This book is the first of Mieville's Bas-Lag series and was just as weird as the third one. His world is mostly steampunk with some magic/occult thrown in. His writing is... different, but I haven't decided if that's a good thing or not. The story was strange and overly convoluted, but the third book makes a bit more sense now because I know more about Bas-Lag.
He does introduce some interesting concepts like the punishment factories and Remade so I recommend you give this book a shot.