The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (Review)


I received this free from the publisher via NetGalley

Release Date – November 4th

There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.

There are three teenagers – Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai. All live in The Walled City and all are fighting for something different. Jin is fighting to find her sister who was taken away from her. Mei Yee is fighting to survive, keep her head down and she is safe. Dai is fighting for his freedom from The Walled City. All three have something in common though, they all want to go home. The Walled City is a city run by criminals, no law and no justice. Just violence and crime. Dai offers Jin a chance to find her sister, while also offering a chance of escape to Mei Yee. They are no in a race against the clock to find what they need.

The premise of The Walled City filled me with excitement and I was so thrilled to get my hands on it. With high expectations, I really dove into this book, but unfortunately I was sadly disappointed. There was an element of originality to the story, and the world building was absolutely fantastic. There were street gangs who ran the place, there were teenagers doing drug runs, and teenagers working in brothels. Living in The Walled City was hard. The first couple of chapters really did capture my attention. There was violence and gore and so much crime. There was an feel of realism to it, (The author mentions that it was based on a real place). Also, it is a standalone! How many dystopia’s can you say that about? Also, not everything is hunky dory at the end of it. People who lived in The Walled City, they are broken, they feel like they don’t belong anywhere else, and they slowly slink back into the dark alleyways.

I felt like the pacing could have been better, so that the story didn’t drag as much as it did. The middle really failed to keep my attention. It quickly got it back near the end, but the pacing in the middle really was a let down. I have read that a lot of people don’t really like the purple prose, but I personally enjoyed it. While some sentences were a bit much for me, the majority was OK.

Lets talk about the characters. I liked them enough, but I didn’t really connect with them. They were OK but that is all they were. I didn’t really care much what happened to them. But they were enjoyable and they were likeable. The bad guys of the story were good, which was a bonus. The romance, I felt, was a little bit insta-love. But you can also see it as the fact that they were each others way out and they clung to that hope.

Overall, an OK read which I would probably recommend.

MY RATING: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

Pre-order now at Book Depository


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