Saturday, January 16, 2016

Review: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season
Series:  The Broken Earth 1
Author:  N. K. Jemisin
Publisher:  Orbit, August 4, 2015
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 512 pages
List Price:  US$15.99 (print); US$9.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780316229296 (print); 9780316229302 (eBook)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher


A season of endings has begun.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

A new fantasy trilogy by Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award nominated author N.K. Jemisin.

Brannigan's Review

The first thing I thought about after starting The Fifth Season is N. K. Jemisin does for fantasy what Kurt Vonnegut did for Science Fiction—she keeps it strange in a fun way. She likes to talk to the reader, constantly breaking the narrative, and she's funny.

Jemisin isn't afraid of doing some strange things, like having one character with a second person narrative, which I haven't seen since I stopped reading choose your own adventure books. I have to say it was actually my least favorite part of the book as it made it hard for me to connect to the character. Truthfully, I had a hard time connecting to most of her characters due mostly to their strangeness.

One area Jemisin excels in is world building. Her world is old and carries the ruins of past civilizations all over it. It's in constant seismic activity as the world seems to be trying to kill off every living thing. Because of this, the people are hardened. I loved how everything goes back to its relation to the world and its aggressive nature.

The negative of the story is I can't really say a lot happened that would make me want to go back for more. It was a fun experience reading it, but I didn't find anything to really grab me and pull me back for more. I prefer more action and events, as well as character connection in my fantasy. She nailed the world building, but that's only one of the three tiers of my personal preferences.

The Fifth Season is a one-of-a-kind fantasy book by a one-of-a-kind author. I'm still on the fence about how I truly feel about this book. I think I will be for awhile, until I've had time to really take it all in. I think this is a love/hate book that will depend on the reader's preferences. There is violence, adult language, and sexual situations. I would recommend the book to older teens and adults. For any friends who don't think fantasy can make you think, give them this book to read.


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