This is the third book in Mieville’s works about the city of New Crobuzon, a vaguely steampunk alternative city populated by Mieville’s weird monsters and well drawn characters. Iron Council is, I think the most overtly political of the three, including section radical union organizing, issues of race, gender and sexuality and full on goddamn social revolution.
It is pretty darn good, read, but I think the middle book in the series, The Scar, which deals with similar themes of sexuality, gender and social organization, is the best.
Mieville gets categorized as part of the “new weird” and for once, a tagline like this may be useful. This isn’t science fiction, really, and it isn’t horror or fantasy either. It is a strange world filled with monsters and very recognizable social ills. If you want politics along with your monsters, you could do much worse than reading Mieville’s New Crobuzon books.
Recommended for the enthusiast.