Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Title: The Walled City
Author: Ryan Graudin
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Little Brown
Classification: Young Adult, Thriller
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Source: e-galley via NetGalley (Thank you Little Brown!)
Read: October 2014
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. 

***I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*** 

This book is unlike any that I have read before. I think the story is interesting and unique. And it definitely wasn't what I was expecting. (But in a good way!)

The Walled City is a terrible, horrible place. There are drug lords, street gangs, brothels (with sex slaves) and a lot of poverty. Kids are living on the streets trying to survive. And young girls are getting sold into prostitution.

It is a very dark and gritty and violent (at times) story.

I think that the author did an amazing job with world building. I really felt like I could picture the Walled City. And I felt like I could picture the characters and the people that were living there.

I had no idea when reading this story that it is based off a real place. Kowloon Walled City which was in Hong Kong. While reading the story I kept thinking about how scary it would be for this to happen and how much I thought like it could happen. Then I got to the author's note at the end and read about Kowloon Walled City. The Walled City is not historical fiction, but after finding out a little bit more about Kowloon Walled City, I think that the author did a good job writing a piece of fiction of what could happen in a Walled City.

This story is told from three different points of view. Dai is haunted by his past. He is stuck in the Walled City running drugs for the drug lord. He is searching for what he needs to be able to escape the Walled City alive. Jin is living on the streets dressed as a boy to try and stay safe. She is doing alright, but she is on her own mission. She is searching for her sister that was taken away from her years ago. And the third point of view is Mei Yee. She is stuck in a brothel, wishing for a chance to escape and see the outside world again.
These are three very different people all stuck in the Walled City for one reason or another. And all three of the characters are each hiding their own secrets.

This book had a lot of action and there were several parts of the story that really grabbed me and made me worry about the characters. There were some interesting plot twists too that I did not see coming. Yes, there were a few things that I figured would happen, but they were small and didn't take away from me being captivated by the story.

I really like the characters. I think that they are well written.
Though I think I connected with Jin more than the other two. She is such a strong character. She has been through so much, yet she is determined to find her sister. She won't stop until she does. And her loyalty and strength gave me hope.
Dai is also a strong character, but he has a lot haunting him from his past. And I think I found his character to be the most mysterious.
I think Mei Yee is also strong in her own way. She wants to protect and help the other girls in the brothel. And she longs to get out.
And I really found it interesting how all three of their stories intertwine.

My Recommendation:
I found this to be a very interesting, action-packed story. It grabbed and held my attention from the beginning. I think that it is a dark and realistic story. And I really liked reading it. If you are looking for an gritty, fascinating story with diverse characters and good world building, then I highly recommend giving this book a read!

My Rating:


  1. I've heard some mixed reviews about this one but I'm glad you liked it. It definitely sounded interesting, not sure if and when I will get to it though. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    1. Yeah, I saw that there have have a lot of DNFs for this book. And it made me a bit worried. I don't mind reading purple prose. But I understand why some haven't enjoyed it. If you do read it, I hope that you enjoy it. Thanks!


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