The City We Became

(The Great Cities Trilogy, Book 1)

437 pages

Published Aug. 8, 2020 by Orbit.

ISBN:
9780316509848

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4 stars (3 reviews)

In Manhattan, a young grad student gets off the train and realizes he doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can sense the beating heart of the city, see its history, and feel its power. In the Bronx, a Lenape gallery director discovers strange graffiti scattered throughout the city, so beautiful and powerful it's as if the paint is literally calling to her. In Brooklyn, a politician and mother finds she can hear the songs of her city, pulsing to the beat of her Louboutin heels. And they're not the only ones.

5 editions

Wild ride

4 stars

This story will make such a great movie one day. Clearly cinematographic writing takes the reader through a fast-paced urban adventure. The main characters, city avatars, have been transformed into boroughs of New York. In other words, the City comes alive through the lives and bodies of Manny (Manhattan), Bronca (The Bronx), Brooklyn (Brooklyn), Padmini (Queens) and the primary avatar. They have to work together to defend the city against the invasion of a foreign being aiming to halt the growth and spirit of the city, and consequently cause conflict, pain and suffering. Aislyn (Staten Island), will find herself at a crossroads and have to choose which side she's on.

New York is the main character of this book, which is a complete whilrwind tour of a city under attack, but fighting back. Special appearances by avatars Sao Paulo and Hong Kong bring even more diversity to this urban mix …

Putting "urban" in "urban fantasy"

4 stars

The City We Became is urban fantasy, in that it features a bunch of magical stuff happening in a modern day city. It's also urban fantasy in that it is about cities. People are cities and cities are people, and not in a metaphorical way, but in a more supernatural and literal way.

N. K. Jemisin manages to channel the spirit of New York City (where the novel's action focuses) through the novel's characters, without resorting to tired and popular stereotypes of the city and its people. While in a way the book is an ode to New York, it also doesn't shy away from some of its more dark and shameful aspects. All of this is wrapped up in writing that manages to be evocative and sufficiency casual to flow well. The book paints an engaging picture of both the real New York, and its fictional, supernatural, embodied New …

avatar for ben_hr

rated it

3 stars