Chad's Reviews > The Drowned Cities

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
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's review
Jun 09, 2012

it was amazing
Read from June 09 to 11, 2012

I couldn't put this one down - Bacigalupi excels at writing about terrible things in an extremely compelling manner.

Set in a war-torn future near Washington DC, The Drowned Cities pulls no punches. I've been conditioned by too many other books to expect last minute saves of the heroes. In chapter after chapter, I kept waiting for that to happen. It rarely does, and even then never in the way I expected. I thought I could see the outlines of how this kind of story is supposed to go and the way these character types are supposed to act. But Bacigalupi always puts some kind of dark twist on those patterns. And when the violence comes it is harsh and unforgiving.

This book contains one of the most nuanced explorations of wartime choices, morality, and indoctrination that I've ever read. And all this in what is supposedly a YA novel. Those nuances do fade a bit at a few points, beating readers over the head with bits of characterization. But the rest is so strong that I can easily overlook it.

With The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi cemented his spot on my list of must-read authors.

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