The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
Well. This book has taken me 2 weeks to read – not because I’ve been a reading slump, or have found it lacking in engagement, but because it’s so deeply complex and intricate that to rush it felt like paying a disservice to the incredible word that NK Jemisin has created.
This book is unlike anything I’ve read. A science fantasy in a completely original style – no comparisons to Tolkien here, a stunning diversity of race but described in its own unique way with descriptions that take some time to get your head around because they don’t rely on comparisons to any racial features or characteristics that we’re used to. Diversity, too, in the depiction of sexual and emotional relationships. The world ends, and this book carries you through one such ending, as we are introduced to “roggas”, a derogatory term for erogenes, who have the genetic ability to literally control the earth, but are feared and often reviled for their difference even though their skill is essential in maintaining and protecting life and civilisations.
This is the first book in the Broken Earth series, and both book 1 and 2 won Hugo awards. I’m not surprised, quite frankly. Jacob had already read this, and I bought him the box set for his birthday, but then cheekily decided to read The Fifth Season before sending them to him. Thank you, Jacob, I’m really looking forward to us reading the rest of the series together. A truly stunning read.