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Science Fiction Fantasy Blog

Our discussion of The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin…

A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, from which enough ash spews to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. 
It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. 
It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

And it ends with you. You are the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where orogenes wield the power of the earth as a weapon and are feared far more than the long cold night. And you will have no mercy. -Goodreads

Below is a sampling of our comments:

  • I loved the scaffolding of the world, very gradual with peppering in of subtle details.
  • The use of the second person voice in Essun’s storyline was jarring - hated this!
  • Alabaster cracked the world – he said he would break them if they killed his son.
  • The stone eaters eat geodes – so they created the island and the underground comm?
  • I “could” put this book down – it took me two weeks when it should have taken two days.
  • I was mad when I realized the characters were all the same person. It would have helped to have a timeline in the back.
  • The last line referenced the moon - there were hints throughout that may have been about the moon… “they don’t miss what they never imagined,” and that Father Earth lost his son (the moon?), so that tides are different, the tectonic plates are erratic, etc.
  • Are we on earth? Maybe.
  • What did Schaffa remove from the head of the Guardian who found Damaya and Binof in the room without doors?
  • The obelisks are negative space, that’s why the orogenes can’t “sess” them.
  • Syenite and the obelisks are similar to Dune, where one man can drink water that kills others and it only makes him stronger.
  • The book was too brutal in the beginning – it made me want them all to die!
  • It begins with an apocalypse, so things aren’t going to be good.
  • Why are people so upset that Essun saved their town? The prejudice and hatred seemed over the top.
  • It was similar to Frozen where characters have to “conceal, don’t feel” to survive. Only two places welcomed Oregenes and used their power to survive.
  • People were afraid because the orogenes power can save or destroy.

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you may have about The Fifth Season. We gave this title the codes DOM, AGE, HOME, FEM & ETH with an average rating of 2.6

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