Emma Patton


Significant Shortcomings, Young Adult, Family, Orphans, War, Survival, Monster

Document Type

Book Review


In the harsh world of the Drowned Cities, it’s difficult to remember what it means to be human. Malia and Mouse are both refugees under the care of a kind doctor, who is teaching Malia his craft. Though Malia and Mouse aren’t related, they take care of each other like siblings would. One day, they stumble across a dying half-man named Tool as they're walking through the jungle. Half-men were engineered by scientists to be nearly unbeatable opponents in the wars. Since half-men aren’t even human, it’s unthinkable to consider negotiating with him. After all, his only instincts are for survival. But Malia and Mouse live in a harsh world, and everyone, human or not, is just trying to survive. They discover that they have more in common with Tool than they thought.