Mei Yee was sold into the sex trade by her drunken father. She is kept separate from the other girls. The only person she sees besides the girls who take care of her room and Mama-san is her exclusive customer, the Ambassador. Mei Yee is expected to accept this is how it’s going to be the rest of her life. Mei Yee still has hope, though. She dreams of finding her sister again. She pictures them by the ocean. A place they’re never seen, but one that still gives her a safe place feeling.
Her younger sister, Jin, has run off to find her. In order to survive the murders, gangs, and thieves of the Walled city, Jin has to live as a boy. She has been nimble in body and mind since a young age due to her father’s rages. Her quick thinking and speed have kept her alive, but they are not enough. The city is huge and full of brothels. She has been able to check out most of them on her own, but now she needs help. She believes she may have finally found where her sister is being kept. There’s only one problem. It’s run by the deadliest gang in the city, The Brotherhood.
Dai is in the city due to Reasons. These Reasons call for him to get in with the Brotherhood. He has a plan, but in order to work, he is going to need a partner. Someone fast and who can think on their feet. He’s just met Jin and thinks “he” may be perfect.
The Walled City is told in three alternating POVs. Mei Yee and Jin both held my attention better the Dai. His character had an artificial feel while Mei Yee and Jin felt natural. The world building was hit and miss, but overall not bad. It was the story itself that brought my rating down. It took me over a month and a half to finish this book. The story was never exciting enough to hold my attention for more then ten to fifteen minutes at a time. If this hadn’t been an ARC it would have been a DNF.
**Thank you Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for providing this in exchange far an honest review**