Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on October 17, 2014 | 2 Comments

Review: The Walled City by Ryan GraudinThe Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Published by Little Brown (11.4.2014)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 432 pages
Source: NetGalley

3.5 Stars

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 thoughts

This was a tad difficult to rate. It was mostly enjoyable while I was actually reading, but now that I’m not it’s….fading. While there were things happening, I don’t really feel like all that much happened. It seemed like a bunch of running around and avoiding getting killed, with no real plot. We don’t find out what Dai’s purpose is (or what the point of the numbers is) until closer to the end. There was a lull around 20% or so where I became very bored with the story and had to push myself to pick it back up.

I do have to say that I was attached to this book for one main reason: Chma. OMG I loved him soooo much!!! Honestly, he was the only character that I really cared about. I love love LOVE when the main character of the book has a sidekick kitty, even if they can’t talk (Chma was just a regular kitty). He stole my heart! View Spoiler » There were so many little things with Chma that tugged at my heartstrings!

I think about when I found Chma – a shuddering whimper of a kitten – being battered like a football among a group of vagrants. I was outnumbered. Four to one. It didn’t matter.

sad pony

[Chma] curls against against my full belly, rattles me with a lullaby of purrs.

My kitty Gizmo does this! <3

“You killed a boy for your cat?”

It was said incredulously, but Jin’s actions were perfectly fitting for the moment. What else is there to do? Stand there while the kid kills the cat instead? If someone was threatening one of my furbabies I would do whatever I had to do!

Jin Ling was pretty awesome, but I didn’t connect to her like I wanted to. The only thing that really endeared me to her (besides the fact that she was a fighter) was her attachment to Chma and the fact that she rescued him and took care of him. But I do like stories where a female is disguised as a male for some reason! Dai was just…there. And so was Mei Yee. Honestly, the switching POVs was kind of hard to follow sometimes. If I had to stop in the middle of a chapter, when I came back to it I would forget who I was reading and have to go back and check. Every character sounded exactly the same. In fact, I really struggled to tell Jin Ling and Dai apart in the beginning because Jin was playing the role of a boy.

I do have to say that the prose in The Walled City was beautiful. Ryan Graudin has a very unique writing style: Many of the sentences were very short, but not to the point of making it sound choppy. Ryan is a pro at bringing her setting to life, though – I had no problem picturing the world in my head!

I kind of just want to cuddle Chma XD

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3/5
Premise: 4/5
Writing style: 4.5/5
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 3/5
Feels: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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