The concept sounded cool on paper and was backed by seemingly good reviews but I absolutely hate this book.
Everything is done with an extremely heavy hand, there is no subtlety or wit to be found. No clever takes or poetic verses. It’s never funny or evocative. The main characters are each a caricature without much that’s interesting about them because they are literally named the boroughs they are avatars of and don’t ever really develop in any way shape or form. There’s not really anything in the story that makes me want to root for either side, it starts to feel like there isn’t much point to human-city avatars fighting an unknown force.
The writing is some of the worst I’ve ever read. I don’t think I’ve ever given up on a short 400 page book but honestly I don’t feel a drive to move forward. Much of the book is describing something with a poor metaphor or simile, then explaining that comparison, sometimes even a few times. Look at how many times the white tendrils/tentacles/strings are described. Most of the prose is clumsy, but any time there is action it is almost unreadable. The author seems to have a hard time describing what happens in a fight and often flicks to something unimportant in the moment. It feels more like a rough draft, someone getting their ideas to paper, rather than a fully realized book that has been looked at with a critical eye.
I was actually surprised to see the author is from New York, it reads like someone has never been and read about the different boroughs on Wikipedia. I don’t get a feeling of love for the city at all. If I had never been this book certainly wouldn’t make me want to visit.
I just don’t get it. Reading glowing reviews it feels like they are for a different book than the one I’m reading.