Thanks to Booklist for this cool review of The Municipalists:
Fried’s buddy-cop science-fiction debut features an infrastructure-obsessed bureaucrat and a rogue AI system teaming up to try and take down a mysterious conspiracy set on destroying the idyllic city of Metropolis. The obnoxious antics of artificial intelligence OWEN, who finds both children and seniors suspicious, and who spends much of his time figuring out how to replicate the sensation of becoming drunk, contrast brilliantly against the serious Henry, a man with few friends and a love of trains and transit, whose main personality trait is dedication to his work. Fried’s skill at making their friendship so dynamic, mismatched, and often ridiculous is what makes this novel so effective—OWEN and Henry’s quest to defeat an evil genius becomes a touching and funny caper that keeps the reader intrigued through the final pages. Meanwhile, in the background floats a quiet debate about the modern city. Fried gestures to city-planning thinkers such as Ebenezer Howard and Jane Jacobs, revealing his careful research and thought into the ways that targeted infrastructure and funding can encourage neglect and gentrification.
I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds pretty good. I mean, I’d be skeptical if this review came from a publication called Boogerlist or PullMyFingerlist. But this is Booklist we’re talking about. I’m willing to bet they know a thing or two about books (and maybe even lists). So this feels like a pretty compelling recommendation.