By Paolo Bacigalupi
Mahlia and Mouse have escaped the drowned cities and found refuge with a kind doctor, but when the children find a badly injured “half-man” all the violence and evil they escaped comes to find them. Mahlia chooses to gamble on the half-man’s loyalty even when the doctor threatens to abandon her and Mouse. Things quickly spiral out of control leaving Mahlia with few options. With the doctor gone and Mouse taken as a soldier-boy, Mahlia must face the consequences of a difficult choice. She joins forces with the enhanced half-man, Tool, to rescue Mouse from the horror of the never-ending war that has taken away everything she ever loved.
This companion book to Ship Breaker follows Mahlia, Mouse, and the mysterious Tool on their brutal adventures. Along the way, Tool discovers himself forming a new pack with Mahlia, while Mouse brings forth the humanity in a young soldier who thought he’d left his scruples long behind.
While beautifully written, The Drowned Cities does not shy from the horrors of war and is for a mature audience.
Reviewed by Melendra