The Fifth Season

, #1

paperback, 512 pages

Published Sept. 7, 2016 by Orbit.

ISBN:
978-0-356-50819-1
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4 stars (48 reviews)

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle …

11 editions

reviewed The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #1)

Cool page turner

5 stars

I came upon a list of queer books and thought I'd give a try to the Fifth season. I haven't Heroic fantasy for more than a decad (apart from a book by Damasio). The book is good : well written, the way the narration is built is brilliant. In terms of representations it is very good as well, compared from what I read in the past. I enjoyed the female characters and the fact that heterosexuality or being cis isn't the norm. Yet the book is definitely speciesist : eating other animals or exploiting them is not questionned. A total page turner. I read it in four sittings, which means I spent a lot of time reading in bed haha. Personnally, I'm both grateful for this page turning effect and uneasy. For me it's totally addictive, I have no motivation to do anything else than reading what comes next. This …

reviewed The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #1)

Review of 'The Fifth Season' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

"The shake that passes will echo. The wave that recedes will come back. The mountain that rumbles will roar."

The Fifth Season is a story about suffering and trying to find moments of pleasure and peace in a broken world.

The POV characters are all persecuted and forced to suffer because of circumstances outside of their control.

They're "orogenes", people born with the ability to exert control over stone, often, in exchange of their own life force and of the people around them.

They are a minority and their powers make them targets to be used, abused and lynched by the majority.

Their plight resonates with me because I see myself in them. Like the orogenes, I'm also desperately trying to find moments of happiness in a world that is broken beyond repair (aren't we all?).

I'm different, like the orogenes, I'm different in a way that constantly puts me …

reviewed The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #1)

Review of 'The Fifth Season' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Took me a bit to get into it, and the changing of character names over time confused me a bit, but once I got past those two issues, it was a really fun read. Looking forward to the next two books to see what happens on Earth in a possible distant future where earth magic is common and nothing is stable.

The Fifth Season

4 stars

1) "Let's start with the end of the world, why don't we? Get it over with and move on to more interesting things."

2) "'You hate the way we live. The way the world makes us live. Either the Fulcrum owns us, or we have to hide and be hunted down like dogs if we're ever discovered. Or we become monsters and try to kill everything. Even within the Fulcrum we always have to think about how they want us to act. We can never just... be.' He sighs, closing his eyes. 'There should be a better way.' 'There isn't.' 'There must be. Sanze can't be the first empire that's managed to survive a few Seasons. We can see the evidence of other ways of life, other people who became mighty.' He gestures away from the highroad, toward the landscape that spreads all around them. They're near the Great Eastern …

Review of 'La cinquième saison' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

C'est à mon avis un très beau et très sombre roman, qui me paraît toutefois difficilement explicable en quelques mots, je vais néanmoins essayer.
On suit dans ce roman la vie de trois femmes à trois étapes de leur vie : Damaya, une jeune fille qui a laissé s'exposer son "pouvoir", Syénite qui maîtrise, elle, son pouvoir, et enfin Essun qui a souhaité le cacher pour fonder une famille. Je parle de pouvoir parce que dans ce roman, certains individus disposent d'un pouvoir capable de provoquer des tremblements de terre et autres cataclysmes. Du coup, évidement, ils sont considérés comme dangereux et parfois tués dès qu'ils sont détectés. Ca crée forcément une ambiance assez sombre. Surtout que le monde sur lequel vivent ces gens est soumis à des éruptions volcaniques et autres d'une façon beaucoup trop régulière. D'ailleurs, ces phénomènes ont poussé la civlisation a se réorganiser autour de la …

reviewed The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #1)

Review of 'The Fifth Season' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Wow, what a great read! There's a reason this book won a Hugo, it's sequel also won a Hugo, and the 3rd of the trilogy is nominated.

Without spoilers, this book tells the story of three specially talented women on an alternate Earth. This Earth (sarcastically called the Stillness) is ravaged by earthquakes, volcanoes, and other forms of seismic activity, and these women have the mutant power to either quell or enhance that activity at will. This power, however, marks them as outcasts from society, and it is this that draws them (and others like them) together. The relationship between the three women is unique, and the nature of that relationship is revealed masterfully. The author wraps up the plot with a tidy bow, connecting the opening chapter to the last with skill, while still leaving a cliffhanger and plenty of meat for a great next installment.

Stylistically, I compare …

reviewed The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #1)

Review of 'The Fifth Season' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Utterly amazing. This book makes up for all the mediocre stuff I have read this year. READ THIS BOOK!

Ahem. Now to a more detailed review. The Fifth Season is the first book in N.K. Jemisin's post-apocalyptic far future trilogy The Broken Earth. Due to natural disasters the world has changed, and there's only one super-continent now, called The Stillness. There is a lot of seismic activity on Earth, and there's always the looming danger of a Fifth Season, a post-apocalyptic winter when volcanic ash prevents sunlight, sometimes for months, sometimes many years. People gang together in towns that are called comms, storing up caches for a season, divided into a caste system of seven major castes. The safest area in the Stillness is the belt of cities at the equator, where Yumenes is the largest city in the world. In Yumenes there's the Fulcrum, a school of orogenes. Orogenes …

reviewed The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #1)

Review of 'The Fifth Season' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

There is just so much going on here, both in terms of narrative, and in terms of ideas, identities, and the metaphors behind it all. I still need some time to ponder this book, and maybe I should reserve final judgement until I've read the full series, but so far - this is such a fascinating voice, and well worth the read.

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