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Summary

Winner of the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novel
Book 1 in the double Hugo-Award-winning trilogy
A New York Times Notable Book
Shortlisted for the World Fantasy, Nebula, Kitschies, Audie and Locus Awards
The inaugural Wired.com book club pick

This is the way the world ends...for the last time. 

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world, spewing ash that blots out the sun.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. 

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

The Broken Earth trilogy is complete - beginning with The Fifth Season, continuing in The Obelisk Gate (Winner of the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel) and concluding with The Stone Sky (Shortlisted for the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novel).

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2015 N. K. Jemisin (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Astounding." (NPR)

"Elegiac, complex, and intriguing." (Publishers Weekly)

"Intricate and extraordinary." (New York Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Well read, decent characters, plodding plot

This is an odd book. The author does a great job of world building and populates it with some compelling characters but managed to have them do very little other than wander around aimlessly. There's an occasional reveal, which all feel fairly arbitrary, and some slightly strange narrative choices which don't really work.

That said, it's certainly original and the narration is excellent.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Struggled.

Struggled to get into this one. For me, the narration by Robin Miles was quite stilted. The muddied accents she put on for some of the characters were very strange. The sci-fi aspects of the story were very compelling though.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

some great ideas but...

I felt some areas needed further exposition and the characters were never fully fleshed out... I always felt I was skimming over the surface of the story without being drawn in. what brought it home was the lack of emotion at losing certain characters, didn't bat an eyelid when they kicked the bucket.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

<br />Hard to get into, but deeply absorbing

Persevere through the first three or four chapters. . . . . . . .

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Just finished this book and I am still Confused!

It took awhile to get into this book, I started listening to it whilst dog walking. But once into the story I would end up continuing to listen when I got home and sometimes at night in bed. However, I Have finished this book and I am still Confused! Seriously, will someone explain the 3 main female characters. I thought it was the same female at different points in her life, but it doesn't quit follow if that's the case and if it's different main characters, then I have no idea what the link was. I think I may have nodded off during some key story points! Lol

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MR
  • 20-06-18

Loved it

Classy writing. I won’t explain why.
At first I thought the narrator was a bit too American but that soon wore off and I liked the performance in the end.
Really looking forward to more of this story now.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L
  • London
  • 02-05-18

Wow

This blew me away. I didn't think it could live up to the hype, but it did - and then some. Intense, beautiful and exciting as hell. Robin Miles may be my new favourite narrator too, as she puts so much emotion into her characters. It bought the story to life completely.

I cannot wait to see where else this story goes. I defy anyone to read this, and not fall in love with at least one, if not all, of the characters.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Haphazard first novel.

The book clearly has better reputation than what it deserves. The storytelling is all over the place, submitting into amateurish pitfalls much too often.

The narrator is top class. She tries to keep momentum going, but sometimes struggles as there just isn't much to work with.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good premise and well written. Gripping!

Well narrated. An unpretentious but imaginative story. The central concept of an ever shifting harsh world and the talented /cursed people who can cause or prevent its earthquakes and cataclysms was very intriguing.

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  • GPMcG
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • 26-01-18

Fabulous book and audiobook!

Great story, great narrator, I wholeheartedly recommend it!

It's exciting, poignant, heartbreaking, thrilling, and has something for everyone.

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  • Cael
  • 24-05-18

captivating

A captivating story. loved it to the last word. it was a unique reading experience.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jón Gísli Björgvinsson
  • 17-04-18

Breaks every mold I can think of

I bought this book after reading a review that was mostly complaining about how queer it is, as that's usually a sign that whatever's being reviewed is something I will enjoy greatly. This methkd has yet to fail me.

The Fifth Season is the kind of book you hear about second-hand, or in hypotheticals that leave you going "Wow, I want to read that book."

It plays with structure, tone, and style in ways I've never seen before. The flow and shape of the story shifts and splits and converges in ways that are always surprising, but never absurd or unreasonable.

The world is cool as hell. A fantasy story set in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi world, where sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

It's dark at times, but never needlessly or excessively. The Fifth Season is honest about the ugly things, and about the beautiful things.

The narrator also does a tremendous job of narrating, enhancing and enhanced by the book itself having a narrator, which she brings to life excellently.

I am in love, and I am immediately moving to the next one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MB
  • 17-01-18

Excellent

Narrator was excellent at bringing the story to life and the story itself was gripping, entertaining and completely unlike anything I've read before. I can't wait to start Book 2.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andreas
  • 02-01-18

Very interesting world

Good stuff all around.
Not sure what I feel about the fact that none of the main characters had a normal sexual orientation.
Mostly it just felt like the book desperately tried to be very current with all the fuss about genders and whatnot.
Anyway the book didn't put too much focus on it so I wasn't distracted by it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Norine
  • 08-09-17

OMFreakingG😜

THE FIFTH SEASON

the structure, the POV's, the characters, the world building, the way systemic oppression is interwoven into this fantasy narrative .... makes this book one you will either hate or fall madly in love with.

With this book I really needed to savour and digest everything that was revealed within those chapters about Damaya, Syenite and Essun ... to have my mind blown towards the end 😳

Since I've just finished the first installment, that sort of left my heart in ruin 😢 ... I've decided that I need some time to properly recuperate before I pick up the sequel. So far this was a truly magnificent reading experience.

#NKJemisin #TheFifthSeason #2015 #Dystopia #ScienceFiction #Adult #Bibliophile #Bookstagram #Books #Reader #Booknerd