Tuesday, 4 November 2014

ARC Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin


Author: Ryan Graudin
Pages: 432 pages
Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Status: Standalone

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.


The Walled City was a wonderful book- it was thrilling, fast-paced, captivating, and overall, ORIGINAL. I absolutely loved this book, it's characters, and the intricate story line the author has created.

The story is about three different characters living in the Walled City: the pretty rich boy who made mistakes, the girl that was sold, and the dutiful sister that goes in and disguises herself as a boy to save her sister. It was an interesting story told in three very different perspectives, and I love how the characters all tie together in the story, and loved how they were all developed. One of my favourite things in this story as well is the normal boy-girl friendship two of the MC's have- it's nice to see friendship over that insta-cross lovers-Romeo-and-Juliet stuff.

The story is set in a grim Walled City where the criminals rule, and where living to see the next day was a sort of blessing- or a stroke of good luck. All the characters had their own terrifying problems, and mixed in with this dangerous world, created an amazing story.

One thing to know about the story: there is a Walled City that once existed in Hong Kong- and yes, it was populated by criminals, prostitutes, and a lot of illegal activity. If you look at the picture below (from the Wikipedia page), you can see that it wasn't really a pretty place to live in:

As you can see, its very compact, and you can very well just imagine the gruesome living conditions that these people lived in. Now, I didn't know that there was an ACTUAL walled city till I read the author's note, and I used my imagination to visualize how Jin, Dai and Mei experienced their day to day lives. I have to say, Ryan Graudin not only delivered a compelling story, but she also nailed the atmosphere of the entire story.

Overall, this was an amazing story with compelling characters and a realistic atmosphere. It's a story of survival and how precious life actually is. I absolutely loved it, and I totally recommend it to fans of Josin L. McQuein and Sara B. Larson!


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