Book Reviews

Review: The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

Is there really a world where I wouldn’t read a book by N.K. Jemisin? Ever since devouring The Fifth Season I have been hooked. Furthermore a book set in NYC? I was sold before I even began! That’s why I am so pleased I ended up loving it! Keep reading this book review to see why I adored this book so much!


Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

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.


Right off the bat, I could not get enough of all the NYC touches. Having grown up spending numerous hours in NYC, this felt simultaneously nostalgic and exploratory. Seeing a city you know, and love, from someone else’s eyes is always a magical experience. You have to place these two images of a city on top of each other like a palimpsest. Combined with Jemisin’s magical touched, NYC in this story felt mysterious, fantastic, and alive.

Every legend of this city, every lie, those become new worlds

The idea that cities could become, could be alive, is an idea I’ve loved since hearing and about which I would read a thousand books. It’s that indescribable feeling of walking down the streets at night with the hazy yellow lamp lights, snowflakes drifting slowly, and that hum. My curiosity propelled me forward into The City We Became. Reading became a sensory experience as I integrated my copy of the book on audiobook from If you haven’t already, please pick it up because the narrators do a brilliant job at not only the accents, but making the words breathe.

The City We Became will transport you to a world of magic, city streets, and battles. It’s a story about fighting enemy forces, uprooting tendrils of imposters, and the fight to combat gentrification and hatred. It has an ever evolving mythology and backstories that we are only introduced to just now. While it’s a story very much about identity, it’s also a story about coming together for something greater than ourselves. Being called towards something that is beautiful and overwhelming and worth making sacrifices. Something that could swallow us up alive, leave us crawling, and electrify us.

Find The City We Became on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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