Into the Sunken City

HarperTeen. Jan. 2024. 368p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063310513.
Gr 9 Up–It’s been 500 years since the Stitching, when clouds fused a cover over the Earth. Since then, rain has fallen every day, leaving most of the world underwater. Jin Haldar, 18, grew up scavenging underwater ruins with her father, until he died in a building collapse in Phoenix-Below. Blaming herself, Jin gave up diving to care for her younger sister, Thara, while struggling to run a coastal inn in Conocino, AZ. When a foul-mouthed old woman named Bhili Bones shows up on their doorstep carrying a suspicious amount of gold, skeptical Jin is reluctant to trust her story of a massive treasure sunken in the depths of Vegas-Drowned. But the amount of money she promises them is life-changing—enough to travel to the Himalayas and see the sun—and with Thara’s future in mind, Jin agrees to dive. Armed with their dad’s valuable atmo-suits and joined by Jin’s ex-boyfriend Taim Mazatlán and friend Saanvi, the group sets out for Vegas-Drowned, only to be captured and held hostage by murderous pirates intent on reaching the gold first. The fresh premise, immersive, waterlogged atmosphere, and cinematic action of this dystopian riff on Treasure Island combine for an unforgettable read perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows or Adrienne Young’s Fable. Worldbuilding is vivid and detailed, while leaving tantalizing questions on the table for an anticipated sequel. Jin and Thara are of South Asian descent; secondary characters are racially diverse.
VERDICT Addictively pulse-pounding deepsea future fiction, this is highly recommended as a first purchase for all collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing