Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review of "The Walled City"

The Walled City By Ryan Graudin

Stars: 4 
Source: Netgalley 
Release Date: November 4th 2014 

1. Run Fast. 
2. Trust no one.
3. Always carry your knife.

These are the three rules that Jin lives by, the three rules that have kept her alive in a city that breathes death. 

The Walled City is a labyrinth, a barbarous maze, only the strong survive and even then surviving within the city isn't living. 

Jin isn't like most, she isn't trapped within the walls, she is free to leave whenever she chooses but she refuses to leave without her sister. 

Mei Yee doesn't know that just beyond the bars of her window, her sister, masquerading as a boy, is searching for her, all Mei Yee knows are the walls of the brothel. 

When a face appears at her window Mei Yee is hesitant to trust the boy who promises her freedom and the sea, but in a place where having hope is forbidden it's the one thing that keeps Mei Yee going. 

Dai's past haunts him, he knows what it's like to see death, to hear the last dying words of a loved one. He knows what it's like to feel guilt and pain. Dai has been inside the Walled City for 730 days. Dai has 18 days to find what he needs to escape the prison he is currently trapped in. 18 days to right wrongs, or, 18 days to fail. 

When Dai meets Mei Yee through the window he has no idea that she is Jin's sister, at least not at first, will Dai risk the lives of the only two people within the city walls who trust him or will he risk his own to save them and set them free? 

"The Walled City" was mesmerizing, from the first page far past the last. I wish I had known from the beginning that it was loosely based on Hong Kong's Kowloon Walled City. Until I finished this book I had no idea such a place existed. The entire time I was reading I kept thinking to myself 'what an amazing world builder Ryan is' and she is. Even though the Walled City did in fact exists, Ryan did such an amazing job of bringing it to life in front of your eyes and creating such a vivid picture of what it would be like to be inside such a tangled web of chaos. 

I loved how the characters lives intertwined and crisscrossed over one another's. The alternate points of view kept the story fresh and fast paced and I loved the different perspectives each one offered for the city they were in. 

When I first started this book I had it in my head that this was a series but after finishing the book it seems like it is a stand alone novel, which I don't mind. The Walled City stands firmly on both feet without promise of more. 

I'm interested to read more from Graudin and I'm excited to research the real Walled City and learn more about it. 

Until next time, 

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 
My review is my honest opinion.

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