemporary, the everyday and the otherworldly, Weaveworld is an epic work of dark fantasy and horror -- a tour de force from one of today's most forceful and imaginative artists.Barker turns from his usual horror to epic-length fantasy for this account of the Fugue, a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans. The Fugue has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it; the death of its guardian occasions a battle between good and particularly repulsive evil forces for control of the Fugue. Weaveworld is rich with memorable characters, exciting situations, and pockets of Barker's trademark horror.

14


Peter Clines - 2012
    Strange light fixtures. Mutant cockroaches. There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment.Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much.At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbour across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s. Because every room in this old Los Angeles brownstone has a mystery or two. Mysteries that stretch back over a hundred years. Some of them are in plain sight. Some are behind locked doors. And all together these mysteries could mean the end of Nate and his friends. Or the end of everything...

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch


Terry Pratchett - 1990
    Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .

The Bone Clocks


David Mitchell - 2014
    But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

Touch


Claire North - 2015
    But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place.Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley.Instead of dying, Kepler has gained the ability to roam from one body to another, to jump into another person’s skin and see through their eyes, live their life — be it for a few minutes, a few months or a lifetime.Kepler means these host bodies no harm — and even comes to cherish them intimately like lovers. But when one host, Josephine Cebula, is brutally assassinated, Kepler embarks on a mission to seek the truth — and avenge Josephine’s death.

Sandman Slim


Richard Kadrey - 2009
    Or, if you’re James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles.Now Stark’s back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you’d expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future.Resurrection sucks. Saving the world is worse.Darkly twisted, irreverent, and completely hilarious, Sandman Slim is the breakthrough novel by an acclaimed author.

The Gunslinger


Stephen King - 2003
    He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which frighteningly mirrors our own, Roland pursues The Man in Black, encounters an alluring woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the Kid from Earth called Jake. Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, The Gunslinger leaves readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.(back cover)

The Portable Door


Tom Holt - 2004
    Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discover that the apparently respectable establishment now paying his salary is in fact a front for a deeply sinister organization that has a mighty peculiar agenda. It seems that half the time his bosses are away with the fairies. But they're not, of course. They're away with the goblins. Tom Holt, Master of the Comic Fantasy Novel, cordially invites you to join him in his world of madness by reading his next hilarious masterpiece.