I’ve had The Fifth Season sitting on my bookshelf since Christmas. Not because I didn’t want to read it, but because it was the last book by N. K. Jemisin I hadn’t read. I wanted to know it was there. That I could pick it up, and read it for the first time whenever I wanted.
I couldn’t wait any longer, and this was the rare book that exceeded all my expectations. And I had some pretty high expectations! After all Jemisin is a master of her craft. In my opinion she, and Patrick Rothfuss, are perched at the top of the genre looking down on everyone else. Well there is also Gaiman, but that man transcends genre, and stands alone as a living legend.
The pacing of The Fifth Season was perfect. There was just the right balance of action, and world/character building. All of which propelled the story forward.
I can’t really go into the story much beyond saying it is a story of how the world ends. That is right on the front, and back covers as well as the first sentence of the first page so no spoiler there! Without spoilers I can say that I might have enjoyed this story even more than Jemisin’s Inheritance series which is one of my favorite series. Easily in my top five.
The world is an alternate, or even future Earth. Really it is dystopian in more ways than fantasy, but throw in magic, and it is fantasy by default. Dystopian is easily my least favorite type of setting, but this one proves to be the exception. We aren’t shown a lot of the world, but what we do see truly comes alive.
There is of course a strong female lead which is one of Jemisin’s trademarks. What I love most about these is Jemisin always makes them real women. They have doubts, and fears. They are emotional, and often vulnerable. They are undeniably badass, but not the cliched more macho than men crap that you so often see done.
She also does something cool with the POVs, but I can’t really say what without giving spoilers. But it’s cool!
The magic system is limited to just being able to effect earth. No other elements, or additional magics. Basically. Which isn’t to say that it isn’t both awesome, and fearsome. I was however afraid it would quickly become boring. It didn’t!
This book is a masterpiece. I enjoyed every moment of it. I cannot wait for the next book in a series!
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆