Saturday, February 14, 2015

'City of Savages' by Lee Kelly


It’s been nearly two decades since the Red Allies first attacked New York, and Manhattan is now a prisoner-of-war camp, ruled by Warden Rolladin and her brutal, impulsive warlords. For 17-year-old Skyler Miller, Manhattan is a cage that keeps her from the world beyond the city’s borders. But for Sky’s 16-year-old sister, Phee, the P.O.W. camp is a dangerous playground of possibility, and the only home she’d ever want.

When Sky and Phee discover their mom’s hidden journal from the outbreak of the war, they both realize there’s more to Manhattan—and their mother—than either of them had ever imagined. And after a group of strangers arrives at the annual P.O.W. census, the girls begin to uncover the island’s long-kept secrets. The strangers hail from England, a country supposedly destroyed by the Red Allies, and Rolladin’s lies about Manhattan’s captivity begin to unravel.

Hungry for the truth, the sisters set a series of events in motion that ends in the death of one of Rolladin’s guards. Now they’re outlaws, forced to join the strange Englishmen on an escape mission through Manhattan. Their flight takes them into subways haunted by cannibals, into the arms of a sadistic cult in the city’s Meatpacking District, and, through the pages of their mom’s old journal, into the island’s dark and shocking past. Sky and Phee are dependent on each other, and their ragged posse, for survival, but as their feelings grow toward the handsome English boy Ryder, love and jealousy threaten to break them apart.

While primarily a thriller, City of Savages is also a story about the many meanings of sisterhood, told across two generations of New York women—those who survived a terrible tragedy, and those who were raised to live in its aftermath.

For the characters...I liked the bond between the two sisters.
Sky was really cool. She is a reader. (Which is surprising in this world.) Someone who keeps her emotions in check. I felt a connection to Sky. She was older, but she was ignored. In this new world, she was not good for much. At least in her eyes. She was a scholar. Not a fighter. It was interesting. And she forgot about reality in her books. I do that as well. (That's why I read.) She was interesting. Her mindset is this way for most of the book. Until she meets Ryder and starts to think otherwise. She does end up doing something quite amazing. I did like that. She had hidden in the shadows for a long time. But then she broke free. 
I didn't really like Phee. Sure, she was pretty badass. But I didn't care too much for her personality. She was a bit cocky. And, as Sky said, she was accepting of things. The Standard. Rolladin's Park. She wasn't a bad sister or anything. She just didn't pique my interest as Sky had. 
Is anyone else wondering the odds of two book-lovers in a post-apocalyptic world? Seriously. There aren't that many people left. There can't be that many people who rather read than survive... 

The plot wasn't bad. It was pretty interesting. The different places. The different people. As well as the sisters' mother's life unraveling. (Did anyone else guess the Rolladin secret?) We got to know not only the After but the Before. (Before and After the world ended.) It was fascinating. It gave depth to the story. The premise didn't promise much actually. At times, I was wondering why the story went like that. It had times when I wanted to stop. It was a bit...long. It was pulling it out a bit. I didn't like that. 
The action wasn't bad. It was complicated. It was twisted. It was really interesting. It was fast-paced. And it was something I needed. The action was good. But there were times when I wanted something more. More fighting. More bloodshed. (Dark, I know.) 

The love triangle. Ugh. I didn't like it. I ranted about it to anyone who could hear. I hated it even. Why are good books ruined by love triangles? Families torn apart even! I didn't like it. It tore the two sisters apart. For this one guy. Seriously? Wow. That doesn't make sense. I didn't like it. In general, I don't like romance.
I felt like he shouldn't have chosen either. Then maybe they, the girls, could have gotten together. And become better friends and made raunchy jokes about Ryder's lack of kissing experience. I dunno... But it seems like everyone was pairing off. Geez. I didn't like that. Was there a hint of a Sam-Phee relationship? It seemed so. Barely. Maybe. Maybe not. 

I didn't care for the way the world ended. It didn't seem right. The premise wasn't...accurate? China wouldn't really attack the US. I don't think so. I was told that China wouldn't dare. They rely on us. But...if China's broke, so is the US. And a lot of other countries as well. That doesn't seem quite likely. I didn't particularly like that the story was told that way. A nuclear war seems more likely. 
I'm not trying to sound like a smartass. I'm just stating facts I've learned in my different classes. This doesn't seem possible. 
Also. Did China like...just bomb us? I mean...the US has a top military. You don't just bomb the US. I mean...seriously? 

The ending is meh. Well...not the best. It's vague. It doesn't truly suit the story. It gives the impression of hope. But we never learn where they end up. I feel that a sequel is coming... (Not that I would care for one.) I don't know if I like how they just...leave. They don't even consider exploring the US. Hey, for all you know, the border with Mexico is fine. You never know. You're assuming other clans/communities never tried to rebuild society. And that isn't necessarily true. There is alway a what if. 
Also. It's an ending that reminds of me 'The Sound of Music'. They're going somewhere. You don't know where. But they're going somewhere. You know they are. Are they just going to travel until they find civilization? Or until they run out of food? 

Sunny with a 50% chance of rain

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