I read, I write, and I majored in German and Muggle Studies. my favorite genres are historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. Lookout for reviews of the YA and MG persuasions!
author: Ryan Graudin
audience: Young Adult
published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, November 4th, 2014
*note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for honest feedback from the publisher via Netgalley.
quick tags: #awesomesetting #activecharries
summary courtesy of Goodreads:
730. That's how many days I've been trapped.
18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.
DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....
JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....
MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....
In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.
This book is gritty and unforgiving. It sort of chases you along, and gives you the feeling that you should probably be looking over your shoulder more often when you cross a dark alley. If you can see where I'm going, the atmosphere was fantastic, and really added to the sense of tension.
The action is almost entirely confined to a city that is completely walled in and plagued by violent crime. It's so inhospitable as to make District 12 appear like a day at the zoo. Populated as it is by gangsters, brothels, street kids, rats, and drugs, it's a wonder that it is still standing.
The three POV characters each endure their own trials while chained to the Walled City--Mei Yee, the young beauty and elder sister, is captive to a sadistic and powerful drug lord. Younger sister Jin lives the dangerous life of a thief, hoping for so much as a glimpse of the sister she lost to the city's brothels. Troubled and guilt-struck Dai carries on as the looming, ticking clock brings his probable failure closer, and closer. There's no doubt that each of these characters are strong and active in this terrible landscape. Dai acts on his protective instincts, Mei Yee possess a steadfast bravery, and Jin innovative courage and fearlessness.
There weren't very many surprises for me within this book. Everything resolved in a way that felt somehow /right./ That being said, I was disappointed in the character of the head mob lord, but it didn't at any point pull me out of the story.
The Walled City is certainly for the reader who wants to read a story that has the speed of a bullet train. Readers who are after the adrenaline kick from The Hunger Games or Divergent will certainly enjoy this one. It certainly is refreshing to read a dystopian book that doesn't take place in the United States!
This book does contain certain elements that might not be suitable for younger readers--namely, the drugs, the brothels, and the violence.
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