The City We Became

Orbit: Hachette. Mar. 2020. 448p. ISBN 9780316509848. $28. FANTASY
People feel the moods of the cities they live in. Sometimes the cities themselves become living things, connected to all the lives within their limits. New York City has been born, but there is an otherworldly and dark force determined to destroy those connections and overlay itself. It will take the soul of the city to deal with the enemy. Of course it isn’t so simple: New York is six souls: the five boroughs and the whole, and getting them to work together will be challenging. The pains of gentrification, bias, and hatred for anyone “other” is starting to take root, spread by the power that wants to take over. Can these distinct souls find a way to come together before the enemy takes hold, or will the city bend to a power literally out of this world?
VERDICT Jemisin (The Broken Earth) writes a harsh love story to one of America’s most famous places. As raw and vibrant as the city itself, the prose pushes the boundaries of fantasy and brings home what residents already know—their city is alive. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]
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