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The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
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it was amazing

I’m a real Grinch when it comes to science fiction and fantasy. I’m always willing to take a chance on the genre but find myself disappointed by boring medieval magicks or tongue-tying cyber talk that feels super made-up, hokey and lame. Which is why I was really surprised when The Fifth Season, a high-fantasy epic about the end of the world, captured my undivided attention.

In The Fifth Season, tribes of people live on a supercontinent that is constantly being threatened by ongoing earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural calamities. Their survival depends on a much-feared and derided group called Orogenes; people with the ability to control and manipulate the energy of the earth. Jemisin’s book is structured so wholly and completely that it eases the reader into a world that feels grounded in reality rich with culture, history and language.

Her characters are mutli-layered, complex, and sometimes deeply unlikable yet sympathetic. Jemisin also doesn’t hand-feed or over-explain to the reader all the nuanced exchanges between characters, which makes interpreting their interactions SO much fun. And, she writes about sexuality and gender in such a fluid, natural way that I never feel like she’s congratulating herself on being inclusive – it was just another holistic part of the book.

As a reader of some YA fantasy, I do have a mild fatigue of the elemental powers trope. There’s always a set of tribes and they’re always responsible for the tides or terraforming or [insert other elemental thing here]. But controlling the planet’s elements is really only a small part of Jemisin’s book. I ended up loving this book so much I bumped another book on my TBR to pick up the second book in the series.

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Reading Progress

January 29, 2018 – Shelved
January 29, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
February 6, 2019 – Started Reading
February 18, 2019 – Finished Reading

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