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    Wonderful fantasy novel set in modern New York

    This may be one of the most unusual fantasy novels I've ever read. I loved it. It's somewhat-contemporary, and set in a city, and the city is central to the story. Think "Wizard of the Pigeons", or "The City, Not Long After". I'm calling it somewhat contemporary because it's in no way the common fantasy novel setting, with vaguely medieval social and economic qualities. Nor is it what's now called urban fantasy. It's set in a future New York where crime has driven anyone with any money to live behind guards and gates. Whole blocks are gated to keep the homeless off of the sidewalks. The main character is an architect who loves the city, and who chooses to live without all the protections, and is managing. He's out of town on a project when something happens. Refugees pour out of the city, but their reports of what happened are wild and unbelievable. He walks in, and finds things twisted, damaged and changed in ways that are clearly impossible — yet are. The city is almost empty of people. He hunts for his children, who were with his ex-wife, and then ends up trying to survive in the ruins of the city and help others. It becomes clear that there's no way for rescuers to come into the city, and the people there can't leave. The explanation of the city's state gradually emerges. This is a character-driven novel. The group of people that comes together around him are interesting, and they change and grow as they struggle with the situation. I particularly like the woman who is the other leader of the group.
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