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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 19, 2012
Set in the same petroleum-free dystopian future history as his critically acclaimed "Shipbreaker", with characters and a setting as compelling as his great literary debut "The Windup Girl", Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Drowned Cities" ranks among our best recent dystopian Science Fiction novels. It is also among the finest novels published this year, a mesmerizing tale about war and survival, friendship and loyalty that I have found far more compelling than recently published dystopian fiction from the likes of Ernest Cline, Colson Whitehead and Karen Thompson Walker. Paolo Bacigalupi demonstrates once more why he is one of our most impressive young writers of science fiction, conjuring yet another spellbinding tale that takes readers into some of the darkest corners of human behavior, emphasizing American Civil War Union general William T. Sherman's observation that "War is Hell". With "The Drowned Cities", Baciogalupi offers ample evidence that he is becoming one of the finest prose stylists writing in contemporary science fiction, joining the ranks of such impressive stylists as China Mieville and Michael Swanwick, and deservedly worthy of appealing to a broad spectrum of readers, not only those interested in Young Adult fiction. An unlikely encounter with a bioengineered living weapon of war, Tool, plunges adolescent outcasts Mahlia and Mouse into an epic journey of survival, as they attempt fleeing the pillaged, almost desolate, war-torn landscape of the Drowned Cities, located amidst a bleak dystopian futuristic America that readers may find all too probable. Theirs is also an epic quest in attaining adulthood, brought about by circumstances beyond their control - and those all too brutal and harsh -within a fictional setting far darker and dire than that depicted in Cormac McCarthy's "The Road". Without question, "The Drowned Cities" is one that merits ample consideration for science fiction's highest literary honors; it is such an engrossing work that it should be noticed and celebrated by those familiar only with mainstream literary Anglo-American fiction too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2012
I rate this as a four star all round but would give it a 4.5 for adult entertainment. The author seems to have applied the little girl themes of The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan to the killing fields of Cambodia. Not something you want to read to your child at bedtime but adults will enjoy the Frankenstein monster meets Road Warrior story line.
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on August 27, 2012
After reading some of Bacigalupi's short stories in Pump Six I was hooked. However when I found out that this novel was YA I was a little skeptical of The Drowned Cities. So my expectations weren't super high. Well those expectations were blow away. What a vivid, brutal, realistic roller coaster ride. Tool is an great character and hopefully will see more of him in the future. Bacigalupi has to be considered one of the best if not the best new school Sci-Fi writers. A bonus is that this book is a companion to Ship Breaker. I'm already looking forward to it. 4.5 stars.
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on August 27, 2013
It was a lot more political and more gory than I remember the first book to be. I feel like the author took a different turn with the books and the story, not to say it wasn't a good story. However, if I had to choose which book I was more in love with, it would be the Ship Breakers story.
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Paolo Bacigalupi - The Drowned Cities - This is Paolo's latest dystopian adventure novel, I have all of his books so far, this one is a prequel to Shipbreaker, which explores earlier times, it's really well written.
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on August 30, 2013
I am enjoying Paolo's further exploration of his vision of the future. Good stuff.

Not sure why I pulled a star from the review; but I'm standing by my assessment.
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on December 22, 2014
A good follow up to th wind girl. A decadent life in the near future. Complex persons caugth in what appear as a dead end away from humanity but still hoping.
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on September 15, 2014
Bacigalupi is an exceptional writer, and the story in this book is about as good as it gets. Can't ask for much more.
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