Written by: Ryan Graudin
Published by: Little, Brown
Release date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
Source: BookExpo America 2014
Buy: B&N, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
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.
Did you really give The Walled City a chance?
Yes. I made it about 37% of the way through.
Have you enjoyed other books of the same genre?
Well, I’m not 100% sure what genre The Walled City fits into – it’s set in near-modern times. It’s not dystopian, fantasy, or sci-fi. Maybe just a thriller? A survival story? Whatever it was, it sounded like something that would be gripping, and gritty, and right up my alley.
[It was pointed out to me that maybe this is more “historical fiction” – it’s possibly set in the 80’s, and is definitely based on a real place and on people who may have lived there. (See the answer to my next question, below.) If it is historical fiction… hah. I laugh, because Historical Fiction and I don’t normally get along anyway, sooo make of that what you will!]
Had you been looking forward to this book in particular? Why?
Yes. This book was one of my most exciting acquisitions from BEA, and I was really looking forward to reading it. The titular “Walled City” (called the Hak Nam Walled City in the book) was actually based on the Kowloon Walled City, a real city — or more like ungoverned cluster of buildings — that existed in Hong Kong, until it was demolished in 1994. The Kowloon Walled City housed 33,000 people within 0.01 square miles. (I’ll give you a sec to think about that. …Yeah.) It was a truly horrifying place, with extremely high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug use. So a YA book set in this city? WOW OKAY count me in. It sounds dark and gritty and I really wanted it to be awesome.