The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities #1) (Paperback)
Other Books in Series
This is book number 1 in the The Great Cities series.
Ryan's September 2021 pick, 2 of 3
Audiobook recommendation! This book is phenomenal no matter how you read it, but I want to specifically recommend the audiobook, which is maybe the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to. The human avatars of the boroughs of New York City are fighting a Lovecraftian enemy that’s attempting to devour New York. This book is fantastical and wild and tackles themes of racism and classism while being a thrilling sci-fi adventure. The audiobook weaves in subtle sound effects and musical cues that transport you directly into the world of the novel. The story is addictive and fast-paced and you will not want to stop listening to it. I absolutely devoured this audiobook and have been screaming about it ever since. (If you listen to our podcast, The Laydown, you’ve probably heard me gushing about this book). N.K. Jemisin perfectly gets to the heart and soul of New York City, and the enemy is horrifyingly real. Just trust me on this one. Grab this audiobook from Libro.fm and thank me later.— From Ryan
Jim's September 2020 pick 2 of 3
New York has never been an easy city to deal with. It's expensive and crowded. There are language barriers and transportation woes. In The City We Became, NYC is still a headache, but that is because, in addition to everything else, aliens have invaded and are trying to take it over. Instead of being just a slab of geography, the city is embodied by five people, one for each borough, who need to find a sixth person representing the city as a whole. Only when they join together can the alien force be defeated. Considering how different each borough is, it will not be easy to pull off.
This is not the type of book that I normally read, but because of its setting, I gave it a shot. I found it very interesting, especially because of the diversity of the characters and how Jemisin captured the essence of each borough so well. Staten Island, in particular, the overlooked borough, is drawn so well as a character exuding an attitude of hurt pride and smug superiority.
The City We Became is a cool sci-fi read that had me turning the pages, hungry to find out what was going to happen next. And as I made my way through the book, kind of like traveling through the city itself, I was blown away at every turn. I will never be able to look at NYC the same way again— From Jim
April 2020 Indie Next List
“I love N.K. Jemisin’s books, I love New York City, and I love this book about the soul and personification of New York. The City We Became might just be my favorite book to be published in 2020. This story is filled with tension, humor, and great characters, with a guest appearance near and dear to me. While this book is the beginning of a trilogy, it is completely satisfying as a stand-alone novel. Read it and be happy.”
— Doug Chase, Powell's Books, Portland, OR
Three-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a "glorious" story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City. 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. Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six.For more from N. K. Jemisin, check out: The Inheritance TrilogyThe Hundred Thousand KingdomsThe Broken KingdomsThe Kingdom of Gods The Inheritance Trilogy (omnibus edition)Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych (e-only short fiction)The Awakened Kingdom (e-only novella) Dreamblood DuologyThe Killing MoonThe Shadowed Sun The Dreamblood Duology (omnibus) The Broken EarthThe Fifth SeasonThe Obelisk GateThe Stone Sky How Long 'til Black Future Month? (short story collection)
"A glorious fantasy." —Neil Gaiman
About the Author
N. K. Jemisin is the first author in history to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugo Awards, all for her Broken Earth trilogy. Her work has also won the Nebula, Locus, and Goodreads Choice Awards. She has been a reviewer for the New York TimesBook Review, and an instructor for the Clarion and Clarion West writing workshops. In her spare time, she is a gamer and gardener, and she is also single-handedly responsible for saving the world from King Ozzymandias, her dangerously intelligent ginger cat, and his phenomenally destructive sidekick Magpie.
"It's a glorious fantasy, set in that most imaginary of cities, New York. It's inclusive in all the best ways, and manages to contain both Borges and Lovecraft in its fabric, but the unique voice and viewpoint are Jemisin's alone."—Neil Gaiman
"The City We Became takes a broad-shouldered stand on the side of sanctuary, family and love. It's a joyful shout, a reclamation and a call to arms."—The New York Times
"Jemisin is now a pillar of speculative fiction, breathtakingly imaginative and narratively bold."—Entertainment Weekly
"A love letter, a celebration and an expression of hope and belief that a city and its people can and will stand up to darkness, will stand up to fear, and will, when called to, stand up for each other."
"The City We Became is a raucous delight, a joyride, a call-to-arms, a revolution with plenty of dancing. Eat your heart out, Lovecraft."—Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
"Some of the most exciting and powerful fantasy writing of today... Jemisin's latest will attract ... even those who don't typically read genre fiction."—Booklist (starred review)
"The most important speculative writer of her generation...She's that good."—John Scalzi
"A love/hate song to and rallying cry for the author's home of New York... Fierce, poetic, uncompromising."—Kirkus (starred review)
"The City We Became is a wonderfully inventive love letter to New York City that spans the multiverse. A big middle finger to Lovercraft with a lot of heart, creativity, smarts and humor. A timely and audacious allegorical tale for our times. This book is all these things and more."—Rebecca Roanhorse, author of Trail of Lightning
"N. K. Jemisin has captured the living, breathing soul of New York City in a way that only a writer of her skill can. The City We Became is a masterpiece that plays by no rules-beautiful, musical, joyfully weird, and as impossibly fantastical as it is deeply true."—Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M
"Without a doubt, one of the most brilliant books I have ever had the honor of reading. An homage to New York City, packed with all its love and harshness, and so incredibly inventive that I felt my own imagination and the boundaries of what fantasy can be expand."—S. A. Chakraborty, author of City of Brass
"The greatest fantasy novelist currently writing turns her magnificent eye and ear and heart on New York City, and the result is every bit as full of love and rage and crazy compelling characters as my beloved city deserves."—Sam J. Miller, Nebula-Award-Winning author of Blackfish City
"One of the most celebrated new voices in epic fantasy."—Salon.com