Kraken: An Anatomy

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook  $39.98
Paperback $17.00
Hardback $17.00
Kindle $12.99
Associated ISBNs 9780345497499
9781596063372 — Hardcover
9780345521859 — E-Book

Rating (VOYA)

5Q, 4P

Really well written, plotted and thought through.

Who doesn’t want to read about a cult of Krakenists and the end of the world? Some people may not appreciate this book for what it is.

Readers Annotation

A Kraken has vanished. Billy Harrow discovers a world of magic to find it.


A Kraken has gone missing from a London Museum. It just vanished. No one knows how. Billy Harrow discovers it missing while giving a tour. The police question him. He mentions it to his friends at a pub that night. The next day he finds a body in a jar.

London’s magical police, the FRSC, try to recruit Billy as they tell him about the other side of London. Billy and his friend Leon run into the supremely creepy Goss and Subby, who kill Leon. Billy is rescued by Dane, a Krakenist.

Dane takes Billy to the Church of God Kraken, who think he’s a saint. They tell him he has a connection to the Kraken. Dane fights with the church, gets excommunicated and takes Billy with him. They’re looking for the Kraken.

Billy and Dane recruit Wati, a former grave idol turned Socialist who has been running a strike of magical familiars in London. Watty can inhabit anything with a face. They think that the Tatoo is behind everything. They track down the man who transported the Kraken after following his familiar (a tribble). The man is haunted by himself because every time he beamed himself somewhere he killed himself in the process. Billy, Dane and Watty run from Goss and Subby and go to the Londonmancers. Dane gets abducted by Chaos Nazis (hired by the Tatoo) and Billy and the Sea rescue him.

Meanwhile, Leon’s girlfriend Marge is looking for answers and the FRSC, lead by Barron, Collingworth and Vardy, are trying to solve the Kraken mystery and hunt Billy down.

Billy and Dane suspect that Grisamentum is behind everything. They find the Kraken, and abduct the man who wears the Tatoo. The Krakenists are attacked and Billy and Dane recruit the survivors to fight Grisamentum.

Marge gets a protective iPod. Marge meets the man with the Tatoo, who lures Goss and Subby to them. Wati gets smashed by Goss. Goss and Subby get killed. The police show up. They all go to find Billy.

Billy and Dane attack Grisamentum. Dane is killed. Everyone converges at the Embassy to the Sea. The Sea takes out Grisamentum. Grisamentum is not the one trying to end the world though…


This book is now one of my favorites. I loved this book so much I’m trying to convince everyone I know to read it. This is my favorite type of book: alternate magical universe. Its sarcastic, its weird, its over the top, its everything you could want in a book… plus a Kraken. China Mievelle said it was a book that he wrote “if one were to take a cult of Kraken seriously.” Love this book.

The plot is complicated and messy, and just right. You get just the right amount of information at the right time. The characters are wonderful. I became very attached to Wati. They’re all different and every the nebulous Grisamentum is pretty well fleshed out even though he’s not mentioned too much. Magical, unseen London is pretty great. It was one of the stars of this book.

I think people would love this book. Its a fun romp, with a satisfying ending, and plenty of interesting world building. It could cross over to mainstream readers.

I think I love this book too much to see any flaws.

The audiobook is really amazing, especially when they get to Marge’s magical iPod.


Urban fantasy, Weird fiction


The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami


A cult of Kraken taken seriously? Great characters in an interesting alternate reality?

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

Discuss Dane and his motivations.

Favorite magical entity/religion?

What did you think of Magical London?

Author’s website

China Mieville


Library Journal Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

Locus Awards: Fantasy Novel



NY Times

Why I Chose It

I chose this book for its title. I didn’t need to know anything else, I knew it would be great.

Other Information


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