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

Anna: I so badly wanted to love this! I love New York City and I lived there for a year, so I want to make a disclaimer that this wasn’t an issue of me not understanding NYC. I also think N.K. Jemisin is a talented author and I enjoyed The Fifth Season

What I liked:

  • Great themes of equality, identity and belonging; fighting hate: racism, sexism, homophobia; and what it means to belong somewhere
  • Wonderfully diverse group of characters of varied races, sexualities, and identities
  • The setting and the complex characterization of New York City

What I didn’t like:

  • Too on the nose
  • Confusing world building
  • Lots of telling and not showing (We are told exactly what something is and what it means throughout)

This is a unique and creative fantasy novel, but not without some thoroughly confusing world building. While I enjoyed the setting and the diverse cast of characters, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being hit over the head with thinly-veiled symbolism throughout. With little room for interpretation and imagination, I’m not sure if I’ll pick up the next book in this series. 

VERDICT: 3 out of 5 books

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