50 pages 1 hour read

N. K. Jemisin

The City We Became

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2020

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Before You Read

Roundup icon

Super Short Summary

The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin is a fantasy novel set in New York City, where five individuals, each an avatar of one of the city's boroughs, come together to protect their city from a cosmic threat that aims to invade and corrupt it. A homeless young Black man embodies the city as its primary avatar, and with the help of the other avatars, they battle shape-shifting creatures and navigate personal and external challenges to safeguard New York City. The book contains themes of violence, including attempted sexual assault and mentions of racism.

Reviews & Readership

Roundup icon

Review Roundup

Jemisin's The City We Became dazzles with imaginative urban fantasy, representing New York City through vibrant, diverse characters. Praised for its social commentary and inventive plot, some found the narrative's complexity overwhelming. While the pacing occasionally stumbles, the novel's originality and profound metaphors garner widespread acclaim.

Who should read this

Who Should Read The City We Became?

A reader who enjoys The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin likely appreciates urban fantasy infused with social commentary. Fans of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere or China Miéville's The City & the City will find Jemisin's richly imagined New York City and its diverse, dynamic characters compelling and thought-provoking.

RecommendedReading Age


Book Details



Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Allegory / Fable / Parable



Race / Racism

Social Justice


Information Age


Identity: Race

Identity: Femininity

Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice