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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1)

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  42,420 Ratings  ·  6,129 Reviews
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. AGAIN.

Three terrible things happen in a single day.

Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greates
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Paperback, 468 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Orbit
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N.K. Jemisin For the next book in the trilogy? Well, I'm working on it now, and hope to be done with the first draft in a few months. Hard to say when it will be…moreFor the next book in the trilogy? Well, I'm working on it now, and hope to be done with the first draft in a few months. Hard to say when it will be published after that, though; I don't control that part!(less)

Community Reviews

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Rick Riordan
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up because I greatly enjoyed Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but this novel was even better. Jemisin blew me away with her world-building and beautiful writing. It's the tale of an alternate earth called the Stillness, which is plagued by constant seismic activity. This leads to frequent near-extinction events called "Fifth Seasons" that keep humans on their toes. The evidence of past civilizations litters the planet -- ruined cities, incomplete 'stonelore' handed down fro ...more
Cezara
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Yes, 5 full stars for this one because it's everything I want in a fantasy book. I will explain.

I don't read fantasy and sci-fi because I like magic or space ships or laser swords or what have you. I read fantasy and sci-fi because I want to see something new, and there's no other genre that allows this much freedom of imagination, this much flexibility and bending of reality and this much room for "what ifs". The genres are ripe with tropes and cliches even so, and I'm at that point where it pa
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Melanie
This book is beautiful, this book is smart, this book is oh so heartbreaking, and this book is a masterpiece. This is one of those books that make you feel absolutely guilty for giving out five stars to other books. This book is unlike anything I've ever read, but it felt so seamlessly woven. This book mirrors the society we live in today and makes you think about all those uncomfortable topics you'd rather ignore and pretend do not exist. This book has the best representation I've ever read in ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fantasy-all
UPDATE: $2.99 on Kindle US today. 7-20-17

I mean wow! This book is totally out there. There were a few things I didnt like but overall it was pretty amaze balls!

This world Jemisin created is like nothing I have read before. I love there are groups of people with powers. The book is dark with sparks of hope here and there. And I still can't get over what happened to Essun's son. That has stuck with me through the whole book.

At first I was afraid I wasn't going to understand anything in the book
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Petrik
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mix of high fantasy & Sci fi fans
Shelves: owned-physical
4.5/5 Stars

I will not start my review for this book with some praises. Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing book (oh shit I just did), but I’d like to start this review instead by saying patience is virtue is apt here.


“For all those that have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.”


This book and my review will be dedicated to all of you.

The Fifth Season, the first book in the Broken Earth trilogy is, in my opinion, a book that will truly require some patience
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Bradley
Edit, 10:52 pm, tonight. :) N.K. Jemisin is the WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) Was there any doubt?


Old Review (from a few hours ago):

Re-Read 8/20/16, the day the Hugo Awards Ceremony is to take place for the novel I voted for. :) Coincidentally, I'll be reading the sequel tomorrow. :)

So was it as good as I remember? Actually, better. But that's mostly because I'm in on the trick and the secret of the MC is is laid bare and the whole novel then becomes a character exploration for me as we
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘


4.5 stars. What you know for sure is that you're not a child. You don't want to know what would happen if you were (this world is nasty). But you walk. Restlessly, you walk. At this point you're not sure it means something. You go on, though, because you're intrigued. Orogene, guardian, pirate, commless, you're part of the humanity anyway (they don't think you are). You're no stranger to rules (death awaits if you are) yet life destroys them at times (this is the way the world ends, again). So
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Althea Ann
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
OK, I'm going to have to shell out for my WorldCon membership just so I can nominate this book for a Hugo.
____

I recently noticed that Nora Jemisin's Goodreads profile lists her "influences" as Tanith Lee & Ursula K. Le Guin. I'm not sure if she put that in there or someone else did - but those just happen to be two of my most favorite authors; and yes, I can see the 'influence' on this book.

Previously, I've only read Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - her first book. It was good enough t
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2015/07/20/b...

This book had the distinction of being on both my most anticipated SFF lists for 2014 and 2015, due to the publisher’s decision to push its release date back a year in order to give N.K. Jemisin more time to work on the sequels. So it was with no small amount of excitement when an advance copy finally made it into my hands. Proof that it was really happening.

And oh boy, was it TOTALLY worth the wait.

Initially though, my
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J.L.   Sutton
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From its ominous opening, "This is the way the world ends. Again", N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season offers an original and amazingly immersive experience! Jemisin's world-building exists side by side with a world teetering on the brink of destruction. But this has happened before. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanoes have wreaked havoc on the Stillness, the super continent and only land mass of this world. Previous generations/civilizations have been unable to avoid the destruction ...more
Twerking To Beethoven
Aug 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: load-of-wank
8:36pm, Sunday, August 21st, 2016. Noosa Heads

"The Fifth Season" won the Hugo for best novel.

And I'm like...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Aye, anyway... I guess if I say it's an utter load of wank, nobody will notice.

I honestly tried, without prejudice, and - go figure - failed. DNF.

Not only is this book written in present tense - which bugs the ever loving fuck out of me -, it's also written in second person which is *possibly* even worse, it just kicks my feeble, tiny, weak brain in.

I gave it a go a few months ago bec
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Riley
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best book I've read all year. I don't even have words right now
Nnedi
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful haunting tale told in the way that I love, with little regard for the linear illusion of time. And the voices, oh the three voices.
Tatiana
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tatiana by: Catie
Shelves: fantasy, nebula, locus, hugo, 2016
Updated 8/23/16 Even better second time around. I think it deserves a bump up to 5 stars.


It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but once I did, it was a smooth, fun ride. Awesome mythology. The polyamory scenario wasn't bad either.
Bibi
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So clever.

I've been on a reading binge of mostly sci-fi/fantasy fusion and let me tell you, this book will rock your world.

Hats off to Ms Jemisin. In all honesty I can't fathom how the idea and execution for this series could have originated from someone's brain.

A must read for lovers of sci-fi fantasy!
Scott  Hitchcock
I picked this book up forever ago on a Kindle daily deal for $1.99. I started it a month or so later. About 5 pages in I thought wow I'm really not feeling this I'll come back to it later. A few months pass and I try again, 5 pages and same result. After a few months I setup a group read to get myself to commit to more than 5 pages. So I start the book and after chapter one I'm thinking Holy Crap how is this getting such a great rating?

I then read chapter two and it was so awesome. Chapter two
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Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: Amazon Daily Deal 14Feb18 $2.99

4.5 Dystopianesk Fantasy Stars

“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.”

This was pretty different. It there is such a thing as dystopian fantasy then this is that. Not only are you on a world where there are the regular humans and lands and society. But there are also people whose magi
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Hannah
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it, fantasy
That was amazing. I read a lot of fantasy and obviously love that genre immensely - still, I don't usually give fantasy books five stars but this one definitely deserves every single one of those stars because it is pretty stinking fantastic.

The world N. K. Jemisin created is mesmerizing in its casual cruely, both in regards to the planet (that is pretty much out to kill everyone) and in regards to the social structure of the people living on this hostile planet. There are near extinction events
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)


DNF at 38%. Please someone give me a medal.

The gif is strong is this one. Consider your little barnacled selves warned.

This was such a delightful read.



Just kidding. Bloody stinking fish, this was painful as shrimp.

99,99999% of you People of Despicable Book Taste (PoDBT™) thought this was deliriously mind-blowing and scrumptiously original and fantabuliciously well written and all that crap, which can mean only one thing: you I read the book terribly wrong. Strange. That has rarely ever ha
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Philip
4.5ish stars.

Wow. This book was unlike anything I've read in a long time. I know that distinction gets thrown out a lot but not by me. I love the fantasy genre but not because every book I read within it is innovative and unique. There's really a lot of the same thing, which I'm fine with because I like most of the tried-and-true tropes and reliable modus operandi. But this. I don't even know how to classify it. It's not so much fantasy as it is... whatever it is. But I like it.

I took a few pag
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Mayim De Vries
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From time to time we do stumble upon a book that shakes us like a magnitude 10 earthquake. A book that requires a 6 star rating. Books that are as beautiful as they are scary, as haunting as they are prophetic happen once in a while to remind me that reading is much more than entertainment or a pleasant pastime; reading is necessity. The Fifth Season is one of these books.

How to explain pure genius condensed in the usual triangle of narrative-characters-worldbuilding? Jemisin begins: "Imagine a
...more
Matthias
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Matthias by: Bradley
Noble Kreator Jemisin

Goddess of Broken Earth and Fallen Moon

You have made us a home
A planet of potential
You have gifted us with history
Full of strife and wisdom
We are surrounded with beauty
Shrouded in mystery
Talents were bestowed on us
And the earth shakes as we discover them

Angrily, it shakes
Breathing fire, rock and poison
We are strong but stand uncertain
In the face of our Father's wrath

We love
We learn
We live

We fight
We flee
We fear

Please have mercy on what you have created.


But the Goddess does
...more
Joce (squibblesreads)
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!
Kaylin
IT SUCCEEDED MY MIND IS BLOWN

-----------

Audio-booking 🕺🏻(Cause my girl got my back again!)

I'm ready for this fantasy/scifi hybrid to blow my mind
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

This book was weird in the best way possible.

I don't know that I've ever read such a perfect blend of science fiction and high fantasy? It was a little jolting at first to reconcile my normal expectations of fantasy (a more medieval inspired setting) with what Jemisin presents here.

This is a world with electricity and asphalt, but also with horse drawn carriages and primitive housing in certain locations. There are academic discussions about scientific matters while char
...more
Book Riot Community
I know I’m a little late with this one, but holy crap this was an incredible book. It is definitely my favorite Jemisin so far. I have a list in my head of the people dead or alive that I would like to have at my dream dinner party (other guests include Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany) and N.K. Jemisin is for sure on the list now. The Fifth Season is an incredibly unique, inventive fantasy with a cast of complex, fascinating characters (human and sort-of-human). Also, surprise! Significant char ...more
Lyn
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good.

N. K. Jemison’s 2016 Hugo Award winner’s world building is as good as Frank Herbert or Ursula LeGuin and with magic rules as well thought out as Brandon Sanderson and with an intimate talent for complex characterization as good as Octavia Butler.

All comparisons aside, Jemisin’s work is wildly original and she has created a far future fantasy that provokes thought and entertains. Evoking Jack Vance’s dying earth, this is far, far in the future (if it is even Earth) where some people,
...more
Connor
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
[4.75 Stars is that allowed?]

Video Review:

https://youtu.be/flVWcTYKFQs
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
“And then he reaches forth with all the fine control that the world has brainwashed and backstabbed and brutalized out of him, and all the sensitivity that his masters have bred into him through generations of rape and coercion and highly unnatural selection. His fingers spread and twitch as he feels several reverberating points on the map of his awareness: his fellow slaves. He cannot free them, not in the practical sense. He’s tried before and failed. He can, however, make their suffering serv ...more
Algernon
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall; Death is the fifth, and master of all.

The Stillness is a fascinating world, but one that I am not in a hurry to book for my next vacation. I believe the locals have a peculiar sense of humour for calling 'Stillness' a land that trembles and shakes constantly with tectonic unrest. Not satisfied with regular earthquakes, this Stillnes literally blows up every few hundred years in a cataclysmic event that brings about the end of the world time and time again. The loc
...more
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N. K. Jemisin lives and works in New York City.
More about N.K. Jemisin...

Other Books in the Series

The Broken Earth (3 books)
  • The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)
  • The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)

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“For all those that have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.” 103 likes
“Tell them they can be great someday, like us. Tell them they belong among us, no matter how we treat them. Tell them they must earn the respect which everyone else receives by default. Them them there is a standard for acceptance; that standard is simply perfection. Kill those who scoff at those contradictions, and tell the rest that the dead deserved annihilation for their weakness and doubt. Then they'll break themselves trying for what they'll never achieve” 54 likes
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