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The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth) Paperback – August 16, 2016
Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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"Beyond the meticulous pacing, the thorough character work, and the staggering ambition and revelations of the narration, Jemisin is telling a story of our present, our failures, our actions in the face of repeated trauma, our responses to the heat and pressure of our times. Her accomplishment in this series is tremendous. It pole-vaults over the expectations I had for what epic fantasy should be and stands in magnificent testimony to what it could be."―NPR on The Obelisk Gate
"Jemisin builds off of the strong foundation laid in The Fifth Season ... an interesting new series."
―Booklist on The Obelisk Gate
"Exceptional."―Library Journal (starred review) on The Obelisk Gate
"Stunning, again."―Kirkus (starred review) on The Obelisk Gate
"[How] can something as large and complex as this story exist in her head, and how does she manage to tell it to me so beautifully? I can't stand how much I love The Broken Earth trilogy so far.... Absolutely dazzling."―B&N Reviews on The Obelisk Gate
"Stunning.... Jemisin's most accomplished series yet."―RT Book Reviews on The Obelisk Gate
"Jemisin is a tremendously talented writer on every level and she's at the top of her game here. I love books that beat me up and take my lunch money, and this one left me bruised, breathless, and desperate for the final volume."―Rose Fox, senior reviews editor Publishers Weekly, (PW Staff Picks: The Best Books We Read in 2016) on The Obelisk Gate
"Brilliant characters, vivid world, and pacing . . . .The Obelisk Gate is an incredibly ambitious and important novel."―The Verge on The Obelisk Gate
"Intricate and extraordinary."―New York Times on The Fifth Season
"[The Fifth Season is] an ambitious book, with a shifting point of view, and a protagonist whose full complexity doesn't become apparent till toward the end ... Jemisin's work itself is part of a slow but definite change in sci-fi and fantasy."―Guardian on The Fifth Season
"Astounding... Jemisin maintains a gripping voice and an emotional core that not only carries the story through its complicated setting, but sets things up for even more staggering revelations to come."―NPR Books on The Fifth Season
"Jemisin's graceful prose and gritty setting provide the perfect backdrop for this fascinating tale of determined characters fighting to save a doomed world."―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on The Fifth Season
"A must-buy...breaks uncharted ground."―Library Journal (starred review) on The Fifth Season
"Jemisin might just be the best world builder out there right now.... [She] is a master at what she does."―RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!) on The Fifth Season
"[A] powerful, epic novel of discovery, pain, and heartbreak."―SFF World on The Fifth Season
"This is an intense, exciting novel, where survival is always on the line, set in a fascinating, original and dangerous world with an intriguing mystery at the heart of it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!"―Martha Wells on The Fifth Season
"Stunning and well constructed ... a book that imbues itself with deeper meaning the more it unfolds and reveals itself, and by the end, I saw everything in a new light. I knew Jemisin was talented, being a huge fan of her Inheritance and Dreamblood books, but here she employs heretofore unseen skills."―Lightspeed on The Fifth Season
"One of the most celebrated new voices in epic fantasy."―Salon.com
"With every new work, Jemisin's ability to build worlds and break hearts only grows."―Kirkus (starred review)
"Heartbreaking, wholly unexpected, and technically virtuosic, The Fifth Season is a tour-de-force. I felt every shock--and the book is packed with them--in my marrow. It's no exaggeration to say that Jemisin expands the range of what great fantasy can be."―Brian Staveley, author of The Emperor's Blades
About the Author
N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author who won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for The Fifth Season, which was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. She previously won the Locus Award for her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and her short fiction and novels have been nominated multiple times for Hugo, World Fantasy, Nebula, and RT Reviewers' Choice awards, and shortlisted for the Crawford and the James Tiptree, Jr. awards. She is a science fiction and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times, and you can find her online at nkjemisin.com.
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The Obelisk Gate further develops the world we began to see int he first book. We learn more about the Fulcrum, the Guardians, the obelisks--and even more importantly--about the lives and motivations of characters we have come to love/hate/fear. Essun, as a woman in her mid forties is not your average protagonist. But she is someone who feels a million times more human and relatable than the cardboard cut out perfect princesses of urban fantasy. She is both powerful and humble, kind and cruel, she makes mistakes and has victories. She is in short, a person. And you can feel her blood, sweat and fears throughout the novel.
We finally get to meet Nassun, and understand what is like to be the daughter of such a strong and damaged woman like Essun. We learn more about Hoa. And the dark adversary that Alabaster fights is finally revealed.
This is not a novel that suffers from Second Book Syndrome. So much happens and yet nothing feels rushed. Another brilliant entry into an epic and unforgettable series.
What the hell am I supposed to do with myself until the next book is released?
This was so good, I'll probably re-read the entire series again by the end of this year. This was truly a 5-course meal of a trilogy. Jemisin never hesitated staring an ugly truth right in the eye and it really paid off. Nothing came easy and there wasn't a hint of a Mary Sue moment.
It was refreshing to be offered a series where the main character was over 40, had kids and had already lived a full range of experiences. This is the second series that I've read by Jemisin and as much as I loved the 1st one (The Inheritance Trilogy), this was even better. I hope it doesn't sound pompous, but you can see more maturity in both the writing and the story-line.
The audio-book narrator, Robin Miles, is headed to the top of my narrator list. She can add everything from an African to a Gaelic? to a Slavic accent without sounding fake. It really brings the characters to life in a nice way.
I'm sure I'll still be re-reading this series decades from now. It's easy to see why Jemisin won the Hugo back to back on this one.
The main culprit (in my opinion) was the author’s choice to tell Essun’s POV in second person. In the first book this was unusual and fresh, but it doesn’t work here, and ends up being all “tell” and no “show”. Few more revelations are forthcoming while Essun stays in one location throughout the book, and the sub-plot of Nassun falling into the clutches of evil seemed forced and unbelievable. There were some really great scenes, but they didn’t fit together into a coherent story, it felt more like forcing together pieces from different jigsaw puzzles.
Nevertheless, I’m still going to finish the trilogy to see what happens.
Some of my other favorite alternate reality books have been Man in the High Castle and Decipher. Other favorite authors have been Anne McCaferty Pern books, Andrea Norton, Mercedes Lackey, B.V. Larson, Orson Scott Card, Tolkien, and George R. R. Martin.
How is it possible that The Obelisk Gate is even better than The Fifth Season? Tackling philosophical questions about love, personhood, prejudice and fear, The Broken Earth series is really a masterpiece of fantasy. Jemisin is up there with the very best of the genre. I cannot do the series justice in my review. With great character development and simply astonishing world-building, The Broken Earth series should be on any fantasy lover's TBR lists, shelves or ebook platform.
Robin Miles' narration on the audiobook is wonderful, as well.
I await The Broken Sky, the final book in the trilogy, with much anticipation.
The second book in the trilogy, and a great sequel! We finally get to meet Nasser, who was the subject of so much emotion in the first book, yet never revealed. This continuing story has as much suspense, and drama, and anticipation as the first. We also get to me t some new friends, and enemies along the way.
We get deeper (excuse the pun) into a new comm than ever before. And the societal strains of keeping that comm together, by Essun, and her new merry band of misfits, is incredible. We also see her lover's self immolation, and get to get a snapshot of the Stone Eaters!
If you read the first book, you really need to read this one!
Most recent customer reviews
Only reason I can't give it a 5 is the superfluous profanity use.