Dark and gritty, this book is a fitting follow-up to Ship Breaker. However if you're expecting a sequel with familiar characters and scenery this is not that book. Drowned City follows a new protagonist, the feisty and plotting Mahlia. She's a "cast-off", half Chinese, half American, abandoned by her father after the Chinese peacekeepers abandoned Americans to the local factions . She's been formed by a world that hates her. She lost her hand, while fleeing the battling armies and was taken in by a kindly doctor.
When Mahlia's only friend, the meek and gentle Mouse is taken by one of the warring factions, she's determined to get him back. Enlisting the help of a half-man, a genetically modified war machine, she follows the army to save Mouse.
Even with a backdrop of war, this book is mostly about Mahlia. It's about how she sees herself, who she really is and her fight for survival in a hostile world. This is not a happy cheerful book, but if you've already read Shipbreaker you shouldn't expect that. But it's a good, fast-paced, intense read.
This was a really enjoyable read, especially when I was in Montana and visited Yellowstone (Read about that here). The timing was accidental, but great. The book was really fun, the male lead was outdoorsy, funny and the relationship developed over time. I very rarely like a paranormal romance, so the fact that I like Unearthy speaks volumes about it's quality in comparison to everything else. It was a little romantic for my taste, but because the the relationship was actually healthy that's not a bad thing. The male main character wasn't controlling or demeaning or any of the other things that apparently pass for romantic in YA books. Where most paranormals go wrong this one went right.
This book is brilliant. I listened to the audiobook and Jason Isaac's is a wonderful narrator. A Monster Calls rings heartbreakingly true, capturing how it feels when someone you love is chronically ill. It captures the sorrow, the anger and the guilt. I don't even feel like I really need to review this because it's all been said before. But in case you've been living under a rock, read this book. It'll hurt, but it's one of the most truthful books about illness and grief I've ever read.