Shara's Reviews > The Drowned Cities

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
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's review
May 03, 2012

it was amazing
Read in June, 2012

The premise: ganked from: Soldier boys emerged from the darkness. Guns gleamed dully. Bullet bandoliers and scars draped their bare chests. Ugly brands scored their faces. She knew why these soldier boys had come. She knew what they sought, and she knew, too, that if they found it, her best friend would surely die.

In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man -- a bioengineered war beast named Tool -- who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.

This thrilling companion to Paolo Bacigalupi's highly acclaimed Ship Breaker is a haunting and powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.

My Rating: Couldn't Put It Down

It's a story about threat and loss and the extremes we'll go in order to get what we want and protect what we have. It's a story about life, how it never goes the way we want it too, but yet somehow, we can emerge all the stronger because of it. I daresay it's a better book than Ship Breaker, but it's been a while since I've read that one, and maybe I can't truly compare until I read them back-to-back. Suffice to say, I love this post-apocalyptic world Bacigalupi has created, and how he does not shy from showing that hell happens to everyone, not just adults, but especially the children, the teens. The idea that no one is truly safe is one that often gets glossed over is YA post-apocalyptic stories, and Bacigalupi is the kind of author that makes the reader genuinely fear for his characters' safety. And that's a good thing.

And as with Ship Breaker, I'd have no qualms recommending this to adults who are also fans of Bacigalupi's work. I still say that for readers who haven't read his stuff, his short story collection is the best place to start, because it shows such a wide range of what Bacigalupi can accomplish, but these YA novels are a wonderful place to start if short stories are not your thing. They are dark and violent and yet fascinating. Bacigalupi has a fabulous way of extrapolating the future based on current issues, and I know that I'll always be first in line to get one of his books. And for those of you who read Ship Breaker and wanted more Tool, here you go. Wish granted.

Spoilers, yay or nay?: Yay in the vague-ish spoilers sense. The full review, with said vague-ish spoilers, may be found in my blog, which is linked below. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.


Happy Reading!
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06/15/2012 page 247
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Michelle Yaayy!! I hope you like this as much as I did. :)

Michelle Five stars!! Woo!! :D

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