boo (booniverse) wrote,

Read Some Books Initiative '16: Book 12

Book: Fifth Season
Author: N. K. Jemisin
Pages: 465/4625
Was it interesting? It was indeed.
Well-written? It was.
Would I read it again? Given the standard too many new books books caveat...yeah.
Would I read a sequel/further adventures/etc? Kinda have to because the main plot (which probably won't get wrapped up in book 2 either) never resolved and another plot thing was introduced in the last sentence.

So. The Crazy Hugo Thing starts again. This year we had already bought 3 of the books on the list (Ancillary, Windlass and Uprooted) and because I've read Jemisin's work before and liked it, I picked up Season on account. My library Minion had Seveneves so I'll have to go get that today or tomorrow. Sadly, I had not yet read any of the books we got so I am not far ahead with my Hugo reading at all. Le sigh.

So. Season. The premise is that this is a story of how the Earth ends. It's also a three book series so the Earth doesn't end at the end of this book so boo but also yay because I really liked this book. Except for the "Still more story" aspect of it. Grrrrr!

The story has several threads which tell their tale and eventually intersect. There is the present day thread in which Essun, who has the ability to sense and manipulate the movement of the Earth, comes home to find her toddler son murdered by his father and her older daughter, along with the murdering father, gone. There has also been a tremendous intentional ripping of the Earth by another person who can do the same earth thing which has destroyed the capital city. Essun has saved her small village from the shakes and devastation a major earthquake would have wrought by doing her earth thing, but because her kind are few and can do things like rip the earth from under a city, she needs to leave before she is lynched. She also wants to find her daughter and husband - the first because her daughter, like her son, has inherited the earth thing and the later because she wants answers and also wants to kill him. Essun finds out which way they were headed and takes off after them.

Daymna (have to look up the spelling) is a small child who manifests the ability to manipulate the Earth. No one mentions the entire capital city having been disappeared so this is one of the threads that takes place in the past. Daymna's family calls the earth manipulator people of the big city to come get their child (who they have thrown into the bard and locked the doors). Daymna goes to the Fulcrum to be trained to properly push the Earth around.

Syenite is a 4 ring Orogene who has been told that she is going on a mission with a 10 ring Orogene to "clear a harbor of corral". In actuality, she will be mentored by Alabaster until she becomes pregnant with his child. The Fulcrum has a breeding program! This story line starts out in the capital city so it also is in the past.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot. It's not clear whose Earth it is...there is only one continent so it's not our Earth, except the story states that there are civilizations that have come and gone many times and that the plates shift around so that land masses come together and apart all the time (they are in a together phase at the moment). They also call the Earth 'father earth' because the Earth is super volcanic and has been trying to kill humanity for ever, except legend has it that once very long ago, the Earth nurtured people. Of course people messed it up and the Earth turned on them et cetera and so forth. Also...our Earth does not have people with organs at the base of their spine which can sense and manipulate earth so this is not set here, unless it is so far in the future that earth sessing has become a thing. I really liked the setting; the Father Earth was particularly amusing; this Earth is not a nurturing Earth. The people who can move the Earth about mentally also call the people who can't 'stills' which was a good word. There is a small dog sized herbivorous rodent like thing which has adapted to become carnivorous when it tastes ash in the air. Little stuff like that was really neat. I also liked how the stories had their little mysteries and how those mysteries were unraveled (if they were. One major plot thing was worked on but not resolved in this book).

I was not so keen on this being a first book in a trilogy because now I'll have to wait for answers in the next book and I don't wanna. Argh. Will that effect my ranking? Don't know. Maybe if, all other things equal, another book is just as good but more complete. Anyway, onto the next book!

2016 Hugo Finalists in order of awesome
1. Fifth Season

Left to read: Ancillary Mercy (Ann Leckie), The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass (Jim Butcher), Seveneves: A Novel (Neal Stephenson), Uprooted (Naomi Novik)
Tags: crazy hugo thing, read some damned books
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