Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Set in the same horrific world as Bacigalupi's Printz-winning Ship Breaker, this superb, violent tale concerns 'war maggots' Mahlia and Mouse, two kids trying to survive in an impoverished village not far from the tropical Drowned Cites that were once Washington, D.C. Life is a war zone, with gangs of marauders periodically sweeping the area raping, pillaging, and forcibly recruiting new boy soldiers for their half-remembered patriotic and religious causes. When Mouse is taken by the United Patriot Front, Mahlia, who has already lost a hand to the war, makes a foolhardy rescue attempt, aided by Tool, a hulking, genetically enhanced half-man, a killing machine who has broken away from his masters. Tool still remembers 'how he and his pack had run the streets under fire, blades and machine guns held high,' but finds himself forming a new pack of sorts with the determined Mahlia. Beautifully written, filled with high-octane action, and featuring badly damaged but fascinating and endearing characters, this fine novel tops its predecessor and can only increase the author's already strong reputation. Ages 14 – up. Agent: Martha Millard, Martha Millard Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In this exhilarating companion to Printz Award winner and National Book Award finalist Ship Breaker
, Paolo Bacigalupi brilliantly captures a dark future America that has devolved into unending civil wars, driven by demagogues who recruit children to become soulless killing machines. Two refugees of these wars, Mahlia and Mouse, are known as war maggots: survivors who have barely managed to escape the unspeakable violence plaguing the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities. But their fragile safety is threatened when they discover a wounded half-man — a bioengineered war beast named Tool, who is hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers. When tragedy strikes, Mahlia is faced with an impossible decision: risk everything to save the boy who once saved her, or flee to her own safety.
Drawing upon the brutal truths of current events, The Drowned Cities is a powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.
A stark, beautiful fantasy that explores the aftermath of the battles we fight and the slow, careful ways love can mend broken hearts—and a broken world.
The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm. When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.
About the Author
Paolo Bacigalupi's debut young adult novel, Ship Breaker, was a Michael L. Printz Award winner, a National Book Award finalist, and Locus Award winner. His debut adult novel, The Windup Girl, was named by Time Magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009, and won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W.Campbell Memorial awards. His short story collection, Pump Six and Other Stories, was a 2008 Locus Award winner for Best Collection and was also named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. He lives in western Colorado with his wife and son.