Title: The Walled City
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series Status: Standalone
# of pages: 424
My rating: 4/5 stars
(Found on 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.
This book surprised me. I picked it up thinking it would be a quick easy read and didn’t really know anything about it. Pretty much the the blurb on the cover is what drew me in, “Run Fast. Trust No one. Always carry your knife.”
It’s been a while since I’ve read a dystopian and enjoyed it but this one was fantastic. Probably my favorite thing about this book was that Graudin based this on a real place. There was a historical significance to what she wrote about and that made this way better. The entire story seemed more realistic and exciting knowing that.
This book is pretty slow though, the pacing is drawn out and follows three characters. I thought this would make me dislike the story but instead it actually made it better. The slow pacing didn’t feel agonizingly slow but felt more like a calm easy story that was setting up a for a climax at the end.
As I said previously this book follows three characters so the points of view switches pretty regularly. We follow Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai who all live within the walled city of Hak Nam. The character were probably the only place I feel like the story fell a little short, they felt a little disjointed from the story. There was great development and backstory to them but they didn’t get me connected to them until about halfway through the story. Before that it was more of following their story but not really having any emotional connection to them to keep you reading.
Probably the only other thing I did not like about this story was the romance. It was definitely downplayed a lot more than it could have been but I still found really unnecessary. It didn’t add anything to the story really and felt way too pushed.
Overall though this story was incredible and surprised me with it’s calm, slow pacing and its historical outlook.