This book, which I ordered from an independent bookstore, complete with a bookplate signed by the author and virtual attendance at an interview/event held by the bookstore was one of my favorite reads of 2022. Published in 2020 by my favorite science fiction writer, N. K. Jemisin, this sci fi novel takes place in New York City. Many of you who have followed my blog know about my fascination with NYC, so you can imagine how fast I ordered this book after reading about it coming out. It was everything I had hoped for and more.
The City We Became is Jemisin’s first book in The Great Cities Trilogy. Neil Gaiman declares it to be “Glorious,” and, indeed it is.
“Every city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths; others are as new as children. New York? She’s got six–and all six will be called to arms in the greatest battle the city has ever fought.” The story opens with an exciting, terrifying scene where a young man, later identified as Manhattan, encounters monsters and catastrophic activity in “The Battle of FDR Drive” in chapter one. Each of New York’s boroughs makes up a team of individuals who must fight creatures from an alternate universe who seek to destroy NYC and eventually the Earth.
Set in contemporary NYC, this “modern masterpiece of culture, identity, magic, and myth,”has just whetted my appetite for the second book in the series, presumably set in Paris; then I think it’s on to London for the final book in the series. I can hardly wait!
I need a friend, one who has a taste for urban fantasy and is a fan of NYC. Seriously, I have bought a signed copy of N.K Jemisin’s The City We Became, and need to MAKE time to read it. I first read this author in the Broken Earth series a few years ago when I bought the trilogy after its recommendation by blogging friend Sarah of Brainfluff. As a summer project, My Better Half and I took turns reading it aloud to each other. When fall schedules made an appearance again, we started Book Two, but soon he had less time to read than did I, so with his permission, I continued to read the book to the end, finishing my mid-semester. I put off reading Book Three for almost two years, making several false starts before finally finishing the trilogy during the Christmas Holidays that year.
The author is simply amazing, and when I saw that a Houston bookstore was offering a signed bookplate and a copy of the book as part of their online conversation with Jemisin, I jumped at the opportunity. So, now I have a copy of the book but do not have the self-discipline to begin the book and not be distracted by finishing library books first, finishing books for challenges first, etc. This is a book I want to read for myself, but I need someone to keep me accountable to reading x number of pages or chapters per day or week to check in with to assure that I stick to a schedule.
Who will read this book with me and discuss it after we finish. I am open to how much or little we read at a time and how often we check in to keep each other updated on whether we are on track?
Here are its opening lines:
See, What Happened Was
I sing the city.
F***ing city. I stand on the rooftop of a building I don’t live in and spread my arms and tighten my middle and yell nonsense ululations at the construction site that blocks my view. I’m really singing to the cityscape beyond. The city’ll figure it out.”
The book is described as “Glorious” on the cover by Neil Gaiman. It was a New York Times Bestseller and Jemisin is a four-time Hugo award-winning author. Interested yet? This 2020 publication is the first in The Great Cities Trilogy, but you don’t have to commit to all three books–just this one.
Anybody interested? Say so in the comments/reply box below.