The Drowned Cities (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Drowned Cities (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.2 51
by Paolo Bacigalupi

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FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. In a dark future America that has devolved into unending civil war, orphans Mahlia and Mouse barely escape the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities, but their fragile safety is soon threatened and Mahlia will have to risk everything if she is to save Mouse, as he once saved her. A companion to the Printz Award winner and National


FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. In a dark future America that has devolved into unending civil war, orphans Mahlia and Mouse barely escape the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities, but their fragile safety is soon threatened and Mahlia will have to risk everything if she is to save Mouse, as he once saved her. A companion to the Printz Award winner and National Book Award finalist Ship Breaker.

Product Details

Turtleback Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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The Drowned Cities 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 51 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dark but really good bro
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi (2012): Oh Paolo Bacigalupi, you are so awesome and I so wish I could enjoy your books as much as I appreciate and admire them. The Drowned Cities is a companion novel to Ship Breaker. Both books are set in the same world but The Drowned Cities is in a different location and set years earlier. The connection between the books is obvious in some ways but I often wished some hint of how the plots and characters impacted each other. Some background on my reading history with Bacigalupi: I read Ship Breaker when it was a Cybils finalist the last time I judged SFF. I had a lot of problems with it.) that one--problems that did still turn up here--but I was happy to see writing that was much improved compared to Bacigalupi's first exploration of this world. I also picked up The Drowned Cities as a Cybils judge. It was, again, a book I would not have picked up otherwise given my own tastes as a reader. There were a lot of interesting things here. Bacigalupi seems to work a lot with the power of names which is one of my favorite things. I liked seeing how naming came into play for Mahlia and Ocho. And I thought the concept of name was taken to especially good effect with Mouse's story. The concept of Luck and Choice was also present and interesting although by the end I thought it got a bit heavy-handed with everyone doing horrible things basically all the time and wondering what that meant for their humanity. I found all of the main characters hard to take in the beginning when they were more self-centered, calculating and ultimately mean. Though, giving credit to the author, that was definitely the point but it was almost unbearable reading about all of these people with almost no redeeming qualities. My largest problem was Mahlia and her lack of a right hand. By the end of the story, I got that it was important to the karmic side plot Bacigalupi was working and everything coming full circle. That said, having a one-handed character means I, as a reader, am going to be thinking A LOT about how that character does things. Early on Mahlia is at pains to mention that she grips with her left and balances with her stump to plant that seed early on. Generally any time Mahlia was "in action" I was taken out of the story as I tried to figure out how she was doing something (or why she had no phantom pains). How does she wring out a rag with one hand? How does she tie a cloth around her head? How does she "fiddle" with a rifle with one hand? Given Mahlia's life, the ending of the story also seemed over-the-top and felt contrived in order to give Mahlia a chance to deliver a very stirring speech. I get that it was a powerful scene and important to the story but I really felt the writing being manipulated to satisfy writerly ends when, really, Mahlia could have suffered any number of other hardships. In that same vein, I was underwhelmed by the ending of the story overall. After following these characters through all of these horrors I wanted more than the hint of hope and redemption that we got at the end. I wanted more as a big message at the end of the book than war is hell and makes otherwise good people do monstrous things. This is a trope that I've seen in some other novels recently, with less gore and violence, (and it pains me to say it because I do genuinely believe Bacigalupi is a wonderful writer) but it was handled better in other books including Code Name Verity and The 5th Wave. Fans of Ship Breaker will want to pick this one up as will readers who are fond of action, dystopians and stories that don't shy away from violence.
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
I've been looking forward to this book since reading Ship Breaker last year, after which I had high expectations for this book. Paolo Bacigalupi delivers. As with Ship Breaker, the writing is descriptive and action-packed without breaking the flow, and Bacigalupi once again tackles the dark and gritty without reserve. His books aren't meant for the soft of heart, and he won't coddle you. The characters are complex and flawed, and each of them are fighting with their own demons that haunt them. Mahlia lost hand to a group called the Army of God, and Mouse's parents died in the war. Their attempt at finding a better life for themselves becomes complicated when they stumble upon Tool, a human that has been genetically advanced to be the perfect soldier. A recurring character from the first book, Tool is a central character to the story as it explores what it means to be human. A major theme in this book is the impact of war, especially with children as seen through Mahlia and Mouse and the teen soldiers, and it is done in a disturbingly realistic manner. Once again, Bacigalupi explores the concept of humanity. In a war-torn area, humans transform and do things they would never have thought it possible of themselves, and morality takes on another meaning. The characters of The Drowned Cities belong to a dangerous world, and the impact of living in such a world becomes apparent through them as they grow and change over the course of the novel. This is a dark, dark book with extreme violence and exploration of the darker side of the human psyche. There is cursing and drug use. With its lengthy word count and heavy conter, The Drowned Cities is not a book for light reading. At the same time, it is a book for keeps and one that I will be recommending for older YA readers. There are many amazing YA dystopians coming out this year, but I will remember this one the best for the picture of humanity it portrays. Note: This can be read and understood without reading Ship Breaker, if you so desire. I still recommend reading Ship Breaker. It's genius.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The whole story line is compelling and the characters are so well developed. If you're a REAL reader who loves to read and especially into dystopian novels i highly recommend this novel and all other novels by Paola Bacigalupi.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
After falling in love with the first book, I couldn't wait to read the next book. It gave me just what I wanted and more! So, the reader begins right back in the world of the Drowned Cities. Cities once above water not drowned in it. I thought I be reading about the characters from the first book instead we are introduced to new characters. It is a surprised but I like it. It's give the reader a chance to slip into other characters in this world. The best part I like about this book is the plot. It's filled with great description of ruin cities, stories of creatures as well as the present time the reader is in. I really like Mouse and Mahilia. These characters have survived a lot. If you wonder what's life would be like to live in such a gruesome lawless world. Then read this. Kids taken a such a young age to fight a war that was never their s to start with. It's focuses on many new aspects such as a genetically enhanced people. Some of those moments made me squirm in my seat. Their is great friendship and loyalty formed. It's nice to see the kids have a friend with everything that is taken away from them. They are forced to grow up fast, and pick a side if they want to live, regardless of how they feel. The Drowned Cities is an epic adventure that you want to read. It's hard and fresh with lives you want to save. The raging war faces many deaths and many heartbreaks. The Drowned Cities is awesome!
kaywKK More than 1 year ago
Love this book and love this author. The first book I read by this author, "The Windup Girl", is one of the best books I have ever read. I read the "Drowned Cities" as a continuation of "Shipbreaker" and though they are "young adult" I, a 63 year old avid reader, thoroughly enjoyed them and am looking forward to many more wonderful reads from Mr. Bacigulupi. Fantastic and wonderful. Go Paolo!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. People should read it. Plus you guys should add me.So i can give you some great books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was all "I have to buy this now!" Then I saw that it doesnt give me a publication date and its preorder only. But seriously this only loses a star because I cant read the rest of it right now. This is going to be a great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hesitant to get it at first but then I got it. WOW. The book surprised me. I cant wait to read the whole book.
Drewano 6 months ago
The second book in the ‘Ship Breakers’ series is much the same as the first. The authors writing is good, but the plot doesn’t seem to move and the story, dialog and characters are just too juvenile for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book i have read by this and love to read more from him
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters and story are fantastic and well developed. I found it to be a really fast and enjoyable reading experience.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you haven't read any Paulo Bacigalupi,you must!!!!!!!!
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Octoploid More than 1 year ago
I have yet to be disappointed by Bacigalupi. This book drew me in immediately and kept my attention through all of two cross-country flights and basically every other free hour until it was done. Like most of Bacigalupi's work, the tone is dark, and the world is brutal. Although the comparison being made is Shipbreaker, I think that book is probably a little less dark than this one, and while both are probably classed Young Adult, I think Drowned Cities might be a little much for the youngest readers of Shipbreaker. That said, it's definitely somewhat lighter fare than Windup Girl or some of the stories in Pump 6. It's the kind of book I'd have loved in junior high (and still do). The characters were compelling, well-defined, and drew me into the story more than any other element. I would love to hear more of Mahlia's adventures after this. Seeing another part of the world detailed in the other books was exciting, particularly a region I'm personally familiar with. An absolutely great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the full edition....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such an amazing book........ I read this during vacation and wished he made sequal