The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

I’ve been hearing good things about N.K. Jemisin for some time, so when the paperback came up for £2.00 on Amazon I bought it.  It’s the first book in a trilogy and won a Hugo award and was shortlisted for lots of others.

The Fifth Season is set on an extremely geologically unstable world.  There are people who are able to interact with the plate tectonics to suppress quakes or do the opposite (Orogenes, in polite parlance, roggas in derogatory).  These people are either extremely useful or extremely dangerous, so there is a system for finding, training and controlling them.  It’s not much of a life.

There are ruins – the world has clearly ended many times, and it is ending again.

This is a three-stranded story – a young girl being taken from her community and trained as an orogene, a practising orogene finding the world outside is not as simple as she’s been told, and a rogue orogene trying to live an ordinary life when the world ends.

I struggled with the first half of this, not because it isn’t good but because I read it directly after finishing An Unkindness of Ghosts, and nothing’s going to top that for me for a long time

As I got further in I started to appreciate the fully realised world building and how well strung together the various bits of the plot are, and basically couldn’t put down the last 100 pages.  Unfortunately the second volume follows right on, and as my project this year is to read the books I’ve already got, I can’t report on how the story develops.

This book is definitely worth your time.

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