Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review - The Walled City, by Ryan Graudin

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.

Like many other readers, I began reading this one thinking of it as a dystopian novel. However, it did not feel like a dystopian at all. It seemed to be in a category all of its own. Though it did have some similar elements to the genre, it felt like this city could be set in our real world, though secluded away from prying eyes.... a true "city of sin", where no one dares to enter, and no one is able to leave, and everyone outside of it turns a blind eye and pretends it doesn't exist. Oppressors rule and victims hope to live another day or wish for death in some cases; this is the every day of the Walled City. Bonus that this is inspired by a real city as well, which adds an intriguing twist for those curious enough to look into it.

Every character in this book was fleshed out and real. The separate storylines came together nicely and flawlessly. This book delivers as promised; from the first page it is, indeed, adrenaline filled, as our main characters, with different weaknesses and strengths, survive the ruthlessness of the cards that they have been dealt, with hope of escape. 
It was hard not to read this novel in one sitting. The plot was well written in cinematic fashion, and it felt like I was putting a riveting, action filled movie on pause multiple times. Hands down, one of my favorite books of the year! 

It is rare that I give out a 5 star rating, but this one deserves it. If you have not picked this one up yet, I highly recommend you do.

Happy Reading!


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