Title: The Walled City
Author: Ryan Graudin
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi/Dystopia
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Received via NetGalley
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.
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this one, but I found that I did enjoy it. It was interesting, and different, and definitely kept my attention.
My favorite part would have to be the world building. Hak Nam Walled City is based on a real-life walled city, which is both sad and interesting. This story takes place in sort of an alterna-Asia. I will say, nothing was said about the rest of the world, whether it was the same or not. (I assumed it was roughly the same, as Dai's father said something about crossing the ocean to where they speak English, but it was never made clear.) However, the part of the world that was focused on was descriptive, and made clear. The differences between the rich of outside the wall and the poor inside the world were stark and contrasting.
The three perspectives were also interesting and added another layer to the story. However, I did not really feel that connected to some of the characters. Mei Yee especially. I mean, Mei Yee's situation and some of the events that transpire to the three kids were really bad, and yet I couldn't muster up the right amount of emotion for them. In fact, I really didn't feel any emotion while reading the book. I mean, I liked it, and it was good, but nothing that made me totally invested.
Jin was definitely my favorite character, as she was feisty and smart and would do anything for her sister. As seen by the fact that she followed her into the Walled City to find her. She was an interesting character. Dai was okay. A rich kid who was taken to the Walled City after somethings in his past life went wrong, Dai has his secrets. I liked the interaction between him and Jin, the big brother/little sister dynamic. Like I said, Mei Yee was the one I connected to the least. I don't know, she was just there. Her and the other girls in the brother didn't have much depth to their character.
The plot does move at a fairly fast pace. There were not too many slow spells (although there were a few). Did the ending tie up maybe too nicely and perfectly and predictable? Yeah, maybe. But all in all, it was a pretty good ending for the book.
Even though I had a few issues with the characters and the ending, this book was still pretty good. It did keep you guessing or wondering, wanting to know what was going to happen next, so not totally predictable. It was entertaining, and all around a pretty decent read.
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