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The City We Became: A Novel (The Great…
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The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy, 1) (vuoden 2020 painos)

Tekijä: N. K. Jemisin (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3,2951064,099 (3.93)129
"Five New Yorkers must come together in order to save their city from destruction in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin. Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six. When a young man crosses the bridge into New York City, something changes. He doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can feel the pulse of the city, can see its history, can access its magic. And he's not the only one. All across the boroughs, strange things are happening. Something is threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all"--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:mdpkremer
Teoksen nimi:The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy, 1)
Kirjailijat:N. K. Jemisin (Tekijä)
Info:Orbit (2020), Edition: 1st, 448 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto, Parhaillaan lukemassa
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The City We Became (tekijä: N. K. Jemisin)

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englanti (105)  saksa (1)  Kaikki kielet (106)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 106) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5507222542

I enjoyed reading this! I haven't read much "weird fiction" before (the only one to mind is The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories, which I found rather boring); I appreciated this book's take on "weird" fiction and the modernization of it.

The concept of cities as people / living entities resonates. I am originally from a very small town and moved to Chicago when young, and cities certainly have an individualized energy to them that I have always enjoyed. While I'm not familiar with Staten Island, Jemisin's description of a more rural-like, "simple" life and beliefs rings true. The power of fear in these communities, particularly, rings true.

I like that Jemisin doesn't bog us down with long, technical explanations of how things work. Even Bronca, our link to this world's knowledge, doesn't bother us with that. We're expected to accept magic at face value because it's magic. I do have some quibbles with powers being inconsistently used, but I think for the most part this can be excused as our heroes don't really know how to use their powers.

The elevation of different cultures and ways of thinking elevated the story and provided some A-plus social commentary, without devolving into tweets. I think that's been my #1 criticism of recent speculative fiction I've read - the commentary comes tweet-sized and shaped. Not so for Jemisin's work, where the thoughts are more nuanced, more deeply integrated into the story and characters, and shine the truer for it.

I'll talk about more specifics in the spoiler section below - but two things stick out to me in the book that I'm not super satisfied with. I think things come very easily to our characters, all the way through. At almost no point do I see consequences for anyone in the story - what are the stakes? The problem with the main stake in the story being the end of the world is that it is intangible. There are two plot points that go against this, but one of them is rather lost, and the other quite short-lived.

Secondly, the pacing of the final third or quarter of the book felt a little rushed. The ending in particular, came all at once and resolved in a really unexpected and bizarre (even for weird fiction) way, that I don't think works very well. I do wonder if the story was more complete at some point before the decision was made to write a sequel. Perhaps the sequel addresses some of my concerns.

SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK FOLLOW:
[I have a lot of mixed feelings about Staten Island's character. We get a lot of good backstory for SI, but the story paints them as irredeemable. I was really surprised that the redemption of SI's character was not the major plot point of the final parts of the book - this would seem natural to me. Instead, Jemisin seems to say that the Island has dissolved itself of the City and is a lost cause. Why would we connect a character who we know lives in an abusive household, who does long for more, who is nearly the victim of attempted rape in this story - does it track that our story would abandon this person? Is the message here that the programming this person has gone through is impossible to reverse? So much of Staten Island's fear, insecurity, and false facades ring true to rural, more conservative-leaning life. And yet, maybe because I know so many people like this, I don't believe that SI is a lost cause. Her father? Yes. Her? No. (hide spoiler)]

[To add to the above, it seems really strange and totally out of nowhere that Jersey City suddenly appears as a new borough at the end of the story. I guess the commentary here is that what something says on a map doesn't matter, because a City is a concept more similar to a nation - a collection of thought and culture - rather than lines on a map (like a State). Fair enough, but it seemed to me more like the writer making a rapid adjustment to bring the book to a rapid close than something well thought out. (hide spoiler)] ( )
  ThomasEB | Jul 4, 2024 |
This is a outrageously original, fantastic modern SF/F novel, and in all honesty, I'd expect nothing less from N.K. Jemisin. It is part love letter to NYC and middle finger to the cultural hagiography of Lovecraft, with interesting characters and world-building written from someone who clearly loves and knows the city. I had fun reading this novel, although I will admit that it is not my all-time favorite Jemisin book (which is the Broken Earth triology). I wish there was more scenes of the characters just interacting with each other, because Jemisin has all these great moments between them while the plot is happening, and I feel like a lot of really interesting characterization/interaction opportunities were missed to keep the main plot going at the pace it does. If it were a TV show, I'd be calling for more filler episodes to really flesh out the some of the character backstories and motivations (for instance, Brooklyn and Padmini don't get as much POV time as Aislyn, Manny and Bronca do, and even then, Manny's roommate just sort of disappears from the narrative and we never figure out who Manny was before the amnesia).

TL;DR - I'd love it if NK Jemisin just put out MORE stuff about this world and the characters, because I am obsessed. ( )
  msemmag | Jun 17, 2024 |
No es para nada lo que me esperaba y aún así me ha atrapado. Me he quedado muy loco con el universo creado por Jemisin.

Ciudades vivas, dimensiones paralelas y muy mala leche. Son ingredientes perfectos para una historia que no creo que funcionase en ningún otro formato que no fuese novela. Tengo ganas de leer la siguientes partes (y quizá es lo que menos me convence, que como novela individual podría haber quedado muy redonda). Pero con lo trepidante del final y el cariño que le coges a los distritos de Nueva York, hay ganas de saber más de esta historia.

( )
  Cabask | Mar 27, 2024 |
A novel about New York by someone who clearly loves it. I think the book trades heavily on the interactions between the boroughs, but takes a while to get going and the actual plot is a little slow. Full of hilarious moments nevertheless, and I look forward to more worldbuilding in this universe. ( )
  Zedseayou | Jan 30, 2024 |
This multi-faceted, superhero style novel is a wonderful read, an inescapable and timely metaphor for the violence and everyday bias that shapes the lives of people of color, and peopled with characters with compassion who you want to root for.

When cities become large enough, with a distinctive culture and attitude, they become *alive*, with a soul of sorts that becomes linked to a human “avatar.” But it seems that some Lovecraftian power from another universe also battles against the formation of Earth cities, trying to destroy their avatars before the city can become whole. Since New York is five cities in one (the five Boroughs), five new avatars are created. They don’t just become representatives of their cities – they literally become *the personification of the city*.

Perhaps less dense and outwardly complex than Jemisin's other work but no less brilliant for that. This is definatively a different type of fantasy from Jemisin but one that still deals with issues of power, privilege, and racism - themes that are present throughout her books. You can tell Jemisin had fun writing this book as it acts as a love letter of sorts to her city, New York. And you can tell she was exercising some of her pain from current events with this one.

Warning: This isn't a comfortable read. This book is about the horrors of present day racism. But, it's topical nature is what makes the book shine.

Looking forward to the rest of the series.






( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 106) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
The City We Became is an intensely political work of speculative fiction charting two distinct storylines, with both layers of the novel's narrative producing unexpected insights and parallels as they are superimposed atop one another. By blending concepts as diverse as the true nature of social constructs, what it takes for fictional stories to become “real,” and some of the more bewildering implications of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, Jemisin manages to explore hidden dimensions of social existence and racism. In so doing, she dramatizes the cues and subtexts that underlie even the most outwardly mundane of everyday interactions into an intensely compelling science fiction story.... Initially straining to maintain and introduce its large cast of characters, The City We Became eventually becomes an allegory for the ways in which all types of bigotry quite literally “infect” the societies and subcultures they target. The novel is in part an over-the-top adventure story whose characters engage in literal rap battles with two-dimensional spider-people, fight off a giant underground worm composed of discarded subway cars, and momentarily drive off parasitic alien sea anemones by throwing money at the problem until it goes away. However, behind all of that, this is also a novel about the horrifyingly absurd nature of bigotry, and the extent to which people are forced to accept as facts things that should not be true, but somehow are.
 
IN 2018, N. K. Jemisin made genre history as the first author to win three consecutive Hugo Awards... Jemisin’s well-earned triumph was particularly notable given the fact that 2013 had seen the emergence of right-wing groups of predominantly white men, known as the “Sad Puppies” and “Rabid Puppies,” who until 2017 attempted to flood the Hugo nomination system with blocs of authors and texts they deemed appropriate. In light of the failure of this extended reactionary tantrum, Jemisin didn’t just win — her victories announced that science fiction and fantasy were, as she put it in her acceptance speech, “the aspirational drive of the zeitgeist” .... it’s difficult, now, to avoid the temptation to retroactively read into the novel the historic events that are transforming New York, along with so many other United States and global cities. The language of infestation, infection, and contagion seeps into Jemisin’s description of the Enemy’s invasion of New York, illuminating with terrifying insight the physical ecosystems by which a pathogen spreads through the city .... The City We Became estranges us from the everyday operations of power so that we can, with new clarity, see how it works and how it can be unraveled and remade; like her Hugo acceptance speech, the novel declares that the stakes of social power, the significance of asserting that the world belongs to the marginalized, is nothing less than epic.
 
The basic premise, which was previewed in Jemisin’s 2016 story “The City Born Great”, is this: each great city reaches a point in its history when it literally comes alive and is embodied in an avatar who might otherwise seem an ordinary, undistinguished citizen. When this happens, ancient eldritch forces try to use this moment of instability to invade and gain a foothold in our world.... As a standalone narrative, The City We Became offers only a degree of closure in a rather abrupt ending, as Jemisin sets the stage for the epic struggles we can expect in subsequent volumes. As the inaugural volume of what promises to be a wildly original fantasy trilogy, quite unlike anything else Jemisin has written, it completely takes command of the very notion of urban fantasy, and it leaves us exactly where we need to be – wanting the next volume now.
lisäsi Lemeritus | muokkaaLocus, Gary K. Wolfe (Apr 11, 2020)
 
I’ve not read another book like this in years. Jemisin takes a concept that can be abstracted to the simplest of questions (What if cities were alive?) and wraps an adventure around it. That adventure takes center stage in the many scenes that read more like a superhero movie than a fantasy novel, such as when a towering Lovecraftian tentacle bursts from the river to destroy the Williamsburg Bridge. However, Jemisin’s most beautiful passages deliver attentive descriptions of New York’s melting pot of people. Her characters’ life experiences—racial, sexual, financial—bring perspectives that are deeply important to and often missing from contemporary literature, particularly in the fantasy genre.
 
The City We Became is strange to read right now in a way that Jemisin — the only person ever to win the prestigious Hugo Award three years in a row — could not possibly have predicted. The infection in her fantasy New York City is a metaphor for colonialism and bigotry and white nationalism. Meanwhile, the real New York City, where I live, has become the center of America’s coronavirus pandemic, and the literal infection here is casting existing bigotry and white nationalism into ever-sharper relief. At times, it does feel as though coronavirus is threatening everything that makes New York a living, breathing, vital organism, and as though it will leave the city nothing but a husk of itself.... The City We Became is not a book about how New York falls apart. It’s a love letter to the city’s resilience, and to all the ways it overcomes hatred to rise up stronger than it was before. And by extension, it’s about the rest of us, and the ways in which we must all work together to protect and support one another. It will give you faith that New York can come back to itself again — and so can all the rest of us, too.
lisäsi Lemeritus | muokkaaVox, Constance Grady (Mar 30, 2020)
 

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
N. K. Jemisinensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
ArcangelKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Miles, RobinKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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"One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years."
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I sing the city.

Fucking city. I stand on the rooftop of a building I don't live in and spread my arms and tighten my middle and yell nonsense ululations at the construction site that blocks my view. I'm really singing to the cityscape beyond. The city'll figure it out.
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All he uses his mouth for is smoking, drinking coffee, and talking. Shame; it’s a nice mouth otherwise. -Page 2
It isn’t that I’m not listening. I just don’t give a shit. -Page 3
The Woman is well dressed and clean, but there is a high, manic gleam in her gaze, and her bright, cheerful voice sounds false. No one is ever that happy. She’s clearly Not From Around Here. Maybe she’s an immigrant, too—legal, of course. Maybe she’s a Canadian who has been driven mad by the cold and socialized medicine. -Page 101
Jess watches Yijing go, then shakes her head and cocks an eyebrow skeptically at Bronca’s posture. “Tell me you aren’t sulking. You’re like sixty.” “Sulking is petulant, pointless anger. Mine is righteous.” And she’s actually nearly seventy, but nobody needs to be reminded of that. -Page 117
Innocence is nothing but a ceremony, after all. So strange that you people venerate it the way you do. What other world celebrates not knowing anything about how life really works?” A soft laugh-sigh. “How your species managed to get this far, I will never know.” -Page 119
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"Five New Yorkers must come together in order to save their city from destruction in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin. Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six. When a young man crosses the bridge into New York City, something changes. He doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can feel the pulse of the city, can see its history, can access its magic. And he's not the only one. All across the boroughs, strange things are happening. Something is threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all"--

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