Mock Printz Countdown – The Drowned Cities

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

Book cover for The Drowned Cities - a person's eyes over a dark city with a gold citadel in the centerWar. Suspense. Violence. Terror. And all told in a distressingly believable way, in a world not too unlike our own.

This is not your run-of-the-mill dystopia. It’s an intense battlefield of survival set in a futuristic America. The story follows two friends, Mahlia and Mouse, through this world as they fight off violent, ruthless soldier boys. Mahlia and Mouse flee to the jungles, only to encounter Tool, a genetically engineered killer, part animal and part human, wounded, dangerous, and hunted by the boy soldiers. The two friends are separated – one captured and one facing horrible decisions about what to do next…and who to save.

In a world ravaged by climate change, disparate warring factions, and unending violence, it’s hard enough to survive, let alone hang onto your own humanity and try to save others. Bacigalupi creates an incredible, if not horrifying, world where he develops heart-wrenching moral dilemmas for his characters to face. And through it all, you’re glued to your seat, unable to tear away from the awfulness of it…hoping for a sliver of light at the end of the chaotic tunnel. A companion to the Printz Award title from 2011, Ship Breaker.