The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Walled City followed the stories of three people: Mei Yee, Jin Ling and Dai in the walled city of Hak Nam. Dai was under deadline to perform a certain task within the walls, involving a powerful gang leader, and his heavily guarded brothel.
Dai soon realized he needed help which he found in Jin Ling as his drug deal runner, then Mei Yee as his spy within the brothel. Things quickly got out of hand when distrust crept in between Dai and Jin.
It was beyond fascinating that Hak Nam was inspired by the now demolished walled city of Kowloon in China.
There was danger at every corner and you must consider everyone your enemy until proven otherwise. The constant shadows and small streets added a powerful and unsettling feel to the setting, including claustrophobia.
The story was told in three pov and every time it switched, the change made the events progress. The constant tension and heart pounding scenes will keep you at the edge of your seat.
The relationship between characters was so real and vivid. Not knowing who you could trust but choosing to do so because the alternative was not an option was gripping. Dai's relationship with Jin was my favorite. I would tell you more about it except it would spoil the story for you.
The Walled City covered serious problems like sex and human trafficking. It reminded me of how resilient human nature could be but also how pliable it could become when put under enough stress for an extended amount of time.
Despite the serious tone, I was thoroughly entertained and was super happy it turned out to be a satisfying standalone.
I believe it is a standalone. Is it not?