The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi



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One Response to “The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi”

  1. bachbooks Says:

    Rather than a sequel, The Drowned Cities presents a “companion” to Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker. The post-apocalyptical globally warmed United States return as the setting, and the “Half-man” Tool reappears with a larger role in this story. Mahlia, a “castoff” (mixed race) doctor’s apprentice, and her friend Mouse encounter a severely wounded Tool (human-animal hybrid killing machine) while hunting in the swamp. Tool captures Mouse, and Mahlia makes a deal to trade medicine for Mouse’s freedom. When the soldiers pursuing Tool capture her village, Mahlia must use all her wits to escape with the medicines which may save her friend. In the past, Mouse saved Mahlia from the grips of the soldier boys who cut off one of her hands, and she goes to great lengths (all the way back to The Drowned Cities (Washington D.C.)) to return the favor.

    After reading Ship Breaker, I wanted to know what happened next to Nailer and his crew, so I felt a bit disappointed to learn that The Drowned Cities did not directly continue their story. My disappointment did not last long, as I quickly grew to like the new cast of characters even more than the old ones. Mahlia, Mouse, Dr. Mahfouz, Tool, and Ocho each reveal good and bad qualities which I could relate to and appreciate. They constantly tread a tightrope between good and evil. I loved how the author used the harsh setting and situations to demonstrate the cruelty bred of gang mentalities and the inherent dangers of desperation. The resolution provides some hope, and I eagerly await the next book in this series with the anticipation that the two stories (Nailer’s and Mahlia’s) may merge. Even if they don’t, Bacigalupi has proven his ability to create compelling characters and plots to draw me in, keep me reading along, braving the worst, and hoping for the best.

    Rating: 4.5 stars

    Recommendations: Ship Breaker, Lord of the Flies, Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Road

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