This was recommended to me by an Open University tutor when I was doing the creative writing course a few years back. Which experience, I note, I barely wrote about here. I have a Diploma in Creative Writing, don’t you know?
Anyway, there was an exercise which included writing a plan for the next major piece we were going to write. I wanted to write something that was set in an exotic city, and I mentioned in my plan that I wanted the city to be a character in the story. I was thinking maybe of something like China Mièville’s Bas-Lag.
My tutor suggested that the shopping centre in this book might be a similar kind of thing. Such turns out not really to be accurate. It’s set largely in and around the mall, and some people say they have a sense of it watching them, but nothing is ever made of that.
It’s strange, in that it starts off apparently being a kids’ book, or at least YA; but after the first part it takes a turn, into something else entirely.
It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t particularly recommend it.