The Fifth Season : Dark and Brilliant Worldbuilding

A thousand years later, Trang finally reviews a fantasy novel. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I reviewed the fantasy genre. I seemed to be acquainted in reviewing Young Adult and Scifi but Fantasy? Not so much. I think the main reason is, the more I love the book, the harder for me it is to review it properly. That’s the reason why I’ve been postponing a lot of them. Here’s to all the fantasy book reviews to come!

“Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall; Death is the fifth, and master of all.”

The Fifth Season was one hell of a ride for me! First, I always get skeptical when a book comes with a Glossary. This one comes with a big one. However, I think after reading The Clockwork Orange, it makes me invincible to any glossary that exists in the world LOL  so compared to that novel, The Fifth Season was an easy read for me. For those who struggle during the first part of the book, DO NOT GIVE UP 😀 Tell yourself it’s just an adaptation phase. When you get the hang of it, everything comes to place and you wouldn’t want to put this book down.

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THE WORLDBUILDING

The worldbuilding is the masterpiece of this book: dimensional, complex but brilliantly executed. Playing with geography artifacts and the environment issues, N.K Jemisin reinvents the Earth dilemmas in a violent flux of events.  Indeed, the central premise of this book is the apocalypse. But not your average-zombie-apocalypse. This is the end of the world every day caused by seism, tectonic movements and Mother Nature who challenged any human being who inhabits the territory.

By choosing each natural catastrophe as parts of her “Seasons”, N.K Jemisin questions the sense of oppression that guides the journey : who’s oppressed by who, who has the power control here, is there a bigger force at stake? 

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A little watercolour sketch I did inspired from the book

THE CHARACTERS

The book is separated into 3 point-of-view (POV). I honestly thought I would hate it at first, but the transition works well on keeping me on my toes and extend the suspense. The Fifth Season along with having an amazing world-building can easily be considered a character-driven book. Each of them adds their own peculiarity, authenticity and individuality to the storyline and make me relate to their struggles and dynamics. For example, the mother-daughter relationship is big theme in the novel. Not all authors can allow their characters to be this real and attaching, conflicted and battling with their own blood.

RATING: 5/5

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N.K Jemisin has quite a background. Her first novel, A Thousand Kingdoms has been nominated on several awards (Nebula Award, Hugo Award and winning Locus Award for the best First Novel). In 2015, she came back with The Fifth Season, the first novel in the Broken Earth series and winning the Hugo Award 2016.
19161852TITLE: THE FIFTH SEASON
SERIES: THE BROKEN EARTH
AUTHOR(S): N.K JEMISIN
PUBLISHER: ORBIT
FORMAT: PAPERBACK
RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 4TH 2015
PAGES: 468
GENRE(S): FANTASY

Big thank you to Hachette Canada for giving me a free copy to review! 


LITTLE LIFE UPDATE

I’m in Boston,Massachussets right now for my internship at Harvard 😅 I’m slower to blog hop than usual when I’m traveling, so sorry in advance !

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