The Fifth Season

(Broken Earth #1)

Trade paperback, 498 pages

English language

Published Sept. 11, 2015 by Orbit.

ISBN:
9780316229296

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (73 reviews)

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 familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

This description comes from the publisher.

5 editions

Review of 'Zerrissene Erde' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Mein erstes Buch dieses Jahr ist gleich ein Treffer. Dieser Fantasyroman in einer finsteren, postapokalyptischen Welt, in der jederzeit erneut Katastrophen auftreten können, hat mich in seinen Bann gezogen und ich werde ganz sicher auch Band 2 lesen, auch wenn ich an einigen Punkten schlucken musste. Einige Ereignisse und Figuren war doch schwer zu verdauen.

Die drei Handlungsstränge scheinen zunächst wenig miteinander zu tun zu haben, man erfährt auch nicht, in welcher Relation sie zeitlich zueinander stehen - bis schließlich am Ende alles zusammengeführt wird. Der Schreibstil des dritten Handlungsstrangs ist extrem ungewöhnlich (zweite Person Singular - würde man das analog zum Ich-Erzähler dann Du-Erzähler nennen?) und hebt ihn von den beiden anderen Strängen ab.

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 'The Fifth Season' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I can see why this won a Hugo.

The word that kept coming to mind while reading this was "dense". There is so much going on here, the book really does reward paying close attention -- and this is very easy to do given the strength of the writing, the strength of the characterisations and the sheer originality of the story.

NK Jemsin takes some familiar fantasy tropes (far future, dying Earth) and twists them into something utterly unique.

Now I must rush out and get The Obelisk Gate.

Review of 'The Fifth Season' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I liked it and enjoyed it, but found somehow annoying the pace, the way in which things are explained to the reader (or "never quite explained", more accurately). Everything is stated as if we had to understand it and I didn't get much of it until further on. I'm not saying this is a defect of the book, or the writer, I know it's probably my fault. I got a feeling of impatience many times.

I found really impressive how the coldness of the characters can affect me. They are angry, they are hard, they just hate, and it taught me, or showed me, how it must feel to live in a world that hates you, ignores you, despises you but uses you and never stops trying to change you, constantly, eternally, in a way I had never thought about before. I really loved that about the book although it …

Review of 'The Fifth Season' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Absolutely awesome.

Fascinating backdrop, interesting characters, intriguing society.

This is simply a gotta read it book.

So why not five stars? I'm very, very particular about which books I give five stars to, and even then only after I've read them more than once.

The only knock I've got is the ending - it's good, but it's just a bit too much "ha, ha! now you HAVE to buy book 2!" I was going to anyway, but ...

Read it, just plan on buying book two in very short order.



Review of 'The Fifth Season' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

You like your fiction post-apocalyptic? How about post-MULTIPLE-apocalypses? Jemisin crafts an emotionally intense read, and a thoroughly detailed and believable fantasy world filled with complicated and relatable characters. Reads a bit like a focused memoir, and a bit like an over-arching look at humanities' cruelty and resilience.

And, excitingly for Jemisin fans, it looks like this might be her first series that continues some of the same characters from one book to the next? Just a guess based on the ending: it will be fascinating to see what comes next!

Review of 'The Fifth Season' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

I liked this book a lot.

The author does a good job jumping between three different stories which all have different feels. The world is vibrant, and is shown, not told, so there's all sorts of little mysteries constantly being resolved as you figure out how this world works. There's some pretty interesting stuff in here about history, in two senses. One, history as a sequence of events that have consequences in the present and into the future. And two, history as a received record and its influence on society and individuals. There's a lot of stuff about colonialism, slavery, etc., also, which is not particularly subtle but not distractingly heavy-handed either.

It's not particularly spoiler-y to mention that this book deals with 'how a society works when sometimes, unpredictably, everything goes very bad and the species' survival is at stake'. Liu Cixin's Three Body Problem has a similar theme, …

Review of 'The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth)' on 'Unknown'

4 stars

Awesome start to what is looking like a great series. I loved the characters and the "3 stories at the same time" buildup to the conclusion.
Go out and grab a copy of this and the sequel and prepare for an adventure in The Stillness with all your favourite fantasy tropes like: magic, murder, vengeance, backstabbing, and, of course, confusing story lines and relations.

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