Overview (No Spoilers): Having just finished catching up the amazing Demon Cycle series by Peter V. Brett, I found myself in a bit of a book hangover, hesitant to pick up the next book on my list because typically, the following novel tends to shine lackluster compared to the literary world I’d just been immersed in. With that being said, The Fifth Season was truly a wonderful read that easily ranks as one of the top novels I’ve read thus far in 2017. It is not surprising in the least that this masterpiece N. K. Jemisin created won the 2016 Hugo Award. In The Fifth Season, highly detailed world building was beautifully woven into three POVs, from which we learn about three women of varying ages and in wildly different living situations. The world is one where Earth-based disasters occur every few hundred years, causing dramatic climatic shifts that lead to subsequent mass devastation and loss of life for humanity, i.e., the fifth season. Some individuals, i.e., orogenes, are either persecuted or forced into a school (Fulcrum) where they are contained and controlled due to their unique ability to manipulate the earth. The terminology employed in The Fifth Season was unique and took some acclimation, however this added complexity only served to take the story itself to a new level. Overall, The Fifth Season will quickly ensnare any reader into the exceptionally detailed literary world in which humans have to fight for survival against Father Earth’s wrath.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- What are the stone eaters? Who are they and what is their history? Why/Where did they take Alabaster? Why did they use him to set off the big event?
- Why was there a stone eater in the obelisk? Are there ones trapped in all of the obelisks? Who made the obelisks and for what purpose?
- Why is Hoa different? What does he want with Essun?
- I saw it coming by Chapter 17 and I probably should have seen it coming sooner, however I thought it was masterful that the three POVs were actually one person from different stages in her life. So heartbreaking! When she killed her son by Alabaster I could hardly keep reading. And then she suffered more tragedy when Jija killed her other son and took her daughter. Will she find Jija and have her revenge? Will she be able to recover her daughter? Will Essun follow Alabaster’s request?
- Will we learn more about the secrets of the Guardians? How do they wield their unique power? Why did the Guardian that Schaffa killed go crazy? Will we learn more about what was in the hidden room of the Fulcrum?
- The origin of the nodes was another terrible revelation.
- I thought it was a fascinating detail that astronomy was considered a pseudoscience because people care most about looking at the ground waiting for the next disaster instead of looking at the sky.
- Will we find out if life exists on other continents?