N.K. Jemisin

Review: The Stone Sky

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Review: The Stone Sky

“…some worlds were built on a fault line of pain, held up by nightmares. Don’t lament when those worlds fall. Rage that they were built doomed in the first place.”

The world of Stillness is as good as dead. The planet is being smothered under volcanic ash by the Rifting, caused by an orogene who couldn’t stand being a slave for one more moment. But Alabaster had a plan when he cracked the planet in half, and he’s taught his former lover Essun how it’s going to work. All she has to do now is use the Obelisk Gate to tap into all the energy boiling up from the Rift.

Unfortunately Essun’s ten-year-old daughter Nassun has learned how to harness the Obelisk Gate as well. The third book in N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy finds mother and daughter on opposite sides of a war that goes back centuries, each with a different goal in mind. Both of them want to stop the ten-thousand-year Season before humanity starves, but Essun wants to do it by returning the lost Moon to its orbit to end the Seasons once and for all.

Nassun plans to crash the Moon into the planet and end everything.

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Review: The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth Book 2)

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Review: The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth Book 2)

Father Earth did not always hate life, the lorists say. He hates because he cannot forgive the loss of his only child.

The first book of The Broken Earth series introduced us to the earthquake-prone world of Stillness, plus the orogenes who calm earthquakes, and the Fulcrum Guardians who keep the orogenes in line. It was also where we met the orogene Essun, who lost her childhood family…and then her ties to the Fulcrum, and then her new family, and then another family after that, until all she has left is her dying former lover Alabaster and the impossible task that he’s just dropped in her lap…

…right after he cracked the world in half. As bad as things were in Book 1, in Book 2 they’re about to get much worse.

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Review: The Fifth Season

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Review: The Fifth Season

On the ironically-named world of Stillness, where earthquakes and volcanoes are treated like particularly bad weather, something happens to break the planet open much, much worse than it’s ever been broken before.

A mother leaves her village, her own world having ended just slightly before the rest of the world did.

A little girl discovers a new talent and is exiled from her family for it. She’s soon taken away to begin training in her new life as an orogene.

And in the glittering city of Yumenes, a talented young woman is rising through the ranks of orogenes, clawing her way towards, if not freedom, then at least a little privacy and the right to say “no” every once in a while. She’s sent on an assignment with one of the most powerful orogenes in existence, and gradually finds out how much that power is worth.

N.K. Jemisin’s 2015 novel The Fifth Season is the first book in what I hope is a very long series. It’s science fiction (with some horror) in a fantasy setting. It’s an epic adventure with a tiny bit of romance, lots of tragedy, and the story starts with the end of the world. This is the kind of book you fall into and then stumble out of days later, wondering what the hell just happened and when can you have some more.

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