Book Review: ‘The City We Became’ by NK Jemisin

By JENAE PADILLA | For AC JosepH Media

This is a stunning piece of work. My immediate connection to the book was the use of the authors vocabulary.

I learned quite a few new words while reading it. It started with a bang and quickly you have questions that are in dire need to be answered.

What is most interesting about the story she is telling, is that it is so unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s a very original story!

The concept is strong and very thought out. There were no holes I could find. Because I guess this could be called an ensemble cast novel, Jemisin created very different characters and not all of them are likeable. (you’ll have to read to find out who). It is at least impressive to see so many different perspectives written so clearly. Separate but together.

The City We Became made me feel real things. Not fairy tale-like, not wander lusty and not necessarily a strong feeling for the story, but a raw connection and powerful feeling within me. A reinforcement of all that I am.

This book was powerful to me in the sense that it kind of reminded me that everything that I already have, that I already am is inside me waiting to be used and waiting to be awakened. I don’t need 6 other people to complete me, because I am rooted and whole in Christ.

While the story characters derived their power from their respective homelands, the source I get my power is not ties to a city or to a group of people. In Jesus I am more than the sum of my parts.

It was unexpected for me to make that connection for myself and if you read it, I would love to hear what spoke most to you. The discussion questions in the back of the book were very good too, I read and answered them to the best of my ability.

Will I read the coming novels in this series? Maybe not. Probably not. But will I go back into NK Jemisin’s log and read her other works? Of course!

It was just so solid.

4.5 Teardrops

Bio: As an author, communication specialist and livestream coordinator for Cornerstone Community Church in Vineland, Padilla is a member of Front Runner New Jersey’s inaugural 30 Under 35 Top Young African American Leaders in South Jersey list in 2022.

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