Wednesday, May 31, 2017
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
The Walled City was originally a military fort, but years later the lack of police made it a haven of gambling, drugs, and prostitution. Three characters narrate the story, and eventually interact with each other.
Jin is a young girl who is searching for her older sister, who has been sold into prostitution by their father. She disguises herself as a boy for protection. Her plan is to become a drug runner and search the brothels for her sister.
Dai is a young man who encounters Jin. They team up after Dai realizes how fast Jin is. He is in the city to amend for some crime he committed. Now he works for the police, finding evidence to convict the drug dealers before the Walled City is demolished. He gets a beautiful girl in the brothel to help him and ends up falling in love with her.
Mei Yee is that girl, and also Jin's sister. She is lucky, or so she is told. Her rich client pays extra for exclusive rights to her, and he will likely end up buying her way out of the brothel. Still, Mei is unsatisfied with her life, with the possibility of leaving the brothel for a hotel room, one prison for another. She wants to be free, wants to see the ocean with Dai.
The Walled City was an exciting and action-packed book. It stands out from most action books I've seen, which are more supernatural/dystopian. Actually, it's based on a real place called Kowloon Walled City. It's a very good book full of sympathetic, brave characters, and I very much recommend it.
I received my copy of The Walled City from the Goodreads First Reads program, as well as from Edelweiss, courtesy of Little, Brown. It's available for purchase now.