This is the way the world ends. For the last time.
A season of endings has begun.
It starts with the great, red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.
It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.
It starts with betrayal,and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.
This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the Earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.
A new fantasy trilogy by Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award-nominated author N. K. Jemisin.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2015 N.K. Jemisin (P)2015 Hachette Audio
An intriguing concept and story. It wanders far and then comes back to tie up loose ends. Very well performed and beautifully -- poetically -- written. Robin Miles is one of those great narrators who becomes the book so that you don't notice her at all because she is the characters, she is the story. I will be very happy to recommend this one to everyone who likes speculative fiction and very interested to read the next episodes!
The description is a bit deceptive. It sound depressing, but it isn't, not at all. There is magic ... of a kind. Not traditional magic or traditional magicians. No elves, wizards, or other standard fantasy elements. This is the first book I've read in quite a while that has not been derivative of someone else's foundation story. A breath of fresh air after a long run of Tolkien wannabe tales.
It is set in a time outside of time. It could as easily be before now or anytime in the future. You will have to decide for yourself. The author doesn't tell you. Lots of hints, but nothing specific enough to use as evidence. I suspect more will be revealed in subsequent books.
It's also, in its own way, rather sexy. Non-traditionally sexy -- so if you are one of the "traditional family values" crowd, this is probably not for you.
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It was a slow start, if I was to grade the first Eight chapters, it would go C+, B-, B, B+, B+, A-, A- and A. Mr. Impatient me, did listen to all 15 and a half hours. Jemison creates an interesting world and the reader learns about it through showing and not telling. There are 23 chapters and something interesting happens in each. I hung on for the whole thing, as I wanted to learn more about the end of the world. The whole book is well written, with some interesting surprises. Jack Vance would approve. There are also some similarities to Steve Erickson's series. The story is told through three people, kind of. While two of them are told in third person, the other is told in second person? I think. You, did this, You thought this, You, You, You. I found this way of story telling to be irritating. By the end of the book, I was also depressed and ready to be out of this depressing world. There is no comic relief and no happy people.
HE UNDERSTANDS THAT SHE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND
The reader either read very slow, or someone in production slowed things down. I put my MP3 player on fast and the reader sounded normal.
Robin Miles's narration is powerful, and nuanced, and moving, and is worth the price of admission on its own. The sort of narration that made me immediately look up the narrator to find more.
Jemisin's story starts a bit off kilter, but let it wash over you and soon you'll be swept away. The tale is intricate and sometimes meandering, but every diversion is well worth it. The world she has crafted is truly unique and interesting, the characters and drama compelling.
Jemison uses the narrative to tackle many complex issues, but it doesnt ever feel too heavy handed or preachy. She brings a critical and questioning eye to bear on motherhood, slavery, sex, monogamy, racism, power, religion, violence, death... Nothing goes unquestioned or untouched, and she doesn't pull her punches. The result is a fantasy novel unlike any other, and Jemison's best novel yet.
I wasn't into this book until about hour three. I heard so much good stuff about it that I figured if I just waited long enough it would eventually get to the good part which is exactly what went down.
Don't consider this a purchase-killer though. I had a tough time getting through the first 100 pages of Game of Thrones. I'm glad I didn't give up on that series so soon.
Reader, reviewer, blogger
I have to admit that it was somewhat of a slog to get through this book, at least until the end. The plot is divided among three main stories with several characters each, and the chapters alternate the focus. The change in voice is not an issue for me, but may be a little disconcerting for some. I wondered how the stories were related, and that is resolved at the end. But I think using plot devices like this is unnecessary if the story itself is unique and interesting enough. As a reader/listener, I don't like being dragged along.
This being the first of a series, the ending leaves a big (really big) question, and most will want to move to the next book.
The magical system is very interesting, although also kind of depressing.
The narration was absolutely wonderful, and I will be adding Ms. Miles to my list of favorite readers.
Holy crap that was good! THis book was a labyrinth. A slow, wandering, desperate, sad and exciting look into a dystopia that was truly frightening.
I really don't have the words for this one. It was completely unexpected and I just....wow. I consider myself truly lucky to have stumbled on Ms Jemisin. So, so good. I recommend to anyone that loves fantasy.
In addition, the narration by Robin Miles was superb. She was perfection.
That was amazing and terrifying and wonderful and awful all at once. What an experience. Very well written, characters I cared about in spite of myself, a well built world of horrors that are slowly revealed. The narration is spectacular, full of all the passion and emotion if the writing. I can't wait for the sequel.
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The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin is the first in a trilogy called The Broken Earth. This is a story about three women, Essun, Damaya, and Syenite. They live on a continent called The Stillness. Ironically, this land, and probably the entire planet, is overrun with unpredictable seismic activity that throws the physical world into turmoil. When this seismic activity is cataclysmic, or a season occurs, people die or band together in an attempt to survive. Societal hierarchy is arranged with Orogenes at the bottom. Orogenes are people who have the ability to control seismic activity, which can make them assets in attempting to survive or calm an earthquake, or it can make them dangerous. They are feared and so kept under oppressive control. Each of these main characters is an Orogene of varying ages in the same world living in different times relative to the occurrence of the latest season. However, each Orogene must contend with the changing circumstances in their lives as they attempt to accept who they are as individuals in a society that fears and hates them.
This is an incredibly well written and complex novel and I really enjoyed it. The world building and characters are just fantastic. The premise of the novel driving the post-apocalyptic nature of the story is well thought out and presented. It also ties in seamlessly with the hierarchical society structure that is central to the story line. There is a diverse set of characters and each character and the communities that they live in are vivid and pull the reader in almost immediately. The details help to bring the characters to life and to also hone in the humanity of each of them. Each has strengths and weaknesses. The story jumps between the points of view of each of the three main characters. One quirk of the novel is that one of the points of view is in second person. It was a little challenging to get used to, as I rarely hear it, but it worked. There are also interludes between chapters giving some information about the world, which are useful. The end is a bit of cliffhanger and for me it was also a bit confusing. But it does get the mind working on what might be happening. I’m really excited about the next novel in the trilogy. The story is really great, and it’s been a challenge to convey that without giving away significant plot points.
The narration by Robin Miles was also great. She was able to capture the voice and accents of each of the characters well. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy novels with complex and well developed world building and a story about a population of people living under oppression while simultaneously and inherently having a lot of power.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
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I don't quite understand the ride I just took but I like it. the pov and pace really had me confused for a while, as this story is told in a wildly different manner than I'm used to. But the story itself is fascinating and wonderfully inclusive in a way I didn't expect but greatly appreciate. this is a real departure from a lot of the typical fantasy I've read, in tone and twists and in the antihero qualities of the protagonist. I'm really looking forward to the next installment!
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