• The Obelisk Gate

  • The Broken Earth, Book 2
  • By: N. K. Jemisin
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (497 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Book two in the record-breaking triple Hugo Award-winning trilogy.

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

Essun has found shelter, but not her missing daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request only Essun can grant.

The Broken Earth trilogy begins with The Fifth Season, continues in The Obelisk Gate and concludes with The Stone Sky - out now.

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

Critic Reviews

"Amazing." (Ann Leckie)

"Breaks uncharted ground." (Library Journal)

"Heartbreaking, wholly unexpected." (Brian Staveley)

What listeners say about The Obelisk Gate

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Slow but hard-hitting

I love this series! It's one of the great modern sci-fi books, in my opinion. It's not about action but the development of characters in a dystopian world. Very strong female characters.

2 people found this helpful

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it just gets better

I loved the book. I am rather new to audible and I struggle to focus when listening to a book. The narrator, as well as the contents of the book of course, made it very easy to focus.

1 person found this helpful

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The second book is as good as the first!

The story keeps evolving and expanding without losing focus. A rare trilogy where the second book is at least as good as the first.

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Cool but…

It’s a good follow up to the first book, but as the first one the main character can be very annoying at time. But also as the first one, the last third part of the book is captivating.
Overall good nonetheless.

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Not quite as brilliant as The Fifth Season

While not quite as intriguing as the first in the series, it was still a good read

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Great read, I enjoyed it overall

The first book was very very good. Interesting and so different. This book is less everything but still good. Keeps you interested in the characters and the narrative. The plot is a bit confusing. I’ll definitely read the next one but I’m not in any hurry, if that makes sense.

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breathtaking

I loved this book, its imaginative world, its characters who keep developing, and the story itself which kept surprising me.

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Even better than the first one

If you read The fifth season, you already know.
If not, stay assured, it is still great.

I've consumed this one so fast it feel shorter. A lot happens and the plot thickens. You must remember what happened in the first book because this is a direct continuation, so be prepared.

All I said about the first one is still true. But I have to emphasize, the narrator work is even more flawless that last time. She does an amazing job voicing every character and in one moment in particular goes beyond simply voicing and gives the audiobook a very special thing that the book never could acomplished alone. Kudos to her, brilliant performance.

Now if you excuse me, I'm going to start the third one.

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Best Books I've Read in Years

This entire trilogy was such a joy to read, even if it was quite dark in theme. Was so refreshing to have a true adult, fantasy/scfi storyline that didn't shy away from heavier topics. I was completely emersed until the very end. Best books I've picked up in many years

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Brilliant Conclusion

Brilliant conclusion to the series that once again does not just continue the story, but expands it and builds something else on top of the foundation.

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  • M. Atkinson
  • 09-08-16

I Can't Even

Seriously, if you are looking for the crack cocaine of speculative sci-fi/fantasy, this is it. The author is the queen of tantalising her listener/reader with titbits of information before jerking away on another tangent, such that it's half an hour later when you realise the Very Important Question hadn't been answered. Devious. I CANNOT wait for book 3.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Asbjørn
  • 03-08-20

A one book story dragged into a trilogy

t is sad that fantasy fiction has somehow latched itself to the trilogy format. This lengthy format addiction means that too many authors stretch their material to fit. The Broken Earth story has material for one book - at max two. Being stretched over a trilogy means that it looses its momentum. It keeps going long after the reader/listener has lost interest. It is a pain to listen to plot elements that would have been exiting in a 5-10 minute frame, being dragged out for over an hour.
Authors, editors and publishers - Please start making single novel fantasy stories. Please don't make epics out of a one book novels!

As for the Broken Earth trilogy, a drawn out storyline is not the only problem unfortunately.

They author struggles to make some of the key characters believable. The daughter is particularly jarring. It seems that the author is concerned that the reader/listener will not follow her development - so she over explains. Sadly, for me that just emphasises the wrongness and strains the character's credulity.

Magic and the fantastical is part of the beautiful escape of the fantasy genre. But even magic and the fantastical needs to be consistent. If a rule for the magic has been established - then it can't be ignored half a book later. Changing rules/systems along the way challenges the reader/listener"s belief in the story - and abruptly ends the suspension of disbelief.

For instance - stone eater travel could have resolved all tribulations of the stillness and the characters in the story. As it finally does in the end of the third book. So it finally takes place after two books full of unnecessary ordeals.

The Broken Earth world is a fascinating one. The author has a lot of potential. Her ideas are strong and enjoyable.

I hope she and her editor will avoid stretching her material next time.

4 people found this helpful

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  • AudiobookDevotee
  • 07-24-18

If my job wasn't so dull I might not have finished

Brace yourselves with this one, nothing really happens. The story would have been more interesting from Alabaster's perspective because he is an active and enthusiastic protagonist. Essun seems to need steering from point to point by other more engaging characters.

Half of this story follows Essun getting lessons from Alabaster who follows the Albus Dumbledore style of teaching in little chunks where you don't tell your pupils what they need to know. It is written off as him being a terrible teacher but no-one could teach as badly as he seems to.

The other half follows her kid, Nassun who is quite annoying and slow to realise that her father is a waste of space. This is fairly dull as it is mostly a travel tale and similar to book 1.

I'm still quite interested in the overall story and what will happen to the Earth. I think I'll even read book 3 as the ending should be more interesting. I think this series was planned as a trilogy from the outset and so this book is mostly irrelevant filler to pad it enough to warrant a third book. You could probably fit all the relevant plot details into a couple of tweets though.

Narration was as good as book one. Better on 1.1x speed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 08-06-19

loved it

loved it. I wasn't expecting to; given that a lot of reviews claimed it was difficult to follow. I'm not sure I agree with that. Strange names and terms to deal with, maybe, but the story and flow is beautifully told.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-18

Incredible!

Loved the continuation of the story, so very gripping. I hate when I need to stop listening.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rudy Lorentz
  • 02-02-18

Couldn’t stop listening

This series is so good. It’s easy to listen to and simultaneously a very interesting story

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • spellacl
  • 11-02-17

Keeps getting better!

Enjoyed this as much as the first one if not more! Moves at a good pace and love all the twists and changes. Struggled following the voices once or twice but otherwise great.

Starting the next one immediately.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-12-22

outstanding

I would definitely recommend this! it is a great addition to the series and very well made

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G G
  • 02-20-22

Interesting world

I thoroughly enjoyed the 2nd part of this trilogy and look forward to the next one.
I like how the narration works, and the storytelling by Robin Miles was very engaging.

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  • tracey pashley
  • 09-30-21

Damn fine.

Definitely didn't suffer from middle book problems. And now we have 1st, 2nd and 3rd person narrative and it works brilliantly. Love it. 🤓

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  • emmoff
  • 11-17-16

Brilliant Book 2

Book two does not disappoint, equal to the first which takes some doing. Jemisin expands points of view and delivers some answers and more obelisks. Brilliant series. As this book is bleaker than the first, I am sure Book three will be heartbreaking.
Robin Miles narration is excellent.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Rohan
  • 10-07-18

Gripping and emotive!

Like the works of ursula le guin this series brings very real issues into a sci-fi setting which allows a different perspective to come into play. The way in which themes of abuse are portrayed are very real and startling as are the portrayals of love, dependance, trust and above all the difficulties of striving to be human in a twisted world... There are so many reflections here of our own struggles and this combined with the very original and interesting science fiction possibilities combine to create a story which is thoroughly engaging. The narration is clear and lucid though character voices are often weak this doesn't diminish the overall power of the narrative.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lise
  • 01-27-19

Remarkable

Beautifully written and narrated as with the first book. With this book the reader is completely hooked into the world and characters and will just never want it to end - I tore through this with absolutely joy. In fact I probably experienced every emotion as I was so absorbed by it all! WInner!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie
  • 12-03-20

Best audiobook I have ever listened to

Amazing voice acting and amazing book. I started to read this book after book 1 and ended up returning to the audiobook because it's just so engaging.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Maureen
  • 07-12-20

Disappointing

The narrator's tone is whining and urgent, like an endless complaint, but this is probably an accurate reading of the text. I found it quite tedious and wished I hadn't committed to buying all volumes in the trilogy after listening to the first. Advice: listen to the narration and decide if you can stand the tone for 13 hours and 19 minutes.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura
  • 07-26-19

Wonderful!

Oh wow NK Jemisin really knocked it out of the park with this book! While its definitely slower than The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate focuses on the incredible worldbuilding and fascinating history of the Stillness.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-22-19

5 Rusting Earths out of 5

N.K. Jemisin has a cerebral story telling style that I simply cannot stop listening to.

Thank you,
I look forward to continueing to help support your work.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • o4awesome
  • 10-29-18

sweeping tale and awesome voice acting

it is a good continuation from the last book. the voice acting transports me. Good read

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda
  • 08-11-22

Beautiful

I'm loving this series so much. I'm in that wonderful position of still having more of this story to enjoy for the first time. Really gorgeous writing.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-07-22

excellent

Narrator was great, easy to distinguish characters.
2nd book as compelling as the first. Cannot wait to read the third!