The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin book review

N.K. Jemisin is one of those author names that I think a lot of fantasy fans are beginning to really respect. Quite some time ago I did read The Fifth Season, it was before I started this blog so there’s no review of it on here but I do remember really enjoying it and being really impressed by it.

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Therefore, when I started The City We Became another series by N.K. Jemisin, I thought I would be equally impressed. However, having finished it and feeling incredibly underwhelmed, I’m not sure whether I just missed something about the book or whether it just wasn’t for me.

The City We Became plot – 3.75/5

One of the oddest element of The City We Became for me was what felt like an incredibly disjointed plot. At no point did I ever really feel like I knew ehere the book was going or what the point in a lot of the action moments was.

Again, sometimes I just don’t connect to a book early enough and therefore don’t find kyself that interested in the rest of the story. But also so often there’s then a moment in the story that brings me right back in and makes me realise how good it is.

Essentially The City We Became is about a group of people who are “avatars” to different versions of different cities. We follow the versions from our known universe. A lot of the book is spent them finding each other and, Manny, our newest “avatar” learning about this new ability/environment he now finds himself in.

Then all of a sudden the action tries to ramp up but by this point I had mostly lost interest as it just didn’t feel like enough of the book had been spent bringing me in.

The City We Became characters – 4.25/5

One of the highlights of the book was the diverse characters. There was some huge personalities in the book which were a saving grace to the rather uninteresting and convoluted plot line.

There isn’t really one main protagonist, though if there were one it would be Manny who is the new “avatar” for the manhattan area. He’s probably the weakest of the characters and is a fairly generic personality unfortunately, but there are some other fantastic characters who make up for this.

There weren’t any signs of Jemisin’s ability to write brilliant characters with The Fifth Season as a lot of the pros in that book were to do with the clever interweaving plot. However, The City We Became is truly a sign that Jemisin does have a lot of personality to put into her books.

The City We Became final rating – 4/5

The City We Became was a massive let down for me. What started off as a book with a really interesting premise ad a lot of potential just ended up getting completely lost for me. A convoluted plot with no real direction was slightly redeemed by some strong characters with big personalities. It’s a book that I feel I was never really sucked into by any of the grander story moments and so when it finished with a bit of a whimper I felt very “meh” about the book as a whole. If you’ve hard great things and still want to give it a go, Jemisin’s writing is brilliant and her characters are bright but really concentrate when trying to follow the plot or you may find yourself in the same position I did of losing interest.

Buy a copy of The City We Became

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