The City in the Middle of the Night reveals a plethora of conversations about human society and the problems our cultures can’t seem to run away from. Anders paints a vivid picture of the relations of rich vs poor, of the unfairness of a society centered on controlling its citizens, and of the demonization of an entire species who only want to be allies. The writing is smart and enticing, pulling you into a story that starts with innocence and explodes into the harried realities of those experienced with the evils of the world.
Everything about the world is interesting, from the origin story tidbits to the planet’s lack of rotation (resulting in a city that is either dark or light at all times) to the characters you will quickly come to care for. We see two opposite sides of the coin. Our first main character is a rule follower who works her hardest to excel, only to find herself thrown to the crocodiles. Our second main character is a smuggler who bends the rules to come out on top. Both provide experiences that paint a clearer picture of the world.
Overall, The City in the Middle of the Night features compelling storytelling, deep characters you instantly care about, and a world whose culture and history are both fascinating and bizarre. I look forward to diving deeper into this one come February.
THE CITY AT THE END OF THE NIGHT
By Charlie Jane Anders
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
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