All is not well in the city that never sleeps. Even though the avatars of New York City have temporarily managed to stop the Woman in White from invading—and destroying the entire universe in the process—the mysterious capital "E" Enemy has more subtle powers at her disposal. A new candidate for mayor wielding the populist rhetoric of gentrification, xenophobia, and "law and order" may have what it takes to change the very nature of New York itself and take it down from the inside.
The kind of book you lose an entire day to, hour after hour going by unnoticed, and emerge shaken and dazzled on the other end. The writing is clear and visceral and intense. It’s some of the most brilliant, unapologetic speculative fantasy I’ve read in years ... It's a powerful and hopeful story ... The novel approaches viciously bigoted beliefs head-on. Jemisin writes about prejudices such as racism, transphobia, homophobia and xenophobia because they are an inescapable part of the current world — and yet this story balances the only-too-real hate with genuine kindness ... A satisfying ending to Jemisin’s Great Cities duology.
Each chapter centers a different character, but Neek’s chapters are the only ones in first person ... This tonal change allows the reader more access to the character, allowing us to know Neek in a way he won’t allow the others to know him. In a way, this second novel is all about deepening our understanding of these characters, who they are, who their boroughs are ... Jemisin, in this book as much as the first, lays bare the racism, sexism, inequities and unfairness of our world, but also uplifts so many cultures and communities. For many passages, you’re either nodding knowingly or learning something new ... Jemisin molds real world events from the past few years with magic and myth into this fantastical page-turner.
... a very fast and easy read, but like the avatars at its heart, it goes through energetic bursts of development and then suffers from bouts of disconnection. Its characters are engaging and charismatic, but the plot feels exhausted and perfunctory, striving to amplify the themes and stakes of the first book but succeeding only in echoing them ... Jemisin’s walking a tightrope in these books, evoking the character of a place without falling into a caricature of it. She does this to wonderful effect with New York and its boroughs. But by introducing several other, older embodied cities, The World We Make ends up stretched thin across its points of view. Istanbul, Tokyo, London and others get only enough page space to be drawn in very broad strokes, and inevitably swerve closer to stereotype and cliché ... Several interesting developments — revelations about Manhattan’s family history, Brooklyn’s bid for mayor — feel marched to a conclusion instead of being explored.