Review: The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by NK Jemisin

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In September, I am reading female authors who have either already become favorites or have the potential to become favorites.  #girlsrule

For my first read of the month, I chose The Fifth Season.  NK Jemisin is a new author for me and I knew that this was a must read when it won the 2016 Hugo for best novel.

This book…is everything yet not for everyone.  Let me explain.

The Fifth Season is technically an epic fantasy.  If you say that you aren’t an epic or a fantasy fan, I think you should still give this book a shot.  It’s so much more.  And, Jemisin’s writing is somewhat unique in the genre.  She doesn’t overdo the descriptions and stays on track without bogging down in hundreds of pages where nothing happens.

For those readers that are fans of world building, Jemisin does an excellent job.  I will say that you have to stick with it.  There are moments when you will believe you are lost, missed something or that she’s made an error.  Keep going.  All will be revealed.

Now, now.  I haven’t forgotten you fans of character development.  Guess what – also exceptional!  The three primary characters, Damaya, Syenite and Essun, will have you on the edge of your seat.  And, boy oh boy, does Jemisin have twists, turns and surprises in store for you.

OK, Mary, you’ve just raved about almost all facets of a novel but you said this isn’t for everyone.  Please explain.

I’ll keep it simple.  If you are a traditionalist who thinks that there was no need for more diversity in SFF or you don’t want to open your mind to new things, then you probably shouldn’t read The Fifth Season.  Jemisin includes almost all races and sexualities within this novel.  And, she does it masterfully.  (But, you know what?  If you fall into this category, I challenge you to rethink your book selections.  We learn more from those who are different from ourselves.  How boring is life if everyone is the same?  When you get to the heart of the matter, we all have so much in common but should also celebrate our differences.  There is so much heart in this book.  We see the challenges of love and loss.  The challenge of being different in a world where you are not accepted and, in some cases, hated or abused for those differences.  You, as a reader, are doing yourself a disservice if you cannot allow for something a little different in your life.  Open your eyes and open your mind.)

5/5 stars.

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