Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin - Paul's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: The Walled City

Author: Ryan Graudin
Recent Release Date: November 4, 2014

My Pre Reading


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.


Review: Going into this book, I was under the impression it took place in a fictional dystopia, possibly post apocalyptic. Although technically it is a fictional dystopian city, it is more real than fiction. And that fact is quite unsettling. I won't go any further into the details, but this book is based in reality. It shows that the real world truly can be scarier than fiction. 

This book covers many mature topics, but I think they are handled in an age appropriate way. There is violence, sex, prostitution, drug use, death, and human trafficking. Most is implied, but there are some explicit mature scenes.  

The perspective shifts between three main characters. I had a problem connecting their names, but that was probably because I am not familiar with Asian names and pronunciations. I found myself anticipating whose perspective the next chapter would be from. The three characters are connected in very interesting ways that unfold as the story progresses. 

This is a story of siblings. I liked the way familial connections were depicted. None of the characters in this book have an easy life. They all have difficult pasts that have formed their current states. 

This book was not what I expected at all, but in a completely good way. I think going into this book with very little knowledge leads to the unraveling of a compelling story. This is a book of interesting characters in a horrible location. I give this novel a 4/5. I definitely recommend it. And recently movie rights were sold, so I am looking forward to seeing this story move people in the theater. 


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