I am finally back writing on this blog and it has been quite a while but between vacation and work life has been quite hectic lately! That said, I am now back and ready to bring you more good nerdy reviews and hopefully soon new sections to the blog. Today we are going to talk about a delightful book I just finished and that is The Fifth Season written by N.K Jemsin. I had wanted to read for quite some time this series since it was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Novel at the 74th World Science Fiction Convention on August 20, 2016. It was also nominated for the Nebula Award and World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and as such I was incredibly excited to read this book. Before we get into the review let me warn you that there might be some minimal spoilers although I will attempt to keep it at a minimum.
I absolutely loved this novel and it is more than deserving of the awards it attained and all the praise it has received. The story combines many elements of classic fantasy and science fiction in a unique manner to give us a rich story with an intriguing setting and plot. The Fifth Season is set on a planet with a single supercontinent called the Stillness were occasionally climatic disasters labelled as the fifth season occur, thus preventing humanity from flourishing. In this world there are a group of people hated and feared known as the oregenes who are capable of controlling energy, particularly that of the earth (directly) and temperature (indirectly) and thus prevent earthquakes and climatic disasters. Although they are hated and not considered human, they are used by society to minimize dangers in a world divided by caste. At the start of this book we learn that a fifth season is starting and we follow different characters in their struggles, especially that of Essun, an orogene mother whose son was killed by the father and who left with their daughter, and her search for them. This setting full of climatic strife, racial conflict and community struggles is captivating and yet also relatable. It is relatable because although it happens in a fictional world that is different to ours, the core of its issues are similar to many of the issues we now face.
The characters of the book are incredible, with profound development throughout the novel that has a profound impact on the book. The diversity in the characters in this book is refreshing to see as within the genre of fantasy and science fiction this has not always been the case. Throughout the novel we meet characters that despite their differences with our world, reflect quite well in our and thus make you invested in it.
The characters are what drive the story throughout the whole novel, as we are able to witness their evolution, their thought processes and how they face the challenges ahead is a fascinating read and combined with the plot of the story makes for an enthralling read. N.K Jemsin is able to bring to live a fantastical world, full of incredible characters with amazing abilities that at the same time feels very similar and relatable to ours.
I can’t recommend enough this book, it is wonderful, filled with beautiful characters and in an incredibly setting. After reading the first one, I for one can’t wait to read the next two books, with the third one having come out this month. I encourage you all to read the books as you will fall in love with them, and better do it soon since a TV show based on the novels has just been announced!