From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-In the ruins of an America toppled by greed, gas shortages, and flooding caused by climate change, civil war runs rampant. Orphans Mahlia and Mouse have been taken in by a kindly doctor, but when they cross the wrong soldier boys, even he may not be able to save them. Mahlia has turned hateful and pessimistic since the maiming that left her without a right hand. She decides that hope lies in saving a bioengineered soldier-beast, a half-man, who could protect her as she flees the Drowned Cities. It is only when Mouse is taken by soldier boys that Mahlia turns deep into the city's broken heart to try to rescue him. Joshua Swanson brings to life Bacigalupi's dark and compelling companion (2012) to his Printz Award-winning title, Ship Breaker (2010, both Little, Brown). Good pacing and staunch delivery keep listeners on the edge of their seats as Mahlia and Mouse fight to survive in a post-apocalyptic America. The inclusion of a creepy half-man ratchets up the tension a notch for the whole second half of the listening experience. In libraries where patrons are clamoring for solid dystopian novels, this will be a solid choice.-Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
* "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." (Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "The novel's greatest success lies in the creation of a world that is so real, the grit and decay of war and ruin will lay thick on the minds of readers long after the final page. The narrative, however, is equally well crafted.... Breathtaking." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Bacigalupi writes with a furious energy that makes this brilliant depiction of an all-too-believable future impossible to forget. A story that will resonate beyond its final page."
(Booklist, starred review
* "Bacigalupi's intense, action-filled novel is a heartbreaking and powerfully moving portrait of individual resiliency amidst extreme circumstances that rivals, if not surpasses, the excellence of its predecessor." (The Horn Book, starred review
* "Bacigalupi brings to life a post-apocalyptic America that thrills the mind." --(VOYA, starred review