— from This Census-Taker, by China Miéville.
"Hush," Drobe said. "We have to be quick and quiet."
To the east there are beetles the size of hands and their shells tell fortunes. If you boil them you can chew their dead legs, as did the woman, and suck out narcotic blood. But you didn't know that then.
It's a short book, 140 pages, I'm just past halfway. It's bloody terrifying. Not for any really tangible horror. It's slow, dense passages like the above, and suddenly their implications set in.