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The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities, 1) Hardcover – March 24, 2020

4.3 out of 5 stars 4,535 ratings

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  • The Broken Earth Trilogy: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky
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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of March 2020: N. K. Jemisin brings her reality-ripping storytelling skills to her own backyard of New York City in this vivid series starter. In The City We Became, few people realize that Earth’s grandest cities—London, Hong Kong, São Paolo, and others—are alive. When New York City tries to join that select group, five people in the city unexpectedly become the living embodiments of each of the city’s five boroughs. Unfortunately, the first thing they learn is that the newborn city is under attack from a very ancient enemy that has successfully killed cities before, and now the five New Yorkers are targets as well. More fortunately, the city’s avatars soon discover that with great responsibility comes great powers. Paranormal battles on top of cabs, hidden subway stations, New York City politics, and local artists’ galleries thread through each other in a live-wire love letter to the city and its diverse denizens. While Jemisin has won awards with her previous novels, this one may be the most likely to win readers’ hearts as well. —Adrian Liang, Amazon Book Review

Review

"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."


NPR

"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
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Orbit; 1st edition (March 24, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0316509841
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316509848
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.48 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.4 x 1.85 x 9.9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 4,535 ratings

About the author

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N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author who won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for The Fifth Season, which was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. She previously won the Locus Award for her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and her short fiction and novels have been nominated multiple times for Hugo, World Fantasy, and Nebula awards, and shortlisted for the Crawford and the James Tiptree, Jr. awards. She is a science fiction and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times, and you can find her online at nkjemisin.com.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
4,535 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Preach
2.0 out of 5 stars Painful to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 30, 2020
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M M MacNair
3.0 out of 5 stars Wildly imaginative but very flawed by overt prejudice
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 16, 2020
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Allegra
5.0 out of 5 stars Holds a mirror up to reality
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A. Lord
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read and provocative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 5, 2020
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Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, intriguing but not perfect (possible spoilers)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 3, 2020
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