The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin

(8.5/10) Not exactly beautiful, more like brutal and painful, like their world itself

When we say “the world has ended,” it’s usually a lie, because the planet is just fine. But this is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. For the last time.

I had known about N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms for quite some time except I just couldn’t bring myself to read it. I don’t know why I decided to read her newest book, The Fifth Season, though I’m glad I did. I’m not a fan of tragedies, and this book is a great big mass of tragedy, so much so that I wonder if there will ever be a happily ever after, but oh well, it’s still interesting. The book simultaneously traverses across three timelines. In the beginning you think that these three are different people, but later realise that they are, all three of them, the same person at different ages.

I won’t say that I really like her characters (sometimes I do), they’re sort of hard to connect with. They’re also somewhat distant though I do sympathise with them. They have, from the beginning of their lives, been brutalized emotionally, manipulated and controlled. The Orogenes, people who can control how the plates of the earth shift, creating or stopping earthquakes, are despised and feared. The main character, who we first know only as Essun is an Orogene. She comes home to find her son beaten to death by her husband and her daughter missing along with the husband. This is her journey.

The novel is not exactly beautiful, more like brutal and painful, like their world itself but I will also say that never once, was it ever boring.

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Our interview with NK Jemisin

Nora K Jemisin is an author of speculative fiction short stories and novels who lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to writing, she is a counselling psychologist (currently specializing in career counselling), a som [...]

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The Fifth Season reader reviews

from Australia

A very interesting world building, marred by one dimensional characters that it is hard to feel any sympathy for. The main women - actually, it seems, just one woman at different stages of her life - do anger well, but that's about all. They are also dumb, never questioning what's going on. While it is politically progressive, that is not enough. The cruelty and abuse are unremitting.

7.3/10 from 2 reviews

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All reviews for NK Jemisin's The Broken Earth series

The Fifth Season

The Broken Earth #1 written by NK Jemisin

This is the way the world ends... for the last time. A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, [...]

Published: 2015

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

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The Obelisk Gate

The Broken Earth #2 written by NK Jemisin

The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night. Essun has found shelter, but not her missing daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenrin [...]

Published: 2016

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

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More NK Jemisin reviews

The Killing Moon

by NK Jemisin

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peac [...]

Series: Dreamblood duology: Book 1
Published: 2012

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.3 | 0 positive reader reviews

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The Shadowed Sun

by NK Jemisin

Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. And nightm [...]

Series: Dreamblood duology: Book 2
Published: 2012

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.2 | 0 positive reader reviews

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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

by NK Jemisin

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky - a palace above the [...]

Series: The Inheritance Trilogy: Book 1
Published: 2010

Score: 106

Our rating: 10.0 | 6 positive reader reviews

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The Broken Kingdoms

by NK Jemisin

In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a strange homele [...]

Series: The Inheritance Trilogy: Book 2
Published: 2010

Score: 98

Our rating: 9.7 | 1 positive reader reviews

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