Into the Sunken City

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Into the Sunken City
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
January 23, 2024
ISBN
978-0063310513
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Perfect for fans of Fable and House of Salt and Sorrows, this spectacular YA fantasy adventure debut is like nothing else, featuring a unique twist on Treasure Island, a magnetic second chance romance, and a thrilling heist where the reward is great—but the risks are even greater.
In the slowly sinking city of Coconino, Arizona, the days are long, the money is tight, and the rain never stops.
For Jin Haldar, this life is nothing new—ever since her father died in a diving accident, she’s barely made ends meet for her and her younger sister, Thara.

Enter Bhili: a drifter who offers Jin and Thara the score of a lifetime—a massive stash of gold hidden in the sunken ruins of Las Vegas.

Jin knows it’s too dangerous. She stopped diving after her father’s accident. But when her sister decides to go, Jin’s left with only one choice: to go with her.

A ragtag crew is assembled—including Jin’s annoyingly hot ex-boyfriend. From there, a high-stakes heist ensues that’s beyond even Jin’s wildest fears. Crumbling ruins, sea beasts, corsairs, and a mysterious figure named João Silva all lie in wait. To survive, Jin will have to do what she promised herself she’d never do again: dive.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Breath-taking Adventure
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Breath-taking adventure! Into the Sunken City by debut author Dinesh Thiru is an exciting dystopian retelling of Treasure Island set in a future that sees most of the world underwater and divers are wrecking sunken landmarks and cities. Jin Haldar’s life changed when her father died in a diving accident leaving her in charge of their seaside inn and her younger sister, Thara. They are barely making ends meet, and Jin is terrified that she will be conscripted into the Navy as a way to pay their taxes leaving Thara alone. After a wrecking mission gone wrong, Jin is at her wit’s end until a mysterious corsair shows up and offers a deal she can’t refuse.

I loved almost everything about this book from the characters and Jin’s narration to the adventure and danger of life in this dystopian future. Jin is an interesting character to view this life from. She is still grieving the loss of her father and trying to cope with suddenly being the adult of the house, responsible for her sister and their livelihood, and she is struggling. Her boyfriend’s sudden departure doesn’t help this. She’s angry and feels alone, unable to see what her future holds.

Then Bhili arrives. A drifter and potential corsair, Jin isn’t sure if Bhili can be trusted, but her gold is too much to pass up. Bhili offers two gold coins a month for Jin to allow her to stay. Then after gaining the trust of Thara, she offers more: a chance to divide a large treasure from the sunken city of Las Vegas. Jin, along with her sister Thara, her ex-boyfriend, and his friend, join Bhili on an adventure that promises riches and a way to fulfill her dream: to see the sun.

The plot is incredibly fast-paced. I didn’t want to sit this book down for fear I’d miss something. The world Thiru has created here echoes of the past, but is a desolate future. The clouds have knitted together, and it rains without ending. There is no sun, only stories of what the world was like before. Most of the larger cities and coastlines are gone, sunken into the vast sea, and so the people have turned to diving as a means to survive. The tie-in to Treasure Island created a fantastic read. I can’t speak too much on it though because it’s been about twenty (or more) years since I read so a lot of what I remember of the novel is from The Muppets. However, the thrill of adventure and danger of pirates echoes the source material well and creates an entirely new story to get lost in.

Overall, I really enjoyed Into the Sunken City. This is a fantastic debut! If you are looking for adventure, danger, and romance, look no further. Highly recommend it!
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Once a wrecker always a wrecker
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What I liked: Thiru's world-building is vivid and detailed that you feel like you're in this rain-soaked world, where all the world's treasures are thousands of feet below the water level and are yours for the taking if you're brave enough to face what dwells below. Jin and her sister are barely surviving in the world they are living in since their dad was killed in a diving accident and left them to run the inn by themselves. At times Jin is crippled by the thought of diving to have a chance to catch a treasure, for what if she ends up like her dad and leaves her sister all to herself. Jin struggles with trust at times, and that makes for poor choices. That ending leaves me believing we will get more from the fantastic debut author.
Final Verdict: A clever plot, fast pace, and brave and sometimes untrustworthy characters that allow you to escape into this drowned world to achieve the dream of seeing the sun, but at what cost?
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