The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Now, I have to start this by saying I didn't read "Ship Breaker" and maybe that would change my entire outlook...but I don't think so because my two-star rating has more to do with the writing of the story than the actual story itself.
Concerning the plot - it was predictable and did not engage me. I liked the character of Tool the best - he was Grendel-like in a modernized sort of way...a monster with human intellect and ability to care but savage like a beast. He was the most compelling idea in the book. Mahilia and Mouse simply annoyed me - neither of them presented a dynamic impact and the constant focus on her missing hand was simply distracting, not endearing. Mouse was weak; even in moments of strength he was weak.
The underlying disrespect to the context of religion was also very disturbing. These people had faith in nothing, which I suppose is fine, but in that nothingness there was an attempt at order. Faith in nothing equals chaos. And absolutely does not equal factions of armies vying for control.
Overall, the book did not interest me, but I did pass it on to my son - maybe he'll like it more than I did.
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