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Eleanor Catton - The Luminaries
A beautifully crafted novel that deservingly won the 2013 Man Booker Prize, Eleanor Catton's weighty tome (and at over 800 pages it is weighty) is written in the style of a Victorian thriller, but while the tale of murder and intrigue among New Zealand's gold-rush pioneers is gripping stuff, Catton's book is so much more than that. The book is peppered with astrological charts and references, and asks big questions about fate versus free will; each section (12, one for each sign of the zodiac) is half the length of the last, drawing the reader on as the tension builds to a thrilling conclusion. A deep literary read, if that floats your boat, but an unputdownable murder mystery either way.
China Mieville - King Rat
I started reading this because I love books about London, and this is certainly set in London, just not the parts of the city you'd expect. The hidden parts of the city are exposed as the rooftops and sewers become the backdrop for this strange tale. Have you ever thought, if I was an animal, what animal would I be? Would you chose to be half cat, half giraffe, half butterfly? Maybe not half rat. But Saul finds himself becoming just that. A brilliant concept, and a fast paced, sometimes gory read.