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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)
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Archive: Other Books > The Fifth Season - NK Jemison - 5 stars

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Shelly | 561 comments Dystopia+Fantasy+Very Important Ideas in a uniquely written book where characters/storylines come together in unexpected ways and then you are left with a giant cliffhanger so you have to immediately buy or borrow the 2nd and 3rd books of the trilogy. WOW!! Jemisin builds a world where cycles of unpredictable seismic events and associated sequelae cause the onset of fifth seasons, and they kill off large portions of the earth's population. But certain people, known as orogenes, can control the earth, and use these powers to stop or at least lessen these events. Their powers can also be used in destructive ways, so they must be found, and trained, and controlled, and sometimes even killed. The orogenes are hated and feared by everyone and must either try to keep their orogeny secret or submit to the systematic oppression of the leadership. The book follows 3 orogenes, all women, on their journeys. One is a young girl recently discovered to be an orogene, the second is living in the orogene training institution, and the third is a 40ish woman who is trying to live undetected in her community. Their perspectives are very different as they confront the system and consider what they may gain and what they may lose.
The book is not an easy read, especially the first chapters. And because the end is often a new beginning, the beginning of the book is actually the end. That coupled with 3 storylines makes it feel a bit disjointed. It does all come together. I found the book taken as a whole to be quite brilliant.

Jemison won the Hugo Award 3 years in a row, for this book and the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy. I found her acceptance speech in 2018 (I think for the 3rd book) to be quite moving.

message 2: by Joanne (last edited May 21, 2020 12:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7508 comments This was a 5 star read for me too, Shelly. I was mesmerized by this story and author. The next book The Obelisk Gate
was my favorite of the series. At the time of reading it, I was not writing reviews, but I can vividly remember all of it. I will be very interested in your feelings at the end. I will wait to express my thoughts on the whole series until you have finished. Would love to chat about it when you do.

Shelly | 561 comments I am looking forward to reading #2 and #3 very soon! I ordered the trilogy (in dead tree version) because I want to be able to take the book with me without taking my laptop. And I do not want to wait for my library to reopen. Then I will be able to pass the trilogy on to someone else. Because it needs to be shared!

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7508 comments Shelly wrote: "I am looking forward to reading #2 and #3 very soon! I ordered the trilogy (in dead tree version) because I want to be able to take the book with me without taking my laptop. And I do not want to w..."

I would insist that I got it back, if I passed it on. I found myself wanting to read it over, I hardly ever read. My library has it, so one day I just may do that.

annapi | 4986 comments So glad you liked this too! I think Jemisin's world building is fantastic, and all three books in this series won well-deserved Hugos. The last one I felt was really mind-blowing.

message 6: by Theresa (last edited May 21, 2020 03:11PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Theresa | 6730 comments I thought the book brilliant although still flawed but not for me. It is too fantasy dystopian or something for my taste. I concluded I won't be reading the rest of the trilogy. Yet scenes from it still haunt me, and that may just be a measure of what a great writer Jemisen is.

I agree that her 2018 acceptance is a wonder.

message 7: by Meli (new) - added it

Meli (melihooker) | 3256 comments Darn it, I was just at my local indie yesterday and carried this around then decided against it (just because it was the trilogy and longer). Didn't think I would read anytime soon. I will have to bump this up on the list!

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