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The Obelisk Gate

(The Broken Earth #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  85,617 ratings  ·  6,827 reviews
This is the way the world ends... for the last time.

The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.

It continues with the obel
Paperback, 413 pages
Published August 16th 2016 by Orbit
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Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  85,617 ratings  ·  6,827 reviews

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Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5/5 Stars

Buddy read with the lovely Melanie!

The Obelisk Gate just won the Hugo Award 2017 for Best Novel of the year category, and coincidentally, I finished reading the book on the same day the result of the award was announced. Sadly, it’s not a happy coincidence because I highly disagree with it.

This is probably the most unpopular opinion I ever wrote so far. At the time of posting this review, out of 12470 ratings, less than 200 readers rated this book below 3 stars, I am one of them. I lo
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
So I listened to this the first time on audio instead of reading my paperback. As most of you know I only like doing re-reads on audio because I miss too much on first time reads but it's all good.

Once again, even though I didn't understand all that was going on (same thing happened when I read the first book by paperback) some of the time I still loved it. I'm so weird that way. 😳

Nassun is off with her horrible father and some peeps and her mother, Essun is off doing her thing.

These books are
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I thought I wasn't going to like this one as much as the first book.
The pace was a bit slow... but the ending was great and I'm looking forward to the third one!
Edit 8/11/17

HUGO WINNER for 2017!!!!! That's the second one in a row for the SAME series! :) And since I've already read the third one and squealed all over it, I'm going on a limb and calling it three Hugos in a row.

Don't hate me if I'm right! :)

Original review:

My mind cannot stop dancing with joy after reading this. You might say that I'm dancing with Father Earth, enjoying the reveals as one would enjoy the unearthing of so many gems of storytelling awesomeness.

The world-building is still sha
1.) The Fifth Season ★★★★★

Buddy Read with Petrik

I finished this book just after it won its Hugo award for the best novel of 2017. This and The Fifth Season are so deserving of the awards and praise they receive. These books leave me wordless, because there is no explaining how much of a meaningful impact these books have on the world, let alone the SFF community. All I can truly say is thank you to N.K. Jemisin for this world, these characters, and these important messages that continue to ren
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARDS 2017 for best novel

4.5 stars. I see you. "I can't stand Fantasy novels! They're all the same! There are too many characters! It's predictable! Unrealistic! Not diverse!" ← Trust me, I hear you. The Obelisk Gate is different, though, and here's why you should give it a chance :

You're very tired of reading the same uninspired writing over and over again? Fear no more! N.K. Jemisin's writing is nothing short of fantastic, with perhaps the best second Person POV I'
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
There's something so special about this series.

I'm not going to lie, it's a bit complicated. It takes its sweet time revealing bits and pieces of itself to the reader. The magic isn't always intuitive, the characters' motivations aren't always laid out nicely and neatly. But it's always fascinating and keeps me asking questions.

It's not a series I would recommend for those of us without patience.

It's unique second person point of view is, again, one of the best uses of this perspective I hav
Elle (ellexamines)
“The way of the world isn’t the strong devouring the weak, but the weak deceiving and poisoning and whispering in the ears of the strong until they become weak, too.”

So... that was good. That was really, really good.

I think… I talked about what makes this series special thematically a lot in my review for The Fifth Season. But I genuinely think the core of this series, the thing that makes it so impactful, is how it talks about oppression. I was really looking at orogeny in book one
Always Pouting
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I read this right after I finished the first one and I read the third one right after. I have to say that I found this to be my favorite out of the three books and the strongest out of the trilogy. Personally I didn't quite like the parts of the book written through second person POV and it felt really weird when it was addressing it directly to the person reading. I think what I enjoyed most about this book was the character development and the complexity brought to the characters we met in ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: distopia, fantasy
*** 4.44 ***

I did not wait for a buddy read, because after finishing the first book I HAD TO KNOW!!! I engulfed this one in a day and have to say, despite loving the heck out of it, my thirst to KNOW is not quenched... I need the third book right now, but alas, I will have to wait like a good and patient reader and preorder it, so I can have it as soon as it comes out, if not possible to get it earlier.

"..."Life cannot exist without the Earth.Yet there is a not-unsubstantiated chance that li
Kayla Dawn
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Not as good as the first one imo but still extremely good.
Tess Burton
To summarize, it seems even the best authors can fall victim to Middle Book Syndrome.

I still adore N.K. Jemisin, I still think she's a goddess. The Obelisk Gate just didn't do it for me. The first book in this series, The Fifth Season, was just so exciting. It was filled with incredible world-building and a well-paced journey with a complex and likable heroine. But whereas The Fifth Season was probably 70% backstory, I should really have known this installment would focus more on the present.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
TS Chan
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-owned
4.5 stars.

The Obelisk Gate may feel like a middle book, but it is an excellent one.

Before I start, I just have to say that this book's cover is my favourite of the trilogy. I absolutely love its colours and beautiful stone design so evocative of past civilisations' architecture.

The non-linear plot of two past timelines and a present one converged towards the end of the first book, and The Obelisk Gate takes the story forward almost immediately with the second person present POV of Essun. There
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
This book transitions very nicely from where The Fifth Season left off. We backtrack in time a bit to follow the journey Essun's daughter Nassun took with her father, Jija, and then the rest of the book runs in a parallel timeline following Essun in Castrima and Nassun further South in Jekity.

Jemisin has a wonderful storyteller's voice, which she uses to great effect here. The pain inflicted on Essun by her time with the Fulcrum continues to reverberate down through to Nassun, as Nassun begins a
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

“The Fifth Season” set the bar really high for the follow up, but N K Jemisin delivers the goods in the sequel with as much skill and inventivity as I have come to expect from her original, engaging stories. With a whole planet as a terrible playground and a timescale extended to tens of thousands or more years, Jemisin redefines what EPIC means in terms of fantasy. Robert Jordan and Steven Erikson are arguably in a good position to challenge my enthusiastic placing of this series on the
Robin (Bridge Four)
Congratulations to N.K. Jemisin for winning the Hugo Award for this book as well as last year for The Fifth Season

This series is a little different from many that I’ve read recently. I said in my prior review that it seemed like a Dystopian Fantasy and I believe it is classified as Sci-Fi. I’m still not sure what it is officially but with some of the revelations in this it appears that this might be a version of Earth in the distant, distant future.

I really like the writing in this. The way the
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By now you've gotten over that devilishly clever writing devise that Ms Jemisin wielded in book one and, like me, you're eager to continue the journey with Essun, unwavering in your desire to uncover the secrets of this strange but fascinating world.

And you're not disappointed.

This is writing at par with the Sandersons, Bardugos et al. NK is a master storyteller!

You, Surprised

You are disappointed, you liked book 1. You actually had a gut feeling that book 2 will not be as good which made you keep putting reading it off. Your instinct seems right. You actually was bored while reading the book and confused and the goal became finishing it rather than enjoying it. That's a bad sign. You are not happy but you are still going to continue the series to see if it gets better.

This is how this review ends, not with a bang but a whimper...

Actual Rating: 2.5 stars
Scott  Hitchcock
I've heard people say this suffered from middle book syndrome. Not at all for me. If anything I was able to enjoy it more so because the second person present tense was familiar this time around and not distracting.

This book picks right back up where the last left off and the scope of what we're dealing with is truly revealed in not generations or centuries but in tens of thousands of years. Some of the descriptions of changing eras, landscapes, seas, land masses and the rest reminded me of Eri
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, review-copy
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Obelisk Gate is the highly anticipated follow-up to The Fifth Season, further building upon the world and characters created by N.K. Jemisin in the world of The Broken Earth. While it has the distinct feel of a middle book in a trilogy, letting the first book maintain its edge in my eyes, it’s still nonetheless a fantastic and very rich sequel.

The story picks up from where we left off, transitioning us into the start o
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
While I didn't quite enjoy this sequel as much as I enjoyed The Fifth Season it is still an impressively imagined, intriquately plotted, and highly original fantasy book. I am just so in love with the world N. K. Jemisin has created here! I cannot believe I will have to wait until August to see how it will conclude; I mean I know it'll end in tears (my tears) because there is no way a story this cruel can have the perfect happy ending I want for these great characters.

The characters are one of J
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As you can probably tell from the 5 star review: I LOVED this book!
I enjoyed Fifth Season, but this book really sealed the deal for me.
The characters, the narration, the story, the magic....everything is so unique and new and I cannot get enough! Definitely a breath of fresh air in the fantasy genre. If you're looking for a fantasy story that is new and refreshing, features a diverse cast of characters then this is most certainly the book for you.
I cannot wait for The Stone Sky! Is it August ye
Evil earth why do you do this to me?

I am so disappointed right now that I don't think I'll be able to review this properly. I wanted to love this book so much so that I've been reading it again and again to make myself like it a little bit more. I've been reading all 5 and 4 stars review for past 2 hours to convince myself that it is good but nothing is changing this simple yet powerful fact:The Obelisk Gate was just so fucking boring, at places ve ve ve very bland, filled with info-dumps and o
Basically none of the characters are particularly nice or good and the action doesn't ever really ramp up in this book at all, and yet I am obsessed with this trilogy. There's just something about this series that I personally really enjoy and connect with, I can't really explain it but I'll try:

The world building is amazing and it builds even more in this story - it might even be the central focus of the plot in a way, as more things are revealed in this book. What I found even more enjoyable
4.25ish stars.

This is such a cool series, right!?

The world-building and "magic" system are cool and different and unconventional. Jemisin's writing style is cool and unusual and edgy. Her characters are cool and genuine and unabashedly imperfect. Just so cool.

Obviously this is a middle book and some of the novelty isn't as novel this time around. The aforementioned edgy writing style that Jemisin employs works for her and I like it most of the time but after a while
ends up
Stefan Bach
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"If being less than himself means being less than the monster that he was, he cannot regret it."

I have read your reviews. I understand those who said this book suffers from a 'second book' syndrome;
and I understand you who said you don't understand how can anyone say this book suffers from a 'second book' syndrome.
I tend to agree with: all of you.


Well, it's not me who said either of those two things.
(shut up, it's my logic :))
Seriously though, I agree. There is a problem with info-d
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
The first of this series was so good that it's hard to rate this book fairly. I would have loved it no matter, as an extension of the wonderful world and characters of the first, but it's hard task to be as amazing as the first book. It's not as earth-shattering (so punny), but it lived up to my expectations, continuing to raise questions and mysteries throughout (and answering a few, too). I continue to be amazed at the depth of the world Jemisin has created and the sheer wonderfulness of her g ...more
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N. K. Jemisin lives and works in New York City.

Other books in the series

The Broken Earth (3 books)
  • The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)
  • The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)

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