I want to talk about this book for a second.
I stumbled across it while I was looking to join a book club. One of them was planning on reading The Fifth Season that month so I downloaded it, thinking it looked mildly interesting. I didn’t end up joining the group and it sat unread on my Kindle for about two months. Then, one day, I was bored out of my mind and needing inspiration so I opened up the Kindle app on my phone and started reading.
By the time I was ten pages in, I knew I had stumbled across something extraordinary. Jemisin is a master story-teller. The detail, not to mention certain parts that are written in second person, is unbelievable without being dense or hard to read.
The book takes place on what could possibly be Earth in the very far future or an Earth-like planet. The volatile landscape heaves and cracks open constantly, creating seasons that nearly wipe out all of humanity. The only people who can moderate the Earth’s upheaval are called orogenics. You would think they’d be revered, but they are feared and hated more than anything because of the power they wield and the lies the Sanzed Empire has spread about them. You are an orogene who has just found her two year old son murdered by her husband. He didn’t know what you were and when he saw the signs in the little boy, well, he snapped. Thus begins your trek across the land to find and kill your husband and save your daughter who he has taken with him.
Without saying any more, I can tell you guys that this book made me laugh and cry and really think. It also made me fall back in love with reading. I had forgotten what it felt like to need to know what happens so badly that you stay up all night just to finish the book. I was brutally tired the next day, but it was so worth it.
So if you’re looking for a book to wrap yourself up in this summer, definitely check this one out. It’s nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel and rightly so.