I want to try something new with my reviews. Yeah, I could start again with OH WOW. HOW DID I GET SO BEHIND. AGAIN. But snooze, amiright? Instead, I want to use the system that my local library book club does. We always go around the room and give a rating (check, already part of Cannonball and Goodreads) and then sum up our feelings on the book in one word. I’m going to let you know now, I’m a bit of a cheat and I will do a compound word or really a sentence or whatever moves me. Much like PeeWee Herman, I’m a rebel.
In One Word: Mesmerizing
Cannonball Read Bingo Square: Cityscape
I had a complicated relationship with this book. First and foremost, I am an N.K. Jemisin fan for life. The Broken Earth trilogy was spellbinding and her short stories are beyond reproach, and I mean, You don’t get a third Hugo award for messing around. But she is so smart and clever with her writing that it can be intimidating as a reader. I have to reread phrases and passages because I feel like I’m missing something and whelp, typically I am!
This book is no different. Jemisin keeps you on your toes. If you are looking for a relaxing book, this isn’t it. But if you want something imaginative and how-does-someone-even-think-of-this creative, look no further: but know that she is going to make you work for it. The city of New York has to defend itself from an ancient evil, and five citizens are tapped as living avatars and have to fight for themselves, the city, and if it really goes awry, the fate of the world. This book covers a lot of ground, both the little ground of New York and as usual she is saying a lot about the current political comment: immigration, race, art, identity, pre-destination, it’s all fair game. (See what I mean about how does anyone think of this?!)
I think if I had a pre-existing history with New York I would have given this a 4, maybe a 5 even. So much of this book is a commentary on the city, but I’ve only visited once and don’t really have any connection to it. For that reason, I plodded along a bit because the details of the boroughs and locations meant nothing to me. If she’d set this in New Orleans which is in my home state, the connection would have been different. Will I read the next in the series? You bet, but it’s not going to be a book that I have on pre-order, but I will recommend it to others.