The universe is telling me something.
Somehow I got Patrick Rothfuss’ A Name in the Wind on Audiobook. I think it must have been free cause I had never heard of him or the book. After dozens of false starts, I finished Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Blood and Stone, and then after hearing there was polyamor-ing going on, I read The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. Y’all know how much I like poly relationships. Anyway, all three authors are masters of world-building.
I’m always scared of being slow and boring when I’m writing, but none of these authors were worried about being boring. They are confident enough in their story to weave in their world building with minimum action and tons of loaded language.
I’m supposed to writing a review. Here it goes.
The Fifth Season is on all of the 2015 Best of Lists. But I only bought it cause All of Our Worlds said there a polyamorous relationships. Yes, I am that shallow.
On to the review:
There was a transgendered woman, and the lead character had dreadlocks. So I definitely got my diversity high.
The polyamorous relationship begins at the 72% mark on Kindle. Snicker snicker snicker. blush blush.
I read a lot of YA, but The Fifth Season is all adult. I felt grown and sexy after I read this book.
There were more than a few things that stayed with me long after I read the story, but a big one was the complexity of the story. I’ve been trying to figure out what makes this story so much more mature, and I’m thinking it’s the complexity of Cyanide. She is pissy, unlikable, but so relatable. She is a grown ass woman and she didn’t have to fight every five minutes to keep me entertained.
I didn’t occur to me at the time but there is a scene in the book that reminded me of the scene in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
The Fifth Season had one of the most original magic systems since Jim Butcher’s The Codex Alera and Brent’s Week’s The Broken Eye.
Alabaster and Cyanide, my two favorite characters, start the story despising each other. Also, both are unlikable and lovable at the same time. Over the years, they grow close.
It read almost like a Dystopian Fantasy
There was a melding of storylines at the end that was really cool.
I am going to attempt to break down some of the world building elements.
- The originators have the ability to quell or cause earthquakes. (read earth benders from the Avatar, but not as hunky.
- The stone eaters can move through stone and the ground. For some damn reason they like to cling to and follow the originators. I thought this was brilliant in the case of NK Jemisin because at first we see the stone eaters saving the life of the originator Alabaster, but at the end… The stone eater doesn’t look like its helping Alabaster so much.
- The guardians, do some type of manipulation in the brain that can distort or cancel out the power of the originators.
- Then of course there are the humans/the mundane who fear the power they do not possess.