The City We Became

(The Great Cities Trilogy, Book 1)

437 pages

Published Aug. 8, 2020 by Orbit.


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4 stars (5 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.

4 editions

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 …

The City We Became

4 stars

This book was unlike anything I've read before (which is totes what I say every time I read one of Jemisin's books, but yanno). I loved how far out this one is, and how vividly I could see all of this coming together in my head even when the prose didn't... super make sense. There was some scifi/fantasy plodding at moments, and some of the characters didn't get as much airtime/development as others, but by and large this was a wild ride, exceedingly creative, and highly recommended. PS: I <3 Bronca and I hope she's in the next one!

Review of 'The City We Became' on 'Unknown'

5 stars

If I only knew how to write a fitting review.The timing of this book's publication is as perfect as the story itself. This is a beautiful book despite dealing with a prime selection of the most horrible things life can throw at us: hatred, racism, sexism, homophobia, intersectionality, gentrification and even a very little dash of MRM.Now, we just need to wait for the rest of the trilogy.

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