I loved this book enough that it absolutely deserves its own blog post, so there we go.
The City We Became starts with the premises that when a city becomes old enough and large enough and… “enough”, it becomes somehow alive, and embodied by a human avatar.
And right now, it’s New York’s time to shine. But things don’t go exactly as planned. First, something or someone is apparently fighting hard for New York not to be born. Second, New York is not represented by one, but by several avatars.
For the rest, I’ll let you get to know New York’s avatars and their fight to save their city against the what threatens to destroy them all – with the help of a couple of other cities, thankfully.
I’ve been to New York twice, and I wouldn’t say I know the city well. It’s large and loud and great and overwhelming, that’s for sure. But I did enjoy seeing it through Jemisin’s fantastic prose, recognizing a few bits here and there, and it definitely made me want to go back there. Some book settings are described as “the city acts like a character in itself” – Jemisin took that one literally, and her city is plain brilliant (and quite snarky).
Some readers on The Internets criticized the amount of “on the nose wokeness” and/or “SJW agenda”. I say bring it on. Yes, it was a tad on the nose sometimes. And it was SO GOOD. I did, however, have a large issue with this book. My brain couldn’t stop interrupting my reading every 5 to 10 pages fangirling about HOW GREAT IS THIS BOOK AAAAAAAAH I LOVE IT.
And you know the best thing? It’s planned to be a series. And I already look forward to re-reading this one before I read the next one. And if you want a taste of it, the prologue is available on Tor.com’s website under the title The City Born Great. It’s… almost identical to the prologue, that is 😉
Authors, beware: The City We Became is my current yardstick for “best book I read in 2020”. You have been warned 🙂