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Publisher's Summary

This is the way the world ends, for the last time.

The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.

Essun - once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger - has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request. But if Essun does what he asks, it would seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

Far away, her daughter Nassun is growing in power - and her choices will break the world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2016 N.K. Jemisin (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Exceptional." ( Library Journal)
"Robin Miles continues as narrator, and the large cast of characters allows her to draw on her vast store of accents. Her narration is intimate and engaged, and she enriches the complicated relationships.... Miles draws out the emotions - sometimes volatile, sometimes seething beneath the surface--as the complexities of this postapocalyptic world unfold." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    3,614
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    1,211
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    238
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    42
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    14

Performance

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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Miles is becoming my favorite narrator

Can I give this 10 stars? Jemisin is a freaking writing god. If anything, this was better than the 1st book. I rate this series alongside the Stormlight Archive and have no doubts that I'll be reading and rereading them both many, many times.

The narration was just beautiful. I love the varied accents that Miles can bring to the table.

My only complaint is that the audio and Kindle versions aren't synced so I had to always make sure I switched back and forth at a chapter break. That is more than a bit of a pain.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this series!!!

Where does The Obelisk Gate rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Current fave in all fiction

What about Robin Miles’s performance did you like?

Mile's voice is like a massage on my ears, and her performance drops me right into the middle of this world.

Any additional comments?

Such an amazingly rich and different world. Extremely unique and a wonderful travel experience. I'm going to listen to the first book again right now.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting Reveals but Mostly Filler

As a follow up to book one, I found this book to be mostly filler. It was one of those books where I was willing to give the author a pass on some style choices but then it really got on my nerves towards the end.

What I enjoyed - We get to learn some interesting information on why there are the seasons. I like the idea of post-humans evolving special abilities (I think that's what happened, anyway). We learn a lot more about the different types of post-humans and their function. Nessun was interesting to see how she learns and deals with her past. I liked the interactions with Alabaster and learning more about stone-eaters. It's a very interesting world she has created.

I had hope, after book one, that she was going the direction of Mark Lawrence's first two series. The idea of a future Earth where they are interacting with old tech that we recognize. While I believe there was this tech in "Obelisk Gate," I could not determine what she was implying they were interacting with. I was especially disappointed when we learn there is magic (instead of them just being post-humans). Finding out that magic is in everything felt like - oh, it's just pantheism. It was like something unique just became cliché with these choices.

The author continues the issues with murkiness in other ways: The use of pronouns became very confusing with several choices the author made. One is the continued choice of using a second person pov for Essun. There are also sections with first person pov and others with third person but you don't know who is talking or being talked to. There are also quotes with redacted parts at the beginning of chapters. I found myself often unsure of what person a pronoun was referring to and the style felt pretentious and not well-deployed.

Another source of annoyance is the extensive focus on everyone's appearance - their hair especially. I have no idea why we should care. Is she trying to imply the movement of humans/post-humans through Earth? As an aside - also there is so much focus on the interpersonal community stuff and I just didn't see how it was relevant to the plot in the end.

The book was okay, but I just think the author fell victim to hubris. I do admire her creativity but she was unsuccessful at implementation of her ideas. She made too many bad style choices and needed more editing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian Gray
  • Pittsburgh, PA United States
  • 10-31-16

Loving and recommending frequently

Still living this amazing trilogy from N K Jemisin. The characters are so real and 3 dimensional, the story is fascinating–I really never want to be not reading this book–and the metaphor to our own world makes the reading a thoughtful experience. obelisk gate also somehow contains even more reveals and surprises even though it essentially picks up just where broken earth left off. I can't wait for the final installment.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellence - A rare gem

If you could sum up The Obelisk Gate in three words, what would they be?

This books continues the story lines from book one. The world is going through another season but this one will last thousands of years with the resulting planet being inhabitable. But the people do not accept this or understand it. It seams that the extinction of the human race is eminent but Alabaster has been to the mountain top and returns (broken and half-dead himself) to tell the only person who can finish what he started to heal the Earth. Tons of questions are answered. Revelations are realized. Nassun comes of age in this madness. Essun grows in her craft, realizes her potential and that she can't do it alone.

It is nothing like N.K. Jemisin's other series which is nothing short of amazing because world building is hard and that is exactly what the writer does here. Among horrifying post-apocalyptic events, dogmatic guardians who believe their evil is good, the mysterious absence and presence of celestial staples we continue to learn about the relationships of the characters, their histories as to how they came to be who they are and one I didn't see coming...Father Earth.

What did you like best about this story?

This books has something for fans of Octavia Butler, Jules Verne, world ending scenarios, dysfunctional families and of course...N. K. Jemisin.

Which character – as performed by Robin Miles – was your favorite?

Alabaster (sp?). I think Robin did an excellent job capturing his unique personality and quirks.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The constant struggle for acceptance for who a person is as a human being.

Any additional comments?

This is the third world built by this author. I don't know many who can do this. I am not surprised that the author won a Hugo for this series.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sublime pairing of story and narrator

Any additional comments?

4.5 stars. Jemisin is simply masterful. She continues to weave a story and flesh out a world of her imagination, grounded in complex and heartbreaking characters, elemental and existential threats, and the ephemera of magic and mystery. This middle book of the trilogy holds up beautifully against the first and lays the groundwork for what promises to be a stunning conclusion. Essun remains in the underground comm, surrounded by crystal, struggling to wrest sense from Alibaster's teachings, deciphering Hoa's designs, and finding a way to make a home in a place where she doesn't have to hide who she is. Nessun is on the road with her father, trying to find shelter in a season and trying to survive that father's mingled love and loathing, eventually crossing paths with a figure from Essun's past. The characters spiral out, stills and oragens, stone-eaters and Guardians, and the very Earth itself. Worth the time of any reader.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I feel withdrawals coming 😥

I need book 3 yesterday!! This writer is EVERYTHING!!

I knew I'd be a fan since book one. I finished both book 1and 2 in only a few days and now I am just sad book 3 isn't ready yet.

I'm new to afro futurism/sci-fi but I can already tell NK Jamison is going to be someone to look out for. She's 1 of 3 to that have inspired me to get back into writing myself. I'm looking forward to the next book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Compelling, tightened focus but slower

I think this series is going to have a lasting impact on direction of fantasy as N.K Jemisin breaks the mold in a laudable way that I hope and believe other authors will embrace.
The Obelisk Gate continues the Broken Earth trilogy by taking a microcosm view of the world where the first book Fifth Season took the broader perspective of sweeping world building. The introspection slowed the pace with gaps between the action intended to explain the characters motivation and set the atmosphere. Still I feel the author does a good job not wasting the readers time. She doesn't have a problem fast forwarding through months or, in the previous book, even years. It gives a more realistic time aspect over to world changing events. The characters in Obelisk Gate aren't the same you met in the previous book- they're older, wiser, more frustrated, less patient like many of us as we age. Never really thought about before how frequently in fantasy the innocent character goes on adventure of a lifetime, saves the world and is back before supper or at least relatively quick given the scope of the adventure and travels. I am concerned about the pace and level of introspection of the characters as I head into the final book but I also can't stop now. The series is incredibly original, the writing excellent, the magic system complex and believable, the characters interesting and multidimensional.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Like a song with beautiful lyrics, but dull tune..

All the 3 books in the series have beautiful prose. But, the pace is agonizingly slow. Same things are repeated countless times before anything actually happens and the story moves forward. In the end, I just finished the last book only out of obligation to complete the series, but can't say I enjoyed the journey.

The narration, however, is top notch. It complements the beautiful prose and elevates it to a magical level.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An excellently written epic fantasy

I really enjoyed listening to The Obelisk Gate and The Fifth season. Both I highly suggest if you are itching for a great epic fantasy. N.K. Jemisin's is something very unique and thrilling. The world she has created has an intricate design, a vast array of different cultures and relatable natural geological events. The formulation of the narrative is captivating, clever, interesting and emotional. I definitely suggest this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful