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The Broken Earth Trilogy: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone…

by N. K. Jemisin

Series: The Broken Earth (1-3)

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2064103,626 (4.25)7
This collectable boxed set edition includes all three books in N. K. Jemisin's incredible NYT bestselling and three-time Hugo award-winning Broken Earth Trilogy. This complete collection would be a great gift for any occasion and includes The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky. This is the way the world ends for the last time... A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy. The Broken Earth trilogy The Fifth Season The Obelisk Gate The Stone Sky… (more)
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The Fifth Season: a solid first entry in a trilogy, nominally science fiction rather than fantasy, but that depends on how you classify "Dying Earth" stories. Like other novels in this category from Clark Ashton Smith through Jack Vance and beyond, all traces of our history are long gone in this far future, slowly dying planet. A certain group of humans are born with orogeny, the power to cause or stop earthquakes, and other manipulations of energy. Because the earth is weakened -- or enraged? -- it is prone to frequent cataclysms, and so orogenes are necessary to preserve civilization. But such power is terrifying so orogenes are also feared and oppressed. The nasty name for them is rogga. The double-G and the way people react to the term make it clear that it is an analog for another double-G epithet. The novel follows a young orogene just learning her powers, a young adult orogene being trained to control them, and an older orogene who has tried to hide her powers. The novel starts with the end of the world -- most specifically, a male orogene ripping the earth asunder with such power that the the side effects will cause a winter -- a fifth season -- that will last thousands of year.

The Obelisk Gate: Unlike many trilogies, there is no middle-book sag with the Obelisk Gate. This book introduces a number of new characters, some of whom have been off-stage in one form or another. We finally find out what has happened to Nassun, the kidnapped daughter of Essun. We meet Hoa, the strange child whose actual nature is only gradually revealed. This is also the book that introduces the real reasons why Earth is falling apart, with global catastrophes every 100 years or so. We also see some characters return in very different form. We also learn that the 2nd person perspective used for tracking one character in the first novel was not a stylistic touch, but an important aspect of the plot. Despite all this, the book remains refreshingly free of info-dumps. Flashbacks and other forms are used to explain what's gong on. I have two disappointments. The second book is even more fantasy than science than the first, but it share one feature with modern space opera that has always annoyed me: casual destruction of large populations.

The Stone Sky: For me, the third book is the least interesting for several reasons. It's basically two fairly linear quest story lines, plus an extended flashback. The three primary characters are the ones we already know well from the second book. We know where everything is headed. When the final conflict comes, it has the usual problem such big set pieces have --- a lot of description of massive forces operating at some impossible to describe level, with no real tension, because there is no solid foundation for the reader to predict and be surprised. The book is saved somewhat by its well-integrated themes of racial injustice, parenting, and communal responsibility. It's an OK conclusion.

Since all three volumes won a Hugo, my recommendation makes no difference. But I do recommend it. If it didn't amaze me as groundbreaking, it is a very good trilogy, with a lot to say, and all of it well-said. ( )
  ChrisRiesbeck | Oct 9, 2020 |
Not a fan. I would have stopped reading by age 24 except that a friend of mine had commended the series and wanted to discuss the books with me.

The world building and characters were interesting, but I just couldn't get past the third-person and second-person present tense used in the books. It meant a lot of characters were telling things and not showing. I found the literary devices pretentious. It constantly pulled me out of the story by making me pay attention to how the book was written and not what the book was about.

I can see why it won a Hugo because of it's themes of hate and slavery, and the exceptional world-building. But frankly, I would prefer to spend my time reading something else.

The story plods, clues are given out in dribs and drabs. I figured things out long before the characters did in many instances.

I never felt a connection to any of the characters. I found the writing distanced me from them rather than pulling me in.

This book was a great disappointment. ( )
1 vote jezebellydancer | Jul 12, 2019 |
After a long absence from reading fiction due to the same stuff being told over and over I picked up these amazing books. They have restored my faith in the human race. Bloody Brilliant! N.K.Jemisin is a master story teller with characters that will break your heart while giving you hope. I had to go and buy everything she has written. Please do the same. ( )
  7JesseWheeler | Mar 6, 2019 |
Over-hyped by its fan base. There were wa-a-a-ay too many characters, losing focus on the major ones; and the "magic" just got too confusing. Still, I've got Jemisin's story anthology How Long 'til Black Future Month? on TBR and I'll definitely be getting around to it. ( )
  CurrerBell | Jan 30, 2019 |
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This collectable boxed set edition includes all three books in N. K. Jemisin's incredible NYT bestselling and three-time Hugo award-winning Broken Earth Trilogy. This complete collection would be a great gift for any occasion and includes The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky. This is the way the world ends for the last time... A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy. The Broken Earth trilogy The Fifth Season The Obelisk Gate The Stone Sky

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