cover image The World We Make

The World We Make

N.K. Jemisin. Orbit, $30 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-50989-3

Four-time Hugo Award winner Jemisin’s sequel to The City We Became loses some of the power of the first volume even as it continues to extol New York City’s diversity, history, and unusual kindness. Following the events of the first book, New York’s personified boroughs—minus Staten Island and plus the “honorary borough” of Jersey City—have learned how to control their city-based magic, but the invasive cosmic city of R’lyeh has its roots sunk into Staten Island and a Trumpian mayoral candidate preaching hate has the city’s avatars on edge. As the hate spreads, R’lyeh grows ever closer. Now the boroughs must cobble together an alliance once more and recruit the other cities of the world to help before R’lyeh wipes New York City off the map entirely. Jemisin embodies the spirit of the city in as lush and lively a voice as ever and does a masterful job incorporating even more history and magic. Where this falters is in the unchanging character dynamics, familiar narrative beats, and fight scenes that feel like retreads of those in book one. Still, readers looking for another underdog tale of human connection will be satisfied—though not blown away—by this series finale. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Nov.)