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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, 1)
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, 1)

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, 1)

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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, 1)
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, 1)

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Item Weight : 15.2 ounces


ISBN-10 : 0316229296


Paperback : 512 pages


ISBN-13 : 96


Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.6 x 8.2 inches


Publisher : Orbit; Reprint edition (August 4, 2015)


Language: English


Best Sellers Rank: #5,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #12 in Black & African American Fantasy Fiction (Books) #42 in Magical Realism #55 in Women's Adventure Fiction (Books)


#12 in Black & African American Fantasy Fiction (Books):


#42 in Magical Realism:


Item Weight : 15.2 ounces


ISBN-10 : 0316229296


Paperback : 512 pages


ISBN-13 : 96


Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.6 x 8.2 inches


Publisher : Orbit; Reprint edition (August 4, 2015)


Language: English


Best Sellers Rank: #5,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #12 in Black & African American Fantasy Fiction (Books) #42 in Magical Realism #55 in Women's Adventure Fiction (Books)


#12 in Black & African American Fantasy Fiction (Books):


#42 in Magical Realism:


Top Amazon Reviews


5.0 out of 5 stars | K Reviews
Dark, Dystopian, and Thought-Provoking

The Fifth Season is the first book in The Broken Earth trilogy. It won the Hugo Award for 2016 and the sequel, The Obelisk Gate, just took the 2017 Hugo Award. The third book in the series, The Stone Sky is due out in a few days (August 15, 2017) and seems to have a lot of buzz around the anticipated release. Being such a critically acclaimed darling and widely read already, there's not much my review can add, but I'll throw my few cents in anyhow. For me this was a 4.5 star book. This is the second N.K. Jemisin book I've read (the other was The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms). I liked this book appreciably more, but there are definitely a few commonalities that I'll just chalk up to the authors style. She seems to favor chopping her narrative up chronologically, and not really explaining to the reader what's earlier or later in the timeline, you just get to piece it together as you go. She also seems to favor some tougher to read perspectives (one of the POV storylines in The Fifth Season uses 2nd person, which is not so common, but I thought it worked well in this context). Lastly, she's not an author that spells out all the twists and turns of the plot, again, the reader is left to infer and piece things together. I thought this was much more effective in The Fifth Season than in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. This book did have fair amount of made up words. You will pretty much catch on to all of it by context, but it's a little disorienting at the start of the book when they come in fast and furious. For those reading the ebook edition (like I did), it may be helpful to know there's an index at the back of the book. As usual, I only found it when I was done. One day I'll learn to check. Quick plot overview without getting into spoilers - this is a dystopian novel, set on a far future Earth. The continents have been smashed together again and the world is menaced by extremely active tectonic shifts and the resulting hot spots/volcanoes. The titular "Fifth Seasons" happen when a massive natural disaster occurs (volcano/earthquake) that impacts life over most or all of the continent for a long period of time (anywhere from six months to hundreds of years) - impacts can be acidic rain, famine, fungal blooms, crop extinction, etc. There's an index of the various Fifth Seasons at the back of the book as well. The narrative revolves around people in this world with an extra ability to control the earth (specifically seismically, in quelling or causing earthquakes/tsunamis/volcanic erruptions). These people are called orogenes (politely) or roggas (informally/derogatorily). In the current timeline, an empire called Sanze controls most of the continent. At the capital of Sanze, there's a school/training facility called the Fulcrum. The Fulcrum is designed to train/control orogenes. In philosophical themes, the book gives you a lot to chew over and think about in regard to the true meaning and results of slavery and freedom and the intention of actions and the results. The book also touches on race (a lot of comments will note the description of most of the population reads as African or Asian) and sexuality (there is a gender fluid character as well as some bisexuality and a three-way, sort of, relationship). The book is most certainly dark, but worthy of reading. There are several instances of abuse centered on children which always seems harder to read and a few grisly deaths as well as some mass death events. The world of The Fifth Season is a harsh one. There was not a lot of humor to lighten this book up but it was nonetheless an engaging read that left you with something to ponder. Edit: I finished this book several months ago but I'm still thinking about it. Added an extra star for the narrative's lasting power.

~ Reviewed in the United States on August 13, 2017

2.0 out of 5 stars | N. Beasley
My feelings for this book are complicated leaning towards negative

This book was a dance with liking and disliking the writing. This is the first Jemisin book I've read and her writing style is apparently not to my tastes. After finishing much of the painful writing makes sense why it was approached but this led to me actively disliking the book. See others 1 and 2 star reviews to get a summary of issues. The main character of the book wavers between myself not caring and actively disliking reading about her and being engaged then going to marginally engaged. I'd put more discussion about this here but due to spoilers I'll refrain. The world is full. However it felt like pulling teeth pulling bits and pieces out. I think it is fairly coherent and being a science fiction book through obfuscating it like a fantasy distracted from the book. The focus on characters appearance became tedious quickly. Going on for several sentences about how to determine which part of the world a passing stranger is from with whom there is no interaction became a common place event and felt like word padding. I have no ruled out reading the second in this series but I am hesitant to commit to it. As for this book being Hugo / Nebula nominee I can see how people could think it might deserve such. However I did not find the writing or plot or story to be a driving it into my list of great books. I also can not say it didn't deserve it. I think this should sum up my final feel, it is complicated and mixed. But my final reaction is more relief I finished it after nearly marking is DNF at 10% and not enjoyment. That is truly one of the most condemning summaries I can give a book. It wasn't bad enough to not finish but I'm glad it is over.

~ Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2018

1.0 out of 5 stars | LongBoatSailor
First kindle book I’ve ever returned for a refund

This book reads like a easily distracted, low attention span writer decided they could write fantasy without reading fantasy. I’m all for originality, but this style of writing is so far removed that it might as well be someone with severe ADHD trying to shop for groceries - unpredictable, unfollowable, confusing as hell to anyone with a sense of logical flow. It’s almost like listening to some trip on acid. Lots of imagery and color, but no overarching meaning. In short, this book has no identifiable plot, not a single substantial character (they are all shallow, but flashy), and is randomly narrated from third person, experienced from first person and jumps from one character to another so fast you don’t know who is doing what or even the characters location at many points. Bad form.

~ Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2018

1.0 out of 5 stars | John Covington
Did not like this at all.

I couldn’t make it past page 50. I highlighted several words in the first several pages that are literally made up words! None of this made sense, and I don’t care for the bizarre writing style or prose.

~ Reviewed in the United States on September 10, 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars | D. Kittrell
A unique world and magic system; highly recommended

I picked up the Kindle and audio versions if this trilogy to take a break from my recent "hard SF" binge. My expectations were not high -- I've been disappointed by many fantasy authors trying to "break the mold" and differentiate themselves from the Tolkiens, Martins, and Rothfuss of today's big-book-fantasy. I was happily surprised by these books. This is neither a _Harry Potter_ YA nor a grimdark story; it's not an urban fantasy or a classic quest tale. It is a well-written fantasy with a largely unique magic system and mythos coupled with a satisfying personal story of loss, revenge, and what it means to be an "other" in stratified, xenophobic, society. The only books I can conpare it to are Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet (and that's good company for any story). Highly recommended for any reader of modern fantasy looking for a unique world and system of magic.

~ Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2017