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

City of Savages

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,961 ratings  ·  343 reviews
Its been nearly two decades since the Red Allies first attacked New York, and Manhattan is now a prisoner-of-war camp, ruled by Warden Rolladin and her brutal, impulsive warlords. For 17-year-old Skyler Miller, Manhattan is a cage that keeps her from the world beyond the citys borders. But for Skys 16-year-old sister, Phee, the P.O.W. camp is a dangerous playground of ...more
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Simon & Schuster (Saga Press)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about City of Savages, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Skyler_alex Nononono I need more! Please!…moreNononono I need more! Please! (less)
Lee Kelly Hi Ann, Thanks so much for this and so glad you enjoyed!! I do have another book coming out next year called A Criminal Magic -- it's about sorcerers…moreHi Ann, Thanks so much for this and so glad you enjoyed!! I do have another book coming out next year called A Criminal Magic -- it's about sorcerers and prohibited magic in the 1920s. Thanks for your question and happy reading ;)!!(less)
Red Queen by Victoria AveyardAn Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirAll the Bright Places by Jennifer NivenMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine WargaThe Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
YA Debuts 2015
442 books — 3,374 voters
Winter by Marissa MeyerRed Queen by Victoria AveyardThe Heir by Kiera CassFairest by Marissa MeyerEnd of Days by Susan Ee
YA Novels of 2015
1,473 books — 8,927 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,961 ratings  ·  343 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of City of Savages
maggie has added her own review at the end

i expect different things from adult novels than i do from YA novels. that is a statement made for clarity, not apology. to me, it's just common sense to judge a book based on how well it serves its intended audience. it would be silly to dismiss Charlotte's Web on the grounds that "pigs can't talk - this is childish nonsense!!" and when it comes to YA, i am willing to sacrifice background detail and plausibility in favor of solid action sequences,
This isn't a bad book, but way too psychological for a dystopian. Where is the action? Bref, dnf... but I might get back to it some indeterminate day.
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Initial Review: This book was phenomenal. Utter perfection. 2015 MUST READ. Add it to the shelves people.

Read the full review @ A Perfection Called Books

There are some books that you discover and just know you're going to love. That happened to me with this book; I fell head-over-heels in love with City of Savages. Everything about it was utter perfection. This book needs to be on your to-read list, so please please please add it to Goodreads!

What instantly drew me in to this book was the
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a male in my 30s, I have to admit I had slight hesitations before reading a YA novel with two teenage girl leads. My friend got an advanced copy, the title had savages in it, so I figured why not? Two days later, Ive finished the book, and I cannot wait for more. The writing is superb, and the plot is intense with action and suspense (my kind of book). I loved the switch in narrative between the two refreshingly believable female leads as they navigate through the bowels of an apocalyptic ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this one. I really did.

Beautiful cover, great title, interesting blurb.

I started this book optimistic, and was quickly drawn in.

However, as the book went on I began to see similarities between this and a number of other YA books.

The POV are two girls, sisters that I found rather bland. Sky the older is an insecure bookworm, paranoid that she is being overshadowed by her younger sister Phoenix, she frequently gets lost in books. Phoenix or Phee is the daring one. The one that
Lauren Stoolfire
About twenty years ago, the Red Allies first attacked New York City. Manhattan is now a POW camp ruled by Rolladin, the warden put in place by the enemy who is also a prisoner, and her brutal warlords. In Sky's opinion, the city is nothing but a vicious cage, but to Phee, her younger sister, it's the only place she can call home. After all, it is the only thing either of them have known, since their mother firmly believes that the past should stay in the past. Then, they discover their mother's ...more
Tiffani Sharon

There are two sides to every story. And maybe there's not always a clear right and wrong, hero and villain. Maybe there's just people.

This is probably one of the best stand-alone book I've ever read! It was beyond my expectation. When I first started reading it, I never ever thought it would left me feeling like this.

I love the fact that this book really put romance just a bit here and there focusing mainly into the story. It kinda connects to me in a certain way that the story is

Alicia Marie
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I can't remember the last time I read an entire book in less than 24 hours! What a great debut! There is so much awesomeness in this book! I actually borrowed this from my library and it sat around for 2 weeks until I finally decided to give it a try. There are some books you come across and get sucked in quickly. This is one of those. This was a perfect post apocalyptic book. Don't let the sci-fi label scare you. It doesn't have to do with aliens or plagues, it was "real life". This book ...more
Lori Goldstein
This book has everything and delivers on the promise of it all, which I know sounds cliche, but in this case is entirely true. Set in a time when a great war rages across the country and world, this book centers on a group of survivors/prisoners of war living in Manhattan. The author creates a realistic, terrifying, and yet hopeful world. Any New Yorker will relish this book for the way the author uses every part of the city to tell this story. And while the plot is strong and well-crafted, ...more
Jill Heyl
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a great read, once I started I couldnt put it down. Lee Kelly does a brilliant job of creating compelling characters, an eerie post-apocalyptic setting, and suspenseful plot. I love the sister dynamic and the back and forth between the current Phee and Sky story intertwined with an intriguing backstory from their mothers point of view. On top of it there is a ton of action, a love story, heartbreak, its got it all!!

Feb 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'M DONE! I can't do this anymore! I seriously want to throw this book across the room in frustration. This book is the most predictable book I have ever read, with the DUMBEST main characters I've ever read. And WHY are there TWO main characters?? They are basically carbon copies of each other! Plus, they are in the same place, experiencing the same events! WHAT is the POINT?!?! It's like this book is trying to be Legend, in terms of the two alternating points of view, but didn't quite pull it ...more
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopia
Just say DYSTOPIA and I am in with both feet. For a dystopian type novel, I really liked this one. I've read quite a few of these over the last few years. I've come to realize that certain criteria must be met if I'm going to enjoy it. And surprisingly, to those who have come to know me, I abandon my picky observations when it comes to Dystopian novels.

I'm torn between 4 and 5 stars on this one. By the time I finish writing this review, I hope to have my mind made up. This one was well written.
Erin (thatwritergirl)
Wow. That is literally the only word that went through my brain when I finished City of Savages. What an emotional roller coaster of a read. I had expectations when I started reading, and this book surpassed them all. It has the premise and story of a young adult dystopian novel, but it is so much more than that. A tale about the bonds of family and sisterhood that will haunt you and stay with you forever. It blows all other dystopian novels out of the water, it is that good. It is a must read ...more
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was really great. I don't do post-apocalyptic/dystopian stuff a lot anymore, but this was pretty refreshing and brutal.

Being really familiar with NYC proved useful...and also made the book a lot more stark and horrifying.

A few twists, some guessable, others not so much (DAMN, THE LAST THIRD OF THE BOOK was pretty much a giant plot enhancement that I didn't see coming).

The two alternating points of view were handled expertly, with a completely different feel and voice emanating from
*Suzy (ereaderuser)*
Pretty amazing that this is a debut novel. The author did a wonderful job of telling the story from the POV of both daughters, (alternating back and forth), and through the journal writing of their mother. The story was full of non-stop action. Worthy of 5 stars!!!
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zoe by: Rachel (APCB Reviews)

With dystopians published recently, there seems to be a trend in that they all have too many action sequences and not nearly enough substance. City of Savages, however, much to my excitement, doesn't fall into this cliche. Rather, instead of focusing on the mindless action scenes, Lee Kelly instead makes the book a psychological character analysis, something that I don't think I've ever seen thoroughly explored in a YA dystopian before.

Twenty years ago, the Red Allies attacked New York and
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dystopian, sisters
CITY OF SAVAGES has so many things going for it--pulse-pounding action, inventive world building, memorable characters and gorgeous prose, to name a few. But the two elements that stand out most in my mind are Kelly's skillful weaving of past and present via the mother Sarah's journal, and the strength of the bond between sisters Phee and Skyler.

I loved the slow reveal of Sarah's recollections and how these dusty secrets impacted on the sisters's life-and-death experiences in post-war Manhattan.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This futuristic and apocalyptic story set in Manhattan is a total page turner. It's slightly reminiscent of Hunger Games, with a hint of the film The Road and the series Revolution. The book was released two weeks ago and I wouldn't be surprised if there were plans afloat to turn it into a Hollywood feature. The compelling narrative is told by two sisters, aged about 16 and 17, in alternate chapters. It probably qualifies as "young adult" sci fi, but it is much more than that. The plot is ...more
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
LOVE this book. I am typically an action adventure reader. But if the characters aren't well developed into someone you really care about then all the action just falls flat. Not so in City of Savages. The pace of the story is fast, the action is well described and just as important .......I love the characters Phee and Sky. You can't help but root for both of them. They are often in competition with each other but you know when a crisis arises they will have each other's back.

I felt like the
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book. Page-turning is not an adequate adjective. I plodded daily through the requirements of my actual life, counting down the minutes until I could get back to this story and these characters. It's an especially fun and harrowing read if you've lived in Manhattan, which is so expertly reimagined, down to the block, but anyone who loves great storytelling and isn't afraid of a little horror will adore this book and kick and scream for a sequel.
Not what I was expecting (dystopia YA with classic alternating POV chapters), but a solid read. Fantastic exploration of the bond between sisters, mothers, lovers, and family... with some reservations. Full review to come!
Nereyda (Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist)
I've had City of Savages on my radar for a few months, even though these types of books aren't my usual kind of read. I've only seen a few reviews on them and luckily they have been good so I was excited to listen to the audiobook of this one. I didn't really know what to expect with this one and I was a little bit nervous that I would be bored by it, but City of Savages ended up surprising me in a really good way.

Skylar and Phee live with their mom in one of the prisoner of war camps led by the
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fearless-15ers
I was so lucky to be able to read an ARC of Lee Kelly's CITY OF SAVAGES as part of the Class of 2k15. I loved this book except for the part where I stayed up way too late finishing it and now am having difficulty keeping my eyes open.

Was it worth it?


The world as we know is no longer. Instead Sky and Phee and their mother are prisoners of war in NYC, at least until events occur forcing them to question their entire existence. Twists and turns happen in just the right places, the
Adrith Bicchieri
[Received Advance Reader's Copy at ALA Midwinter 2015. Added to Owings Mills "Staff Recommendations" display 3/17/2015.]

This story, told from the perspective of two sisters, tells of a New York that has survived after devastation in the Third World War. The young women and their mother, who have worked hard to maintain some freedom in a highly regimented community of survivors, learn that not all in their reduced worldview, or the much greater world outside the confines of Manhattan, is as it
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-2015
4.5 stars

I loved this read! Very dark PA/Dystopian story about 2 sisters trying to make it in post-war destroyed Manhatten with their mother. There's danger and death everywhere, and finding questions to answers results in more questions than answers. The action was incredible, I loved the plot, and the world building was very well done. If you like PA/Dystopian, this is a must read!
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the sisters relationship, and got totally sucked into the setting -- didn't want it to end.
Jen Brooks
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read an early version of this book as a member of the Freshman Fifteens. In alternating points of view, City of Savages follows sisters Sky and Phee, who live in a P.O.W. version of Manhattan in the aftermath of a global war. In pieces, through their mothers stolen journal, they learn the history of both their family and the city that one sister views as a place of opportunity, the other as a place of oppression. Every character in this book is a hauntingly rich mix of good and bad, from the ...more
Beautifully written. From the first chapter, Lee Kelly captures your interest with her futuristic tale of a desperate family trying to survive in war torn Manhattan as seen through eyes of two very different sisters (Sky and Phee).
The story is told by cleverly weaving the past and present by way of their mothers journal. Although the action is fast paced and intense, this story never loses its heart as you desperately care about what happens to this family. I finished this book in 2 days. A
Neve Adams
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this story a lot! It was a page turner for me. I haven't read anything similar to this story which makes me love it even more. I also loved how it was written under the perspective of the two sisters, made it more interesting to read. I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you are into Dystopian literature.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Club on the Run: Dystopian novels 4 7 Mar 23, 2019 07:36AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2)
  • Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)
  • Queen (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #3)
  • Reviving Izabel (In the Company of Killers, #2)
  • The King Slayer (The Witch Hunter, #2)
  • Blood and Salt (Blood and Salt, #1)
  • The Swan & the Jackal (In the Company of Killers, #3)
  • Corruption (Disruption, #2)
  • Storia di una caduta
  • This Is Our Story
  • Breaking Bad: I Am the Danger
  • Acımak
  • The Edge of Forever (The Edge of Forever, #1)
  • Black Star, Bright Dawn
  • Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers, #1)
  • Shadow of the Dragon
  • Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows, #1)
See similar books…
Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasnt until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper.

An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York.

She lives with her husband and son in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she cant help but still call

Related Articles

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young ...
55 likes · 11 comments