The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

Book - 2015 | First edition.
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Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world's sole continent, a great red rift has been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes -- those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon -- are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back. She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
Publisher: New York :, Orbit,, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316229296
0316229296
Characteristics: 498 pages : map ; 21 cm.
Alternative Title: 5th season
Summary: Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world's sole continent, a great red rift has been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes -- those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon -- are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back. She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
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l
lindahil
Apr 19, 2020

1st book of trilogy

n
nealvora1
Apr 03, 2020

Awesome. Fun read. Great page turner.

s
SherryMarieJ
Mar 12, 2020

recommended by TOR. book 1

g
gwendae
Jan 24, 2020

first book in the Broken Earth Trilogy

k
kkucker
Dec 30, 2019

first book of the Broken Earth trilogy

c
cindiet
Dec 27, 2019

Rec by Emily Cook Dec 2019

h
happycanuck
Dec 24, 2019

Odd and unappealing writing style.

PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 09, 2019

I don't know that I can add anything to the praise being heaped on The Fifth Season, but I'm sure going to try.

We are told the stories of three women. Essun has found her young son murdered by her husband. In her story, Essun is "you", the unknown narrator feeding Essun's horrible memories back to her. The story of Syenite, an "orogene" (a person with the ability to transfer energy from the earth's deeper layers, creating geological and temperature changes) is told in the third person. Syenite seems to have had a safe, if directed, upbringing as she learns to use her skills in the Fulcrum. And finally Damaya, a young girl whose family has discovered she is an orogene. Unlike the privileged life of Syenite, Damaya's family is terrified of her and her ability, and it is clear that an orogene not living in the Fulcrum is considered nearly too dangerous to live. Like Syenite her story is told in the third person.

And that's just a bit on each of the main characters. There are so many complete characters, so much world building, such intricate plotting, that to try to describe it all would be to write a review as long as the novel itself. This is one of the few novels that I would say falls firmly in the "speculative fiction" category. Jemisin herself calls it fantasy in the Acknowledgements. I could see much of it fitting into a dystopian sci-fi future. But above all that it is simply excellent writing that defies more specific pigeonholing than "speculative."

As a long-time sci-fi lover, I may be biased, but this novel has a reach far beyond sci-fi readers. Like all great works of literature it rises beyond its genre to tell us something about the human condition in all its weakness, and small-mindedness, but also in its strength, adaptability and capacity for love. I would highly recommend this read for anyone who loves a good story.

RyanR_KCMO Nov 08, 2019

This book was staggering. It was my first time reading Jemisin and I wasn't ready. I don't know if you could ever be ready. This book is the first installment of The Broken Earth trilogy. It won the Hugo Award for best sci-fi novel in 2016 making Jemisin the first African American woman to receive the award. She then proceeded to win the same Hugo award in 2017, and 2018 as she continued the trilogy.

Staggering worldbuilding. Heartwrenching plot. Epic, sweeping story that a review just cannot do justice.

This is what the best sci-fi looks like.

c
ctrachse
Oct 23, 2019

I just finished this book and my mind is BLOWN. Jemison fits SO MUCH into her writing-- I loved being swept up into this fantastic world she's created that has so many nods/references to our current world whether it be issues of oppression, power structures, ownership of our bodies, climate catastrophe...SO MUCH. I learned about NK Jemison from an episode of LeVar Burton reads. I picked up her collection of short stories How Long Til Black Future Month, and was really taken with her creativity and writing style. Those short stories were just a small taste of her greatness as a novelist. Highly recommend The Fifth Season, and I will be picking up the next books in this series ASAP.

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mnoelbosco
Mar 05, 2020

mnoelbosco thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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imaginativegirl97
Jan 18, 2020

imaginativegirl97 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

haushallmartinez Apr 11, 2019

haushallmartinez thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Natashastales
Dec 16, 2018

Natashastales thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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potterbond007
Aug 06, 2018

potterbond007 thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

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DragonRhapsody
Jun 09, 2016

DragonRhapsody thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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mnoelbosco
Mar 05, 2020

Sexual Content: Implied and mentioned sexual abuse of children (Not explicit). Dubious consent between adults (characters are not forced, but strongly pushed into reproducing)

haushallmartinez Apr 11, 2019

Violence: LOTS of child abuse.

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