Book: The City We Became (Great Cities 1) by N.K. Jemisin
Release Date: March 24th 2020
Tags: Fantasy | Adult | Urban Fantasy | New York | Diversity | POC | Mexican MC | African American MC | Asian-American MC | LGBTQ+ | Lesbian MC
Trigger/Content Warnings: Male Supremacy | White Supremacy | Racism
Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city.
Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.
But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.
That N.K. Jemisin is a great writer, I already knew. But she made me fall in love with The City We Became.
Everything about The City We Became grabbed my attention. From Sao Paol moving through the city to help to our 5 new yorkers who became one of the boroughs to protect their city and to find New York’s avatar, to cities having a soul. Each character, each borough, had their own elements and character traits attached to their area, but never did they became a type. All the characters were layered with their own life and choices. They find each other and seemingly connect.
Manny or Manhattan was a character I fell for right away. Having his memory taken, he remembers nothing of who he is. It could have made him bland, with his superfocus on the city and the avatar. But it didn’t. We all can feel there is more to him, and hopefully we’ll discover those bits of him in future books. The Bronx is so fierce and I loved it. Brooklyn is more guarded but along the Bronx also the mother hen of the group. And then there is Padmini who is innocent with her heart in the right place. Staten Island has had a troubled youth and has always been sheltered on the island. All the characters are inclusive and diverse.
Through Sao Paol we get a feeling for what is happening outside of the becoming of New York and how things had gone for other cities. That there is a council for instance and that other cities can help each other. And I am so curious to know more.
I know very little about New York nor do I specificially care too. I’m Dutch, I don’t need to. But Jemisin made me care about New York in this book through the characters. She told me stories about Lovecraft and New York histories that gave more depth to the story. To great such a well rounded story that swept me away.