The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ½ Stars Pages: 468
The first of the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin and it is a fantastic start to a series. The plot is an intricate story that gets better the further you read. Jemisin has created a world of high fantasy and sci-fi with an original plot filled with detailed characters.
I will say, you need to get through the first 60-75 pages to become invested, understanding the world. Jemisin crafts a unique world with vivid characters and types of magic that take time to flesh out. Her use of second-person narrative structure in alternating sequences is very unique and something you don’t often see. This is a type of media that with a reread you will catch even more things than you do with an initial sit-through.
It is a tale of an alternate Earth called “The Stillness” which is plagued by constant seismic activity. This leads to near-extinction events called “Fifth Seasons” that keep everyone on edge. Past civilizations litter the planet, ruined cities, ‘stonelore’ handed down, and strange obelisks that float through the atmosphere that serve no apparent purpose. The book focuses on people with powers called orogenes who can start and stop earthquakes, along with other elemental powers. There are guardians who hold the orogenes accountable, because often orogens are hunted down to serve in the Fulcrum which is a training ground for the empire.
Many people are represented giving visibility to a lot of different versions of how a family can look and it’s importance, especially those you may not have been born into. Each chapter represents a different point of view. Essun, whose story is told in second-person narration, who travels with two mysterious people Hoa and Tonkee. Demaya, whom is taken from her parents and brought to the Fulcrum (a type of training grounds). Syenite, who grew up at the Fulcrum is traveling with a companion Alabaster which explores their relationship.
Each book in this trilogy won a Hugo award which is an unheard-of achievement. The book creates a unique world filled with magic, action, suspense, and is an extremely rewarding read. I definitely understand why The Fifth Season won the Hugo, now I must find out why the other two of the trilogy are just as deserving.