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The Fifth Season

Jemisin, N. K. Book - 2015 Adult Book / Fiction / Fantasy / General / Jemisin, N K, Fantasy / Jemisin, N. K. None on shelf 5 requests on 3 copies Community Rating: 4.7 out of 5

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Malletts Adult Books
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Fantasy / Jemisin, N. K. 4-week checkout Due 12-18-2022
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Fantasy / Jemisin, N. K. 4-week checkout Due 12-30-2022

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 greatest city is destroyed by a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world's sole continent, a great red rift has been been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes -- those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon -- are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back. She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.


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Highly praised, but disappointing submitted by steveiew on June 28, 2018, 4:51pm This series has received a lot of attention and praise, so I was eager to read it. However, I found myself disappointed by the end of the first book. I didn't find the characters very compelling and was disappointed at the speed (or lack there of) of the plot. I think the writing style was interesting, and I appreciated that even more once I connected the dots, but it wasn't nearly as amazing as I was led to believe.

Excellent! submitted by brielle on July 5, 2018, 7:51pm I don't remember when or why I requested this book, but I really enjoyed reading it and was lucky enough to spot a copy of the sequel on the Express shelf shortly after I started this book (no delay in continuing the story!). I loved the world-building and the many layers of the main character/s.

**Heads up, there is some sex/swearing if that bothers you**

A Powerful Story submitted by emilyb308 on June 18, 2019, 9:10pm It took me about 200 pages to figure out what this book was doing and to get fully invested, but it was so worth the effort. It's heavy stuff, but also insightful and deeply moving. The world building is intricate. The characters are complex, flawed and yet still sympathetic. The writing is excellent. As soon as I finished, I went straight back to some earlier sections to better appreciate them from my new vantage point--and then went straight to the nearest Express Shelf for book two.

* For those who may need it, content warning for graphic sex and violence.

Love this fantasy writer submitted by riegger on June 27, 2019, 11:05pm Refreshing fantasy writer for adults. You really have to pay attention to all of the details to figure out what is going on. Really enjoyed her world building.

qre gqer submitted by yongmeiqin on July 17, 2019, 9:32pm hqe

Highly recommended submitted by Susan4Pax -prev. sueij- on July 27, 2019, 5:05pm 5/5 stars. This first book of the Broken Earth trilogy was simply outstanding. (I've finished the second and am half way through the third, and while I like the other two, I think this was the best of the three, and works as a stand-alone.)

First, Jemisin's storytelling is superb. She utilizes her characters to do world building in a complete, complex, yet thoroughly engaging and engrossing manner. We encounter the orogenes (people who can feel an manipulate the seismic earth), as well as Guardians who control them, the Fulcrum who trains them, and stills who fear them. It is clear that this is a complex society with a deep history, and while to be honest I wasn't always sure that I understood all of the dynamics of the factions, it was enough to be aware that they existed, and to see their pull on various important characters. No one important felt cookie-cutter, but rather multi-faceted, with wants and needs, the result of their society and their own selves. It was beautiful to engage with.

And then there was the larger story, which was one of a society in upheaval. How do people survive on a planet that regularly over time experiences a Fifth Season... a volcanic winter lasting anywhere from 6 months to a couple of decades? How do communities plan? Who lives and who dies? On a planet that is constantly seismically active and some people can either create or quell that action, which people matter, who is free, who is not, who is valuable, and who is expendable? This book begins the dive into those questions, and speaks eloquently to that question in our society as well. Jemisin does not shy away from the hard questions.

I could not put this book down. Definitely fantasy, not science fiction, although it is grounded in some interesting geology. Highly recommended.

Wow submitted by jacks404 on October 14, 2019, 9:07pm This book is so good it’s bananas. I am itching to get the next one. I wish the series had 20 books in it so I never had to feel like it would end.

So impressive submitted by Princess Cimorene on July 21, 2020, 12:45am This book, and the series as a whole, is SO fascinating. The way the magic works is so well-conceived (love the use of geology!), the narrative style is unique and engaging, and the power dynamics and social commentary are so powerful. It's so well-written. The characters are complex. The language and worldbuilding feel natural and believable.

The narration for the audiobook is also really good.

Hard to put down submitted by chowcy on July 27, 2020, 3:39pm Pros: Excellent world-building with an interesting narrative style and well-paced twists that had me rereading previous sections.
Cons: There are no characters you truly care about

Engaging read submitted by cclark7 on July 9, 2021, 11:56am This story starts out from several points of view, that resolve as you read on. A thoroughly engaging read, though I may be biased because how can you not love a story with character names like Syenite? :)

A New Fantasy World submitted by KatieD on August 19, 2021, 11:28am I love Jemisin's world-building in this story. It's a fantasy world, but it is really unique! There aren't fairies, elves, and dwarves but whole new races of people. It took me a minute to get used to the second person writing style, but once I did, I really enjoyed it!

Beware the Hype submitted by bookasaurusray on July 27, 2022, 10:23am I guess I just didn't love this one like everyone else - a bit over hyped and I was so lost for a bit. It really didn't get good until the last 100 pages or so.

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The broken earth

New York : Orbit, 2015.
Year Published: 2015
Description: 498 pages : map ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Format: Book


End of the world -- Fiction.
Mothers and daughters -- Fiction.
Fantasy fiction.
Apocalyptic fiction.