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N.K. Jemisin's Hugo award winning Broken Earth trilogy - obviously bleak, but is there hope?

(7 Posts)
cucumbergin Mon 27-Aug-18 20:58:06

Been seeing lots and lots of praise for this after Nora K Jemisin made history winning the Hugo award last week - I've really enjoyed her earlier books, but I bought The Fifth Season when it came out and every time I open it I read the first few pages and I stop there.

Obviously given the themes of the trilogy (repeated apocalypses, slavery, death, etc) it's not going to be flowers and sunshine, but I can deal with a certain amount of well written bleak if I feel like there is eventually some hope - would appreciate any (ideally spoiler-free) tips from anyone who's read it. Worth trying again and pushing on through?

OP’s posts: |
CarolinePooter Tue 28-Aug-18 16:52:34

I borrowed the first volume to see if I liked them, then bought the lot asap. I haven't read any large scale fantasy for decades, but was really engaged by this. The finale of vol 1 is a real "wow" moment, leading to instant grabbing of volume 2! The world and the characters are gradually revealed to us, the plot is tremendous, and the narrative twists and turns in a very elegant way. There are such interesting characters, too. I know what you mean about depressing, eg The Handmaid's Tale (ugh) but this is not one of those miserable books! This has a wonderful ending, full of hope.

Sadik Tue 28-Aug-18 18:10:34

I didn't think The Fifth Season was particularly wonderful compared to other recent fantasy/sci-fi I've read, have pasted in my review from the 50 books thread below.

"Award winning fantasy novel (won the Hugo in 2016, shortlisted for various other SFF awards) with lots of good points, but sadly this didn't really do it for me.
The setting is interesting - an extremely seismically active world in which the culture is highly focused on surviving periodic 'seasons' when volcanic eruptions or quakes cause years-long crises. Some humans ('orogenes') have the ability to supernaturally manipulate & control seismic activity, and there are also non-human intelligent beings who come into the story.
Unfortunately I didn't find the writing style particularly engaging - it's written in the present tense, which for me has to be done exceptionally well to come off. There are three separate strands to the story - actually something I often like - but in this instance I felt it made the book rather fragmented. It was also just relentlessly down-beat - one of those books where you just know that if things are apparently going well for someone, the world will crap on them comprehensively within a chapter or so. I won't rush to read the sequel, though I guess if dd brought it home (book is hers) I might pick it up."

Sadik Tue 28-Aug-18 18:12:56

MInd you, I'm obviously in the minority in not liking it! On the whole I tend to read serious sci-fi and fluffy fantasy, so that might be a factor.

cucumbergin Tue 28-Aug-18 21:02:15

grin so, 50:50 so far. I already have the first book so it sounds like it's worth me just trying that and if it's going to work for me, it'll grab me relatively early. I have to say it's got to be one of the most grim beginnings to a novel that I've read, which is why I was a bit "omg. If she starts off with this, how much worse does it get?!"

OP’s posts: |
TheThirdOfHerName Tue 28-Aug-18 21:04:39

I really liked it. It gets more hopeful as the triology goes on.

InfiniteCurve Tue 28-Aug-18 21:32:35

I liked it - I listened to the Audible version.But I nearly didn't get past the beginning,that was harrowing but it got better.

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