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The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi


Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Soldier boys emerged from the darkness. Guns gleamed dully. Bullet bandoliers and scars draped their bare chests. Ugly brands scored their faces. She knew why these soldier boys had come. She knew what they sought, and she knew, too, that if they found it, her best friend would surely die. In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool--who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.
This thrilling companion to Paolo Bacigalupi's highly acclaimed Ship Breaker is a haunting and powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.

Goodreads link:

My Review:

WOOT! Kahlia, you are SUCH a boss!

The Drowned Cities is an AMAZING novel. The plot is basically about Mouse and Mahlia, two best friends living in a war-torn world where they only have each other to rely on. The two are disliked for being half Peacekeeper, and find no kindness from others except for a kind old doctor. Tool is a half-breed, half human and half beast. His survival instincts often override his human emotions in the beginning, and he has loyalty to no one but himself. The soldier boys are ruthless men who kill without a second thought- only strongest survive.

The novel starts out with Tool escaping from his prison. He has no desire to serve humans as a war tool. The soldier boys are dispatched to find him, and eventually stop at where Kahlia and Mouse are living. 
Kahlia is a young, war-hardened girl who is missing a hand. She is strong, and never backs down- earning the eventual loyalty of Tool.

Ocho is a soldier boy that Kahlia saves, and eventually returns that favor.
As I read the book, I couldn't help but think that there was implied future romance between Kahlia and Ocho. If there is, I will SHIP THEM FOREVER. :D

I loved the world building that Paolo Bacigalupi built- a war hardened world is a merciless one. He isn't afraid to kill off any of the characters. His descriptions of the inner turmoil of his characters really emphasize the cruelty of war. We definitely don't want America to become like this in the future.

Although I was a bit upset at Bacigalupi for killing off Mouse at first, I realized at the end that it was crucial for Mouse to die in order for Mahlia to mature further. What can I say? Mahlia is just badass.
Eating raw meat? 
Hanging out with a guy who can kill you at any time?
Having four fingers and surviving in a war-torn world?

Really. This was just amazing. Mahlia has now become one of my favorite strong female heroines. 

Great book, and awesome action! Recommended for those looking for a fast-paced action novel to read.

4 Chocolates! :D
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