By David Canfield
August 29, 2019 at 10:00 AM EDT
Laura Hanifin

For her next series, N.K. Jemisin is coming home — sort of.

The beloved fantasy writer has certainly been keeping busy since becoming the first person ever to win the Hugo Award’s Best Novel prize three years in a row in 2018, getting to work on a Green Lantern comic and the first installment in an epic new series. Earlier this year, EW got a first look at the former; now, EW can present an exclusive preview of the latter: The City We Became.

The novel, publishing next spring, is set in Jemisin’s hometown of New York, but anyone familiar with the Broken Earth trilogy author’s work should expect it won’t be the city as we know it. The City We Became follows five New Yorkers who must come together in order to defend their city from an ancient evil.

“The city of New York comes to life — literally, as in, the city has developed sentience and an ability to act on its own,” Jemisin teases to EW. “And because there’s a dangerous otherworldly tourist lurking about, trying to supernaturally gentrify the city to death, New York chooses five human champions to fight for it. Problem: they don’t know they’ve been recruited for a magical, interdimensional battle, although they figure it out pretty quickly when possessed toilet stalls attack, backyard pools turn into portals to monsterville, and traffic on the FDR becomes a literal, tentacled, killer.”

Below, EW can present the gorgeous official cover for The City We Became, designed by Lauren Panepinto and with images by Arcangel. “I’m delighted with this cover, and the overlapping, comic-book-esque edge blurring that suggests the city is ever-so-slightly off kilter,” Jemisin says. “There are some horrific elements in the story, as implied by the dark, looming bridge and the shadowed streets. A closer look will show bits of the city out of place and proportion — and anyone who’s visited New York knows that for every bit of the city you can see, there’s just as much unseen.”

Jemisin adds: “This story is my chance to have a little monstrous fun after the weight of the Broken Earth saga, so I’m hoping readers will enjoy it, too.”

Check out the cover below. The City We Became publishes March 24, 2020, and is available for pre-order.

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