is why I read [a:China Miéville|33918|China Miéville|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1243988363p2/33918.jpg]!
I recently finished [b:The Scar|68497|The Scar (New Crobuzon, #2)|China Miéville|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320435192s/68497.jpg|731674] and was thoroughly disappointed, giving it the lowest rating I've given to one of his books. So, I felt I just had to jump into [b:Embassytown|9265453|Embassytown|China Miéville|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320470326s/9265453.jpg|14146240], and loved it from the start.
SF is full of "aliens", but for the most part they're odd-looking humans, or at least "people". They're not really all that alien. Miéville's Ariekei are not only completely alien, he never even really clearly describes their appearance - it just isn't that important.
The Ariekei have a unique form of language - so unique, it's called Language! Each of the Ariekei speaks with two voices simultaneously, and is incapable of even understanding that a single voice can actually be Language. [b:Embassytown|9265453|Embassytown|China Miéville|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320470326s/9265453.jpg|14146240] delves deeply (and at times almost opaquely) into the meaning of meaning, from semiotics into semantics, and into the difference between simile and metaphor. Along the way, we're asked to take sides on the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden - are we (or the Ariekei) better for the knowledge of Good and Evil, or worse? Miéville's position is clear, and I stand with him.
It's not an easy read, especially the later chapters, but it's well worth every ounce of effort you put into it.