Review: ‘The Drowned Cities’ by Paolo Bacigalupi

I received this book for free from requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘The Drowned Cities’ by Paolo BacigalupiThe Drowned Cities Series: Ship Breaker #2
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on May 1st, 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Pages: 437
Format: Hardcover
Source: requested from publisher
Soldier boys emerged from the darkness. Guns gleamed dully. Bullet bandoliers and scars draped their bare chests. Ugly brands scored their faces. She knew why these soldier boys had come. She knew what they sought, and she knew, too, that if they found it, her best friend would surely die.

In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool--who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.

This thrilling companion to Paolo Bacigalupi's highly acclaimed Ship Breaker is a haunting and powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


What does it mean when the one person you value most in the world is taken from you? You fight back of course. And that’s what Mahlia does. Mahlia is so unbelievably stubborn. She just does what she wants and most times she gets in trouble when she makes the wrong decisions.

Omg! Intense and heart pounding! I love this one. Half men are scary as heck! Can you imagine a human with coyote, dog and tiger genes running through his veins? That’s what Tool is. But in reality he is so much more that a tool for violence. He has moral standards and his freedom to not have a master is quite compelling.

The setting is so bleak and discarded just like Shipbreaker and you can’t help but feel for the people who live in their world. War is their livelihood, and it’s too sad and depressing to read about child soldiers in this book when you very well know it still appears in reality. The hardships, and battles these children go through makes you wonder what it’s like to be living in a society ripped apart by war. Excellent writing Mr. Bacigalupi! I could have sworn this book could be just as exciting for adults as it is for teenagers!



Do not seek to own what others have done. (229)





  1. Susan T.

    February 27, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    I have heard great things about this author and this book sounds super creepy and exciting. I can’t wait to get it!

  2. Jaime Lester

    June 30, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Shipbreaker has always intrigued me, but I have not read it yet. With the addition of this one, I think that it is time I give it a shot!

  3. Grace Lo

    October 27, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Wow! *adds to TBR list* I’m feeling shivers run up my arm! And because of the perfect rating you gave it, I have to, have to read The Drowned Cities!

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