The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1)
By NK Jemisin
Summary: This is the way the world ends. Again.
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.
Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
Source: I purchased a kindle copy.
The Fifth Season was an amazing fantasy with rich detail and a unique society and premise. I read the book for the 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge for an allegory, as the author has stated that is what her series is.
Everything about the world was clever and well thought out and I could see a lot of symbolism and I appreciated it. I enjoyed the setting and premise and wanted to get to know the world and the people in it.
My biggest issue with the book was how slow it was. Parts of it dragged, literally through a span of years, with characters I had a hard time connecting with. I wanted to know more, yet was given minute details that didn’t seem necessary and few parts made me feel like I knew the characters. Parts of the book spanned forever, other sections highlighted a few minutes of time and I felt like parts of the book seemed to drag on forever.
I also disliked the twist. I thought about halfway through that the twist might be a thing and it also served to confuse my previous understanding of the timeline and it was an unnecessary and kind of lame connection between the otherwise completely different characters.