This may come as a shock, but this is my first N. K. Jemisin book. I decided that this one may be a little easier to digest than her Broken Earth trilogy (which I do plan on reading!) and I think I was right.
The basis of this story is that every city is alive and has a soul and that it takes a mortal form. In the case of New York, we have the five boroughs Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island. We learn about each borough person individually before they’ve even met any of their fellow boroughs. Each of them telling the story of who they are, if they can remember, and then their journey while they slowly realize something is very very wrong and somehow they’re caught in the middle of it.
The city is under attack. There is an evil force working its way through the city, taking over people and objects, attacking the Brooklyn Bridge and causing mass chaos. Each of the boroughs faces this force head on in their own way and it doesn’t always go smoothly or as you may expect. The evil corrupts people and no one is safe from their reach. No one.
This was SO FREAKING GOOD. I’m like desperately hoping that one of the next books in this series is Chicago. This was a love story about New York and all of its dimensions and faults and beauties and strengths and individuality. I could tell that Jemisin cares about New York just from how this was written. I loved all of the characters, their stories were full and complex. Their relationship with their circles and the other boroughs were so clearly thought out and intricately developed. I’m just awestruck. I guess this is what happens when you read a multi-award winning author, you get your pants blown off by how amazing the storytelling and writing is. If this book taught me anything, it is that you believe the hype about her books. I cannot wait to pick up the Broken Earth series now because I just need more of this writing in my life.