Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Walled City” as Want to Read:
The Walled City
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Walled City

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  6,562 ratings  ·  1,340 reviews
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 disco
Hardcover, 424 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Little, Brown
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,562 ratings  ·  1,340 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Walled City
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
This was super cool, very dark and gritty. I was surprised by the brutality of it for YA but I think it was well done. Definitely an intense story.
Emily May
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2014, arc
DNF at 50% - I just can't do it.

It's true that I don't often give more than one star to books I couldn't finish, but I can't argue with the fact that there's a lot to praise here. If I wasn't so sold on the concept, I would not have pushed myself past so many unbearably slow, purple passages.

The Walled City is perhaps mistakenly labelled as "dystopian" when in fact it is based on a once very real place - Kowloon Walled City, an ungoverned settlement in New Kowloon, Hong Kong. The society will se
High Lady of The Night Court
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian-read
“Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife."

It seems crazy to me that this book has so many bad reviews, I really enjoyed it and finished it in no time. When I started reading this book I hadn’t seen the reviews, it was an impulsive read, I started reading couldn’t stop and here we are. The whole book adds up to this small story that I could sum up in no time, but the book didn’t feel dragged out and the description let me understand each of the characters in a much better way.

The sto
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it

really great!
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
"There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife."

I admit, this is all I read of the blurb before I dived into this book in line at BEA, so what I expected was some kind of dystopian. And in a way, it is a dystopian-like setting inside the city itself, but this book is not a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story at all. It's a contemporary thriller. Outside the Walled City, the world is just like ours today, with modern civilization and normal people liv
Wendy Darling
2.5 stars Mild spoilers.

Great premise with a fascinating setting that feels dystopian, but is actually based on a former real walled city in Hong Kong. But the writing is uneven and occasionally tries too hard to be descriptive without being convincing (there are hands moving like hummingbirds and people darting like dragonflies, for example), and the plot and characters and relationships could have used a great deal more complexity and emotion. I was interested in what would happen to everyone
1.35/5 (The .35 is out of pity for how I didn’t finish this.)

A day and a half ago, I was telling you all I didn’t want to DNF it. Now, I’m DNFing it.

If you’re familiar with my (work in progress) 2016 favorites shelf, you’re aware that a lovely little number called Wolf by Wolf is featured in it. That book is so great. (If you’re not familiar: 1. It’s YA and a hypothetical historical fiction, exploring a different scenario in which the Axis powers won World War II and also centering on a badass g
Shannon (kitchandpages)
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!

I loved this book! It was dark and gritty and adrenaline pumping. It gave me just enough and never too much. Well written and a super unique plot and setting. I definitely recommend!

I finally finished this damn book! I'm so proud of myself! *goes to get cupcake*. This book took me ages to finish and I put it down multiple times. The setting of the book is fascinating and based off of a real place which is really cool, but the pace was so slow

Jin was a really cool character, she was super bad ass and it was heartbreaking to see just how much she was willing to sacrifice for the people she cared about. Mei Yee was an okay charac
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
This one was underwhelming as heck.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
I’ve seen this book come by a few times on Goodreads and I was totally in love with the concept. The blurb sounded like a cool action filled plot, so I was looking forward to reading this for a while now. It did live up to my expectations but I have to say the conclusion and romance in this book was a little too perfect and sweet for this book. Due to this it felt sometimes a bit like a children’s novel, which disturbed me because there was also much violence and blood. And this made the plot pr ...more
Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: dystopian
3.5 stars

This was my first ever Ryan Graudin book, and the first thing I discovered was that Ryan wasn't a dude. Chrm, perhaps I should have visited her author's page on GR und looked at the back of the book, but well, my ignorance made for an interesting start with this book ;)

The Walled City was inspired by Hong Kong's historical Kowloon Walled City, and its general atmosphere was therefore inherently dark. Very dark. Which made this dystopian tough to rate because, though I enjoyed the gloom
Lindsay Cummings
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Beautiful. One of the most well-written, gorgeously done stories I've read in a long, long time. It gave me chills that reminded me of when I first saw Moulin Rouge. Touching story based on a real place, and I think it will really open up lots of eyes to the human trafficking in today's modern world.

So, SO good.

Gorgeous. Ryan Graudin is now one of my favorite authors.

I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
Ashley Daviau
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading a ton of bad reviews, I was bracing myself for this to be absolutely horrid. I was quite pleasantly surprised and ended up absolutely loving this book! It's quite dark and violent and that's exactly why I loved it! The story totally grabbed my attention right from the start, it reminded me of Six of Crows in some ways and that very much added to my enjoyment of this story. I loved seeing the story from the different points of view, it really added depth to the story. I really can't ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, arc, ya
Where do I begin?! Well first of all: I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinions expressed in the following review.

But seriously, I had NO clue what to expect when going into this book. I had heard things going around about how it was supposed to be a good upcoming release and that it was available on NetGalley, etc. I am so, so glad that I did. Seriously.

First of all, this is a standalone! Which makes me incredibly happy, be
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-read, 4-stars
This book was great. I had almost no expectations for it but I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. The subject matter is definitely a mood read but it was exactly what I needed.
3.5/5 stars

"There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife."

This was a thrilling, exhilarating book that kept me on the edge of my seat. I am in love with this author's ability to get me hooked into the story and tease the suspense throughout the novel. It was such a captivating premise full of promises of a dark and gritty story from the underworld. To some extent this book fulfilled what I was expecting and beyond, but I was still left a little d
Overall, I give this book three “mehs” with a special shout out to dat cat, “Chima, you my dog…or I guess, cat. You know what I mean.”

The character development between the sisters was wonderful and refreshing. The character of Dai…not so much. He comes off as a mix of Bruce Wayne and the Affluenza teen. “My life is so hard because my addiction to coke and Phish concerts got my bro killed. You don’t know the pain and anguish I’ve felt!”

The plot. I felt the book started out really strong. It was
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought I was going to love this book. So, I partly put this two star review down to ridiculously high expectations. What I found most frustrating about The Walled City was the pacing - it's nowhere near as pacy as Wolf by Wolf - and at times I found I had to force myself to keep going. Also, because it's a three character POV story NOTHING is a surprise. Jin's looking for her sister = Mei Yee has lost her sister and is in a brothel. There's a boy at Mei Yee's window = Dai's POV tells us he's ...more
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Such a fascinating read !
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC from a friend

Summary (from 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 inv
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: action
Jin has been searching for her sister Mei Yee since the moment her father sold her to the Walled City. Dressed as a boy to hide among the city vagrants, Jin steals to survive while searching for her sister. Dangerous as it is, she can't help but itch for the Survivor to take over--the part of her that loves the challenge and the chase.
Dai has a plan to free himself and atone for his dark past--this involves finding a runner to help him get him close to the Walled City's greatest Drug Lor
It’s easy to forget that “YA dystopian fiction” isn’t merely a paint-by-numbers genre, needing a futuristic, wholly invented world with a feisty heroine with special skills to take down the nasty government. Unfortunately this seems to be the case with many of the recent YA offerings, so you can imagine how refreshing it is to come across a book that actually has a new take on a dystopian world. The Walled City has just that – and the best part? It’s based almost entirely on historical fact.

Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

This book definitely surpassed my expectations. I don't even know how to label it, it's so unique.

The writing was beautiful. I didn't find it overwhelming at all, like some others have mentioned. Imagery can be a wonderful thing, my friends. Yes, it can be easily overused, but I thought it was applied perfectly here. The story read smoothly, and I didn't feel like I had to stop to figure out what the author was trying to describe.

The plot was intriguing and exciting. I hated having to put t
Lauren Stoolfire
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dai is a drug trafficker for a kingpin of the Walled City and in order to get out he needs someone who knows how to be invisible. That's where Jin comes in, she has to pass as a boy to stay safe and has been looking for her sister in the chaos of the city for two years without much luck. Now she only has eighteen days left to find her and escape before the city is destroyed.

Initially, the concept behind this story is what piqued my interest and thankfully the execution of the story itself is pr
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!!!

this book was SO DAMN GOOD. if you like gritty historical fiction which covers a part of history that you probably have never heard of...maybe. well i had never heard of it prior to this book and the walled city is FASCINATING. i want moooooore about this place and the countless endless stories that took place in such a crazy place.
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
MEH I wasn't really a fan of this book which is a shame considering how much I loved Wolf by Wolf by the same author. The main disappointing thing was the characters. There are three main characters whose perspectives we get and the annoying thing was that I couldn't tell them apart. All their chapters kind of blurred together because they didn't stand apart individually. There were a few times where I had to flick back to the start of the chapter and double check who I was reading about. I didn ...more
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This YA book takes place within the walls of what had been Kowloon City in Hong Kong, no longer in existence. The novel effectively contrasts the haves/have nots and what happens inevitably in the slums. The book is narrated from three POVs: a privileged boy, who has a mission, a young girl masquerading as a boy to survive, and her sister, who has been sold into prostitution. While the story is predictable and the bonds that develop between the three too quickly to be believable, the characters ...more
Having DNF'd this, I knew I had to keep pushing through even if at first it didn't grab my attention. I started it at the end of October and just finished it at the end of December. Putting a book down and reading others actually helps, I recommend doing that.

The premise of The Walled City is real. There was an actual walled city where people lived and died. But Ryan's version is fictional. She wanted to write about the vagrants, the street kids, the prostitutes and drug criminals. I loved the
Aug 26, 2014 rated it did not like it

DNF @ 19% because drowning in purple is not fun. Good premise, but the writing just makes this impossible for me to enjoy it.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
C&O: The Walled City: 15 days 1 4 Jun 29, 2016 04:08PM  
C&O: The Walled City: 16 days 1 1 Jun 29, 2016 03:56PM  
C&O: The Walled City: 18 days 1 3 Jun 29, 2016 03:52PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin - Restarting April 2nd 2016 34 91 Apr 10, 2016 05:56PM  
OSU Marion 3356 S...: Realistic Fiction Novel-The Walled City 1 4 Feb 29, 2016 05:10PM  
SCBA: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin SCYABA1617NOM 1 3 Feb 15, 2016 05:15PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Storm (The SYLO Chronicles, #2)
  • SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles, #1)
  • Sunset Bersama Rosie
  • Imaginary Girls
  • R: Raja, Ratu, & Rahasia
  • Sepasang Kaos Kaki Hitam (SK2H)
  • Durga/Umayi
  • 愚者のエンドロール [Gusha no Endorōru]
  • Story of Seth
  • A: Aku, Benci, & Cinta...
  • Nearly Found (Nearly Gone, #2)
  • The Lion in Winter
  • Nowhere on Earth
  • Athirah
  • The Stolen Lady
  • The Violent Century
  • 氷菓 [Hyouka]
  • Relic (Books of Eva, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Ryan Graudin was born in Charleston, South Carolina, with a severe case of wanderlust. When she’s not traveling, she’s busy writing and spending time with her husband and wolf dog. She is the author of Invictus, the Wolf By Wolf duology, The Walled City, and the All That Glows Series.

Related Articles

Science fiction and fantasy are the go-to genres for writers—and readers!—who like to explore the wilder borderlands of contemporary fiction....
114 likes · 32 comments
“There are moments you wait for. And then there are moments you wait for. Moments you spend every other moment preparing for. Points of your life that click and turn. Push you in a completely new direction.” 11 likes
“Kids with roofs and hot food have better things to do than play survival of the thuggiest.” 10 likes
More quotes…