Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Drowned Cities

Title: The Drowned Cities

Author: Paolo Bacigalupi

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: Soldier boys emerged from the darkness. Guns gleamed dully. Bullet bandoliers and scars draped their bare chests. Ugly brands scored their faces. She knew why these soldier boys had come. She knew what they sought, and she knew, too, that if they found it, her best friend would surely die.

In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool--who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.

Review: Just because two books by an author are the same genre, that doesn't make them companion novels. Ship Breaker was enjoyable, but the only thing it has in common with The Drowned Cities is that they both take place in future America. As for the actual story, I was drawn in by the beginning, but someplace a little past the middle, I began to grow bored. Mouse is given another name, but the author calls him Mouse until a ceratin point, when calling him the other name is significant. He stay with the second name for a few pages, then randomly switched between the two for no reason at all. There was no romance, which surprised me. I'm happy not only with the lack of romance, but also with the fact  that the author refused to bow down to the expectations of YA fiction. The book was okay, but I'd prefer a sequel to Ship Breaker.

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