by China Mieville
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The giant squid/sea monster is such a science-fiction and mythological cliché that the very title of British novelist China Miéville's eighth novel, Kraken, embraces the genre as pulpy entertainment. Running a brisk five hundred pages, Kraken follows a frenetic stretch in the life of Billy Harrow, a curator at London's Darwin Centre of the National History Museum. One day, Billy escorts a tour group to the main attraction—a preserved Architeuthis dux—only to discover that the giant squid is missing.
Thus begins a descent into a netherworld of quasi-religious cults, part-human creatures, spirits, and "knackers"—people gifted with supernatural powers—lurking beneath the London Billy knows. The search pulls him into the orbits of the Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit (an unconventional police bureau)
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