Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: The Drowned Cities - Paolo Bacigalupi

Where I got it: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 2 stars (Don't really care for it. It fits the story, but just isn't very appealing to me.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 439 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads
Companion prequel to Ship Breaker

Before Nailer and his crew. In a different part of the country, war was raging. Many different groups were fighting over something no one could really remember. The Peacekeepers had abandoned their mission and left everyone to fend for themselves. Mahlia was one of the ones left behind. A doctor took her and Mouse in. Mouse was all that was left of his farmer family. Then things get turned upside down. There's a half-man in the swamp outside their village and UPF soldiers inside their village ransacking it. Mahlia is forced to make a decision to stay and accept the outcome of life, or run and fight for her freedom. She wants the doctor and Mouse to come with her too, but they might not have what it takes, they might not have enough Drowned Cities in their blood.

I didn't love this one as much as Ship Breaker. Maybe it was Mahlia; for some reason I just didn't care for her. My favorite characters were Mouse and Tool. I really liked Tool in Ship Breaker, and he's just as amazing in this one. He's just very wise and like a rock. He's just this solid level-headed character to guide the others. Mouse was a great addition to this story. I found myself very attached to him as he evolved throughout the story. This book had a very different feel from Ship Breaker. The Drowned Cities revolved around war and survival. Mahlia talks about Sun Tzu a lot, when speaking about strategy. Most of the people we see throughout the novel are children, young kids. There are hardly any adults left, since the wars have killed so many people. It was never to clear what everyone was even fighting about, the war had been going on too long. That's how I feel war often is though. No one really knows why they are fighting, they just know who they are fighting against. I liked the journey and the back and forth third person narrative in this novel. It was good to see all sides of what was going on. The end was quite a shock to me. I did not expect any of that to happen as it did. I definitely think this is worth the read if you enjoyed Ship Breaker.

First Line:
"Chains clanked in the darkness of the holding cells."

Favorite Line:
"He didn't think he was going anywhere but straight to hell when he died, so he wasn't eager for the afterlife the way the Army of God boys were."

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