The Fifth Season (Broken Earth #1)
By: N.K. Jemisin
My Rating: Three out of Five Stars
Best for: Adults
There’s a lot to love about The Fifth Season.
It’s a story about a frantic mother, trying to cope with the murder of her young son, searching for her kidnapped daughter, and surviving an apocalypse. It’s a story of a young girl, shunned by society for powers she has but can’t control. It’s a story of a woman, trying to impress and achieve the goals she’s spent her life trying to achieve.
In this world, some are born with the power to manipulate thermal energy within the earth and can use their power to, for example, stop earthquakes and volcanoes…or cause them.
Winner of the 2016 Hugo for best novel. Talented female African American author. Strong female characters. Creativity on a whole new level. Multiple POVs. Multiple timelines. Complex world building. Unique magic with plausible rules. A surprise in the end. The Oppressed rise up against the Elite. Survival. Normals become heroes in the most desperate moments. Complicated, detailed and long…just the way well-written, epic fantasy should be.
So ya, lots to love and loved by lots. Totally deserved.
I’m sure you’ll love it. I did…
I felt abandoned by a few of elements I feel compelled to call out.
As a general rule, I try to avoid child abuse in my books. My dad heart can’t take it, and I hate being surprised by it. I was surprised by it here a number of times.
The amount of offensive language didn’t cross my boundary, but the use of offensive language came very close. It felt gratuitous and out of character, and I was disappointed.
The sexual content was dialed up, and again it felt out of place…instead of supplementing the story I felt distracted by it.
There are Gay, Bi, and Trans characters, which adds interesting dynamics and opportunities for character growth in many stories. Here, however, the use of these character traits didn’t add value and felt forced, almost like checking a box.
All that said, I hear the story only gets better and I intend to continue on to book two, but I reserve the right to back out of the content continues to offend.