... remarkable and cleverly subversive ... What makes it all work, amid the spectacular surrealistic imagery, rollercoaster plotting, and comic-book effects, is Jemisin’s insightful concern for and understanding of her diverse cast of central characters. This is all the more remarkable because these characters are called upon to serve triple duty: as symbolic avatars, as credible New Yorkers, and as members of an emerging fellowship which must work cooperatively to save the city from those Lovecraftian horrors ... offers only a degree of closure in a rather abrupt ending, as Jemisin sets the stage for the epic struggles we can expect in subsequent volumes. As the inaugural volume of what promises to be a wildly original fantasy trilogy, quite unlike anything else Jemisin has written, it completely takes command of the very notion of urban fantasy, and it leaves us exactly where we need to be – wanting the next volume now.
... firmly puts the urban into urban fantasy ... a wild, comic, scary, insightful, sometimes pointed ride through one of the greatest cities in world as it’s caught in the act of understanding itself ... While each of these characters is a ‘representative’ of their borough, they are also finely drawn and engaging in their own right ... a joyous celebration of New York, its diversity and what makes it great. But along the way Jemisin establishes a much bigger canvas ... it will be no surprise if The City We Became sees Jemisin featuring in the major science fiction and fantasy awards again this year.
... a reclaiming of the New York that Lovecraft vilified. In perhaps the greatest fuck-you to the man behind the Cthulhu mythos that has had such widespread influence on speculative fiction, Jemisin gives voice and human-ness to the objects of Lovecraft’s hatred ... one of the most stunning features of this book is its positioning of capital waging war against the human beings of a place as a sort of Cthulhu ... Nobody-makes-fun-of-my-family-but-me energy thrums through the novel ... readers are shown a New York beyond the tunnels and bridges and roads named after men who no longer exist. [Jemisin] shows a New York, not of unmade communities, but of remade ones, the scar tissue stronger than unbroken skin.