In this compelling, challenging, and utterly gripping work that combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, Jemisin draws readers deeper into the extraordinary setting and characters she introduced in The Fifth Season. In the world called the Stillness—which the first book hints may actually be our world, thousands of years in the future—orogenes are hated and feared for their ability to control the geological forces that shape the land. Powerful orogene Essun desperately searches for her eight-year-old daughter, Nassun, who was stolen away by her father. He hopes to find someone to “fix” the girl and excise her burgeoning orogene talent. But Essun’s search is interrupted by her old mentor, Alabaster. Alabaster is dying, and he hopes to use Essun’s powers to end the current “season,” a disastrous change in global climate that could destroy all life, by recapturing the planet’s long-lost moon, whose absence is the cause of the ironically named Stillness’s geological instability. While Essun and Alabaster struggle to save the world, an ancient entity with very different goals begins gathering its own crew of young orogenes—and it has Nassun, who in this volume becomes a character as troubled, complex, and fascinating as her mother. The Stillness and those who dwell there are vividly drawn, and the threats they face are both timely and tangible. Once again Jemisin immerses readers in a complex and intricate world of warring powers, tangled morals, and twisting motivations. (Aug.)
"Jemisin is now a pillar of speculative fiction, breathtakingly imaginative and narratively bold."Entertainment Weekly
"Beyond the meticulous pacing, the thorough character work, and the staggering ambition and revelations of the narration, Jemisin is telling a story of our present, our failures, our actions in the face of repeated trauma, our responses to the heat and pressure of our times. Her accomplishment in this series is tremendous. It pole-vaults over the expectations I had for what epic fantasy should be and stands in magnificent testimony to what it could be."NPR on The Obelisk Gate
"Jemisin builds off of the strong foundation laid in The Fifth Season ... an interesting new series."
Booklist on The Obelisk Gate
"Exceptional."Library Journal (starred review) on The Obelisk Gate
"Stunning, again."Kirkus (starred review) on The Obelisk Gate
"[How] can something as large and complex as this story exist in her head, and how does she manage to tell it to me so beautifully? I can't stand how much I love The Broken Earth trilogy so far.... Absolutely dazzling."B&N Reviews on The Obelisk Gate
"Stunning.... Jemisin's most accomplished series yet."RT Book Reviews on The Obelisk Gate
"Jemisin is a tremendously talented writer on every level and she's at the top of her game here. I love books that beat me up and take my lunch money, and this one left me bruised, breathless, and desperate for the final volume."Rose Fox, senior reviews editor Publishers Weekly, (PW Staff Picks: The Best Books We Read in 2016) on The Obelisk Gate
"Brilliant characters, vivid world, and pacing . . . .The Obelisk Gate is an incredibly ambitious and important novel."The Verge on The Obelisk Gate
"Intricate and extraordinary."New York Times on The Fifth Season
"[The Fifth Season is] an ambitious book, with a shifting point of view, and a protagonist whose full complexity doesn't become apparent till toward the end ... Jemisin's work itself is part of a slow but definite change in sci-fi and fantasy."Guardian on The Fifth Season
"Astounding... Jemisin maintains a gripping voice and an emotional core that not only carries the story through its complicated setting, but sets things up for even more staggering revelations to come."NPR Books on The Fifth Season
"Jemisin's graceful prose and gritty setting provide the perfect backdrop for this fascinating tale of determined characters fighting to save a doomed world."Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on The Fifth Season
"A must-buy...breaks uncharted ground."Library Journal (starred review) on The Fifth Season
"Jemisin might just be the best world builder out there right now.... [She] is a master at what she does."
RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!) on The Fifth Season
"[A] powerful, epic novel of discovery, pain, and heartbreak."
SFF World on The Fifth Season
"This is an intense, exciting novel, where survival is always on the line, set in a fascinating, original and dangerous world with an intriguing mystery at the heart of it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!"Martha Wells on The Fifth Season
"Stunning and well constructed ... a book that imbues itself with deeper meaning the more it unfolds and reveals itself, and by the end, I saw everything in a new light. I knew Jemisin was talented, being a huge fan of her Inheritance and Dreamblood books, but here she employs heretofore unseen skills."Lightspeed on The Fifth Season
"One of the most celebrated new voices in epic fantasy."Salon.com
"With every new work, Jemisin's ability to build worlds and break hearts only grows."Kirkus (starred review)
"Heartbreaking, wholly unexpected, and technically virtuosic, The Fifth Season is a tour-de-force. I felt every shock--and the book is packed with them--in my marrow. It's no exaggeration to say that Jemisin expands the range of what great fantasy can be."Brian Staveley, author of The Emperor's Blades
The Fifth Season has begun, and a cold darkness signals the end of the world. Orogene Essun, formerly known as Damaya, formerly Syenite, has found relative safety in Castrima, but her daughter, Nassun, remains lost. Instead, Essun has met Alabaster, destroyer of the world, now being slowly devoured—both figuratively and literally—by his incredible power and his stone eater Antinomy. Alabaster tries to teach Essun how to tap the obelisks and possibly deliver civilization, with drastic consequences. Meanwhile, far away, Nassun travels with her father. Her love for him battles her desire to acknowledge her skills as an orogene, despite knowing that same power is what cost her baby brother his life. As Essun and Nassun deal with both their strengths and weaknesses, the non-orogene people and the stone eaters make a play for Castrima, and Nassun learns that her choices may alter the fate of the universe and tip the scales of authority. While time and location shift with the different points of view, the dual chain of events is masterly crafted. The epic journeys of mother and daughter through this dying realm are dynamic and emotional. VERDICT Jemisin's follow-up to The Fifth Season is exceptional. Those who anxiously awaited this sequel will find the only problem is that the wait must begin again once the last page is turned.—KC
In the second of a trilogy (The Fifth Season, 2015) by the science-fiction columnist for the New York Times Book Review, the latest in a series of apocalypses marches on.The powerful orogene Alabaster has used his powers to tear a blazing rift across the continent, and humanity faces extinction. Finding refuge in the underground comm of Castrima, the now-dying Alabaster struggles to impart vital information and skills to his former student and lover, Essun, which could potentially cease the flow of the tectonically devastating Seasons. All the while, Castrima faces tension from within—those who fear Essun's rapidly growing magical powers—and without, as an invading army prepares to take the comm's dwindling supplies for its own. Although Essun's greatest desire is to recover Nassun, the daughter she loves, the girl always wanted to escape her mother, whom she perceives as cold and who imposed harsh training to discipline and hide her daughter's orogeny. Nassun willingly left with her adored father even though he murdered her brother and violently loathes all orogenes. This uneasy father/daughter pair travels to a mysterious, distant community rumored to "cure" orogeny, where Nassun discovers a key figure from her mother's past—but he's no longer quite what he used to be. The worldbuilding deepens in this installment, with fresh revelations about the distant past and the true and alarming nature of the enigmatic stone eaters. But as in the previous volume, it's the people who take front and center. Jemisin's depictions of mob behavior are frighteningly realistic. And she offers a perceptive and painful portrayal of two different kinds of abusive relationships between parent and child. She also generates huge amounts of nuanced sympathy for some (but not all) of the characters driven to do truly dreadful things, often accidentally, to save themselves and the ones they love.Stunning, again.