The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin

Fifth

I keep a “To-Read” list on my phone.  When I read a positive review of a book or hear about something that sounds interesting, I add it to the list.  The list is fairly long and oftentimes there’s a significant lag between adding a title and actually reading it.  That means that I sometimes pick up a book and have long since forgotten why I wanted to read it.  That was the case with this book.  Apparently at some point I saw something about it that piqued my interest – I have no idea what.  It’s a fantasy novel – a genre I never read – and something totally outside my norm.  Even more, it’s the first book in a trilogy (which I’m sure I knew when I added it to the list), so it doesn’t really have an ending and my determination to read the whole book to see how things resolved proved fruitless.

So what’s it about?  It would take WAY too long to explain.  Suffice to say it takes place somewhere that has LOTS of earthquakes and LOTS of very weird beings (some human, some not, some who can control the earthquakes) and where LOTS of weird stuff happens.  And nothing gets resolved in the end.  That’s pretty much all you need to know.

The one interesting thing (spoiler alert) is that the book is written from the vantage point of three people – a young girl, a young woman, and a middle-aged woman.  What you find out about two-thirds of the way through the story is that all three are the same woman at three different times of her life.  You don’t know it’s the same person because she has different names at each point.  The way the author brings this all together is actually pretty neat.

Other than that, though?  Not my kind of book.  I was sitting in McAlister’s this past weekend eating lunch and reading the book.  A friendly high school kid who worked there walked by and asked me what I was reading.  This guy had a look and manner about him that screamed out science fairs, Star Wars, Comic Con, and video games.  I showed him the book and he said, “Oh that’s a GREAT book!”  And I thought, “Now THAT’S the target market for this book.”

If you’re in to fantasy, this is probably a good book.  I honestly don’t know.  It’s definitely creative and this author has apparently won some awards in the genre.  If you don’t read fantasy?  I think you’re good to just go on about your business.

 

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