Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Drowned Cities (edition 2012)

by Paolo Bacigalupi

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6405015,108 (3.84)47
Title:The Drowned Cities
Authors:Paolo Bacigalupi
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:default collection
Tags:science fiction, young adult, read, post-apocalyptic

Work details

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

  1. 00
    Orleans by Sherri L. Smith (legxleg)
    legxleg: Both are fast-paced novels set in a post-apocalyptic gulf coast.
  2. 00
    Enclave by Ann Aguirre (4leschats)
    4leschats: Female protagonist; Survival and Adaptation in a post-apocalyptic world.
  3. 00
    Pure by Julianna Baggott (4leschats)
    4leschats: Both books have a female protagonist who is scarred and trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
  4. 00
    Flashback by Dan Simmons (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: Both books extrapolate on current social and political trends to produce a dystopian future.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 47 mentions

English (49)  French (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
After reading the first chapter in the book store I thought it would be an engrossing read. Instead though of being intriguing it turned out to be pretty lame. There should have been a much better 'quest' than the plot line. ( )
  skraft001 | Oct 4, 2015 |
Liked this book. My only complaint was that it was too lengthy. I've decided that I won't pick up any book that's more than 300 pages because I don't have that much time.

I like Paulo's writing style. He gives descriptions as a silent observer - it immerses you into his world. But unfortunately, in the second chapter there were way too many people suddenly introduced and it became increasingly difficult to follow what was going on after that.

Nevertheless my Kindle showed me that it would take me about 9 hours to finish off this book. That's way too much time for this. I'll pick up something shorter next time. ( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
The problem with surviving was that you ended up with the ghosts of everyone you'd ever left behind riding on your shoulders. Page 219

The Drowned Cities is the second book in a series set during a future time where wars and gangs have taken over. Rules, laws, and society has broken down and ironically the Asian super powerhouse, China is playing the role of peacekeepers, trying to bring civilization back to a place that has spiralled into a chaotic mash of violence, children soldiers, and territory battles. Amidst the melting pot of death and survival are two orphans, separated by circumstances, befriended by monsters, both looking for whatever hope remains for those still left standing.

Bacigalupi seems to have an affinity for writing dark and gritty books. The Drowned Cities paints a very grim picture of humanity's future. Civilians and children alike are essentially conscripted for slave labour or to be part of roving gangs bent on pillaging and plundering, all in the name of being the top dog for just another day. Survival is king and sometimes that means sacrificing the very part of what makes us human. Evil is rampant and comes in varying shades and yet friendship can also come from the least likely of places. A taut and above average YA novel that can't be considered light reading, but still eye opening nonetheless. I, for one will be anticipating what this author will be writing next. Recommended. ( )
  jolerie | Dec 27, 2014 |

Reading a truly impressive YA novel: Paulo Bacigalupi's The Drowned Cities. In a post environmental and civil collapse, The Atlantic seaboard south of Boston is a war zone of competing warlords and militia groups. Civilization still exists in China and the Northeast US, but Washington DC is a battleground of militias fighting over scavenge since the Chinese peacekeepers withdrew.

The author is doing a really, really good job of telling a story while showing kids what life is like in Iraq or Central Africa, but this time it is happening to people that look like they do. Ever since I noticed that one of the militia leaders is Lt. Sayles, I can't help but see this as a version of "Men with Guns" for kids. I think it is brilliant, but possibly too rough and brutal to be really popular. Jingoist patriots and Fundamentalist religious folks would probably call this one of the "I hate Amercia and everything is our fault" works by the leftist elite. But I don't think that is the point. I think, besides telling a good story, he's trying to show the rational outcomes of ideology trumping rational action. I think he's also trying to make horrors like child soldiers in Uganda or the Central African Republic and Iraqi civilians facing violence from both side around the Green Zone in Baghdad into something that they can empathize with. "There but for the grace of gaia go I" or something to that effect.

In any case, I'm not done with the book yet. It might make some sense to read Shipbreaker, another novel written in this same future first, but that isn't really necessary. There is one character: Tool, a bioengineered human-wolf hybrid super-soldier (the books are less sci-fi than this makes it sound) who connects the two stories. But if you haven't read Bacigalupi and are intrigued by post-peak oil future eco-catastophe stories check out any of his work from the short stories in Pump Six, to the amazingly awesome Windup Girl, to Shipbreaker to The Drowned Cities.

Upon finishing, I still really liked the book. It gets three start (plus) for being just a touch didactic. I think it is appropriately dark in a way that YA audiences can handle, but it is dark and rough. (Mean kids don't make you feel bad, they cut off your extremities.) It echos the final thoughts of The Windup Girl with a little less optimism. Our creations will not just rule the planet, but probably rule us as well. I had less of a sense that humans had created their hell in this one than I had a sense that humans *are* hell in the "War is Hell" and "Hell is other people" senses of the term. Mr. Bacigalupi no likey the peoples. ( )
  nnschiller | Sep 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
The Drowned Cities is an adventure story, a thriller and a sharply drawn fable about the state of the world today. It succeeds handily on all three fronts
added by 4leschats | editBook Page, Heather Seggel (May 1, 2012)
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.
added by 4leschats | editPublishers Weekly (pay site) (Mar 12, 2012)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For my father
First words
Chains clanked in the darkness of the holding cells.
Last words
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

In a dark future America that has devolved into unending civil wars, orphans Mahlia and Mouse barely escape the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities, but their fragile safety is soon threatened and Mahlia will have to risk everything if she is to save Mouse, as he once saved her.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
38 wanted
5 pay9 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.84)
1 1
2 6
2.5 3
3 31
3.5 16
4 75
4.5 15
5 23


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,908,206 books! | Top bar: Always visible