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Teaser Tuesdays, A Bookish Meme: The Drowned Cities

Teaser Tuesdays
is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR (To-Be-Read) lists if they like your teasers!

And here is mine for this week:

The book is The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi's terrific sequel to his terrific dystopian novel, Ship Breaker. But the sentences won't make sense without some background first:

Mahlia is a teenage girl living in a post-apocalyptic version of the U.S. Being half-Chinese has made her a special target of the sadistic "soldier boys," who once captured her and cut off her right hand. She managed to escape and has been living with kindly Doctor Mahfouz, who has treated her like a daughter and is training her to be a doctor.

The passage I've chosen is on page 153. Mahlia wants to use their medicine to save an injured Half-Man, a monstrous hybrid created by combining human genetic material with that of dogs, hyenas, and tigers, in order to make the perfect killing machine. She hopes that saving his life will convince the creature to provide the muscle she needs to leave the Drowned Cities altogether and travel north to safety. Doctor Mahfouz, a pacifist, disagrees. The Half-Man is enormously dangerous and unpredictable. Even if Mahlia can convince him to join them, forming an alliance so that the creature can kill her enemies for her would make Mahlia a part of the violence around her. But Mahlia is sick of being a victim; the Half-Man represents the only chance she can see to escape the horrors of her world. When Doctor Mahfouz steps toward her to take the medicine away, she pulls a knife on him, the man who has protected and loved her.

"Mahlia wanted to say she was sorry, to apologize, to make it right, but the knife was already between them, and the doctor was looking at her like she was some kind of soldier boy, a monster without morals. With a sick feeling, she realized that even if she put the knife down and apologized, there wasn't any going back."