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The Obelisk Gate: The Broken Earth, Book 2, WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARD (Broken Earth Trilogy) Kindle Edition
Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel
The second book in the record-breaking triple Hugo Award-winning trilogy
The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.
Essun has found shelter, but not her missing daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request only Essun can grant.
Praise for this trilogy:
'Amazing' Ann Leckie
'Breaks uncharted ground' Library Journal
'Beautiful' Nnedi Okorafor
'Brilliant' Washington Post
'Heartbreaking, wholly unexpected' Brian Staveley
'Awesome' Book Smugglers
'A powerful story of hope and survival' The Root
The Broken Earth trilogy begins with The Fifth Season, continues in The Obelisk Gate and concludes with The Stone Sky - out now.
Also by N. K. Jemisin:
The Inheritance trilogy
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
The Broken Kingdoms
The Kingdom of Gods
The Dreamblood Duology
The Killing Moon
The Shadowed Sun
From the Publisher
- ASIN : B010PIFF6K
- Publisher : Orbit (16 August 2016)
- Language : English
- File size : 5067 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 408 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 6,354 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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TOG continues some of the paths of The Fifth Season, following Essun, her estranged daughter Nassun and other characters from TFS as they travel their separate ways through an increasingly bleak and devastated landscape. Author N. K. Jemisin has a fine eye for detail and the ‘big picture’ emerges only gradually, but the writing is all the more powerful for that. It’s hard to review without plot-spoiling but if you’ve read The Fifth Season and wondered about the background of the Obelisks, the Guardians and the Stone Eaters (not to mention the origin of ‘sessing’) you’ll enjoy TOG a lot.
The style of writing – like The Fifth Season - is unusual and takes a bit of getting used to with chapter titles like ‘You, continued’ when the identity of the ‘You’ is initially unclear, but I found it very effective as it really puts you into the shoes of the people concerned, although given that this is a series which usually gets 5 stars or 1 it’s obviously not to everyone’s taste.
Like The Fifth Season it’s not really a YA book and there are more ‘adult themes’ than TFS but there is little sex, not much language and the violence is mostly implied although occasionally graphically described - after all, the end of civilisation is not ‘nice’ ;-) - and readers who are looking for a strong, smart and well-structured book should not be deterred by the occasional f* word.
Top reviews from other countries
The Obelisk Gate is the sequel to the excellent The Fifth Season and the middle volume of the Broken Earth trilogy, N.K. Jemisin's critically-acclaimed take on the venerable Dying Earth subgenre. The Fifth Season was a highly accomplished novel, describing a brand new world with skill and intelligence and blending together elements of fantasy, post-apocalyptic fiction and a dash of the weird to create something compelling and interesting.
The Fifth Season was also helped by its structure, in which we follow the same character at three different points in her life. The story rotated through each version of the character in term, gradually giving the readers all the pieces to assemble the full narrative. It was a great literary conceit, well-conceived and executed, which allowed the reader to really get to grips with the character.
The Obelisk Gate can't use the same structure, so instead adapts it by moving between Essun's story and that of her daughter Nassun. Whilst the first book was an extended road trip, the second book alternates between Essun's static story and Nassun's long journey across thousands of miles into the far south. This changes things up nicely and means that Essun, now a guest of the community of Castrima, has to actually stay put, learn what's going on from Alabaster and help defend the community.
It does mean a slightly more uneven book than The Fifth Season. Not actually a huge amount happens in this novel, especially for Essun's storyline, and some implausibility creeps in when you realise she is spending months and months hanging around in Castrima (to allow Nassun to travel many, many thousands of miles from almost the equator into the Antarctic region) but doesn't seem to really learn a lot of new information despite Alabaster being right there. That said, there is quite a decent amount of character building and atmosphere here and Castrima, a subterranean city suspended in a giant geode, is a terrific piece of worldbuilding.
Nassun's storyline is more dynamic and disturbing, as her father tries to take her to safety but instead brings her into an even more dangerous and unstable situation, with her own burgeoning powers to contend with. There's a dark mirror here to Essun's childhood upbringing as related in the previous novel, with the feeling that Nassun is what Essun could have become if she was indulged more instead of tortured.
The result is a sequel which expands on the world and the story but, in a common failing of middle volumes of trilogies, can't quite match the relentless pace and sense of discovery from the first book. There's a lot of introspection in this novel which is beautifully written, but risks redundancy later on. However, the book ends with an explosive confrontation between Castrima and a rival community which once again shakes things up and leaves them in an interesting place for the final book in the series to pick up on.
The Obelisk Gate (****½) is a readable and strong sequel to The Broken Sky, if a slightly less original and relentless one. It is available now in the UK and USA. The story concludes in The Stone Sky.
I didn't find the structure quite as compelling as in the previous one, but it made up for it by giving a wider spread of points of view, to help readers better understand the characters and the world.The previous book felt rather like a character study, and while those elements were still maintained, this broadened out the focus. There was a lot more about the history of the world, the mysterious obelisks and stoneeaters, and the causes, nature and limits of oregeny, and I really liked this deeper world building.
In some respects - perhaps because of the greater variety of narrators, perhaps because of the more fantastical focus - it felt like quite a different book to its predecessor, but ultimately, it maintained most of what made that special and added some great new elements, so is definitely a worthwhile sequel.
I am liking the "world-building" more, and can relate more to the atmosphere she has created. I also like that she hasn't put much effort into describing what happened in volume 1 for people who started with volume 2. If you're gonna read a trilogy or whatever, then start at the beginning.
Now hoping to find the final volume at least aas good as this one.