Book: The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth 2) by N.K. Jemisin
Release Date: August 16th 2016
Tags: Fantasy / Dystopia / POC / LGBTQ+ / Homosexual / Bisexual / Transexual
Other books in this series I reviewed
The Fifth Season
Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
The Obelisk Gate is the sequel to The Fifth Season. The first book quite amazed me by its set up and characters. Looking back at this second book I think it doesn’t hold up quite as strong as that one. Even so, I still enjoyed it.
If you would ask me about the plot of The Obelisk Gate I would stumble about somewhat. Despite following various characters again there isn’t actually that much happening. We get a glimpse back at what happened with Nassun, Essun’s daughter who was taken away by her father. We get a better idea of what happened to Alabaster and what his plans are. And we get a good idea of the working and dynamics in the underground location she is staying at. There is a bit of a threat but that is about as much as I can tell you. Even so the underlying dynamics learn us much about the characters so it doesn’t quite suffer from the second book syndrome. Even so it could have done with a tiny bit of more action.
I would also like to note that I am grasping a little at the continuity from The Fifth Season to The Obelisk Gate. Where in the first book I felt that Essun had only been travelling for a few weeks/months, Nassun makes it clear in this second book she travelled with her father for a year and by the end of the book is already at the new location for a year. This sudden leap in time doesn’t feel quite along with the events happening with Essun. Even though we know that by the end of the book they are at the same moment in the timeline.
Even so I did really enjoy returning to this book and these characters. I love Essun. She can struggle so much to communicate with people and can come across as some kind of scarecrow sometimes I think. But I like that about her. She makes me smile. Her relationship with Alabaster was very interesting to see. To see how they picked things up again. How they continued with things after everything that happened.
Nassun’s point of view was new to us and I struggled a little with her at the start. Her clear hostility towards her mother kind of set me of. But as we learned more about their relationship I understand Nassun so much more and I just want to shout at her that she is probably not trusting the right people there.
Overall this book has made me very curious to see how this will wrap up. It has to be with a bang.