In any move to a new city, familiarity takes time. The links between people and places aren’t always immediately apparent, and although one day you might find yourself strolling the streets with supreme confidence, those first few steps are often unfamiliar and strange. This is the case with Town, and more recently with its companion book City. In these two collections James Roy has chronicled the lives of young people who are linked by their geography and sometimes by their association. At a point in each book, names become familiar, places become landmarks and the story comes alive. From Town to City there is a sense of growing up, an expanding of families and social circles, and a changing of locations and situations. The characters in City are faced with an older set of problems and realities than their counterparts in Town. Roy’s imagination is on display in his range of characters, each with their own unique perspective, told in perfectly authentic voices. To call these two collections ‘short stories’ falls short. Although each chapter is separate and whole, the pieces really do come together as part of a larger novel. The primary character is the city, and it is impossible not to be immersed in every part of it. City will appeal to readers who like their fiction gritty and urban, and can be recommended to fans of Cath Crowley’s Graffiti Moon.