29th November to 13th December~ Physical Copy ~ Link to Goodreads
Disguised as a boy, Jin Ling searches for her missing sister, Mei Yee, who was sold into the brothels of the Walled City. It’s a cut-throat world of gangs, drug-dealers and warlords and every day is a struggle to survive. Jin Ling relies on her speed and cunning but how long will her luck hold? When a mysterious boy, Dai, requests her help with a dangerous mission Jin Ling’s inclined to say no – this is a world where no one can be trusted – but the mission offers her a vital chance to see inside the brothel where her sister may be being held.
Jin Ling and Dai join forces, but will either of them survive the mission? Is Mei Yee still alive? And how will any of them ever escape the stifling city walls?
With a fantasy setting inspired by Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong, Ryan’s novel has a rich authenticity and an intense atmosphere, and its pace will enthral the reader from the very first page.
I have been looking forward to picking this book up for a long time so I was over the moon when my fiance brought me it for my birthday and I started reading it straight away. I have read the Wolf by Wolf series by Ryan Graudin this year and I fell in love with her style and ability to pull you straight in with a sentence.
The book is told from 3 perspectives and it is done incredibly well. Each character has been so incredibly well thought out that you don’t get the difficulty of not knowing who you are reading from like you can sometimes get with other novels. Everything from style to gestures seems to have been so well mapped out that the characters also felt very real and plausible. I found myself really involved with Jin and Dai and even though I wasn’t as concerned and Mei I wasn’t bored when her chapters rolled along.
For me there was a slight blurring of the characters; I can’t really put my finger on what it was but if each character was a picture then 99% would be crystal clear and incredibly detailed but the very outskirts of it would be a little blurred. This perhaps doesn’t make sense but it’s how I felt throughout.
The pacing is true to Graudin’s style in the Wolf by Wolf series. It is fast paced, intriguing and full of mystery and suspense. I felt the middle dragged on for about 20/30 pages too long but it wasn’t long before it picked right back up and had you racing along with it again. The last 40 pages or so more than made up for the minor lulls in the middle, it was intense, suspenseful and a crazy thrill ride of whether or not they would be able to pull off what they needed to.
I believe this book is based on a real place and after reading this novel I’m really looking forward to researching this a little more as it sounds so interesting. I think this gave it a little more depth than a made up city and helped you to believe that the events in the book could actually have happened. Overall it made it that little bit more believable and so helped to get your heart racing in the tricky spots.
Overall: It is a very character driven plot and I adored these anti-heroes but even as character dominant as the book was it certainly did not lack in plot. I would say if you are interested in reading a Ryan Graudin book to maybe start off with this one as it’s a stand alone and so you won’t be committing to a series and will get a big taste of what else to expect in her other works.
Have you read Walled City?
Have you read any of Ryan Graudins other books?