This review contains minor spoilers for “Railsea”, but does not spoil the ending.
The review you’re reading now will be the third review I’ve written of a China Mieville novel. I’ve read all his books except for King Rat & Looking for Jake. Most of them have similar themes & tropes — the love of home, phantasmagoric settings & creatures, some form of transportation that’s central to the story, & an ending that leaves you wondering why you read the book if you’re going to be left empty when you’re done.
Note that I said empty. Not unsatisfied.
Well, Railsea broke the trend on at least one of them: I wasn’t empty at the end. But otherwise, we’re looking at pretty standard Mieville here.