The Municipalists: A Novel

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Seth Fried’s urban fantasy, The Municipalists, is a wonderfully weird debut. Henry Thompson, a disliked agent working for the United States Municipal Survey, has been tasked to stop a series of terrorist attacks on the futuristic city of Metropolis. To do so, Henry will need to track down Terrence Kirklin, a former agent who dreams of a better city and is willing to go to extreme measures to make it happen. His plans involve 18-year-old Sarah Laury, the daughter of Metropolis’s mayor. Henry’s boss, Theodore Garrett, partners him with OWEN, a holographic artificial intelligence that has been infected with a virus and who proves to be both helpful and troublesome.

This is not a perfect novel at all, but somehow The Municipalists is so fun to read that one can overlook the lackluster world-building, the underdeveloped characters, and the often disjointed action. Despite the serious nature of the plot, Fried keeps the book light with his humor; the laugh-out-loud dialogue, especially between Henry and OWEN, is irresistible. Nestled inside this fast-paced book is a thoughtful critique of systemic inequality in America’s cities. Readers searching for an amusing, out-of-the-ordinary story packed with action and wit will not be disappointed with this joyride.


Reviewed By:

Author Seth Fried
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Penguin Books
Publish Date 2019-03-19
ISBN 9780143133735
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2019
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
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