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.
My inability to finish The Walled City is completely, 100% my fault. I heard that the latest from Ryan Graudin would feature a walled city, a girl disguised as a boy, and an entirely Asian cast, and I stopped listening. I didn’t think I needed to know anything else.
The beginning of the book was fantastic. Jin, the aforementioned disguised female, is quick both in mind and in movement. She’s a sleek mouse scurrying among the maze of the Walled City, avoiding the criminals that inhabit its streets. She survives by stealing and running and does her best to stay below the radar of the city’s most notorious gangs. In contrast with Jin, Dai is a rich boy banished into the city by his father, and he’s determined to use Jin to get himself out. From the few pages I read, I was already anticipating the dynamics between the two characters.
My hiccup was the treatment of women in the City. There was some very blatant and graphic misogyny exercised by the men of the City in the first chapter. I didn’t like it, but I kept reading until I came to Mei’s point of view. I completely forgot a full third of the book was going to come from a sex slave. I can’t handle that in my reading, guys, I just can’t.
I enjoyed the writing, the characters, and the plot for what little I read, but I refuse to subject myself to a story that will make me dread reading.
When fifteen year old Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana – an ancestral Japanese sword – out of its hiding place in her parent’s attic to help liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unleash on modern day London, or the family secrets that she is going to uncover.
The paralysing paranoia that descends on her before she gets to her friend’s party is her first clue. The vivid and terrifying visions that nearly get her killed are a pretty good warning too.
The giant nine-tailed cat demon that comes after the sword and tries to rip her throat out? Overkill.
Seconds away from becoming kitty-food, Mio is saved by Shinobu, a mysterious warrior boy. But it’s already too late. Mio has ruptured the veil between the mortal realm and the Underworld, and now the gods and monsters of ancient Japan stalk the streets of London, searching for her and the sword.
With the help of her best friend Jack, a fox spirit named Hikaru – and the devoted protection of the betwitchingly familiar Shinobu – Mio attempts to discover the true nature of the sword and its connection to the Yamato family. Because if she doesn’t learn how to control the katana’s incredible powers, she’s in danger of being overwhelmed by them. And if she can’t keep the sword safe from the terrible creatures who want it for their own, she’ll lose not only her own life… but the love of a lifetime.
Augh! Book! You had to do so little to keep me engaged. Japanese girl with a samurai sword battles ancient evils in modern London with a warrior boy. Bam. Fantastic hook. I was ready for you, book!
What I was not ready for was drunk 15-year-olds at a rager of a party. Or horny lesbians. Or instalove. It was a blam, blam, BLAM trifecta of anti-Shaeness. To be fair, the instalove was only alluded to that early on in the book, but I could feel it coming, and peeks at others’ reviews proved my suspicions to be correct. No way in the world was I sticking around for that, nosirreebob.