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The Obelisk Gate

The Broken Earth, Book 2
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Series: The Broken Earth, Book 2
Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (533 ratings)

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Summary

Winner of the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Book two in the record-breaking triple Hugo Award-winning trilogy.

The season of endings grows darker, as civilisation fades into the long cold night.

Essun has found shelter, but not her missing daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request only Essun can grant.

The Broken Earth trilogy begins with The Fifth Season, continues in The Obelisk Gate and concludes with The Stone Sky - out now.

©2016 N. K. Jemisin (P)2016 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Amazing." (Ann Leckie)

"Breaks uncharted ground." (Library Journal)

"Heartbreaking, wholly unexpected." (Brian Staveley)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I Can't Even

Seriously, if you are looking for the crack cocaine of speculative sci-fi/fantasy, this is it. The author is the queen of tantalising her listener/reader with titbits of information before jerking away on another tangent, such that it's half an hour later when you realise the Very Important Question hadn't been answered. Devious. I CANNOT wait for book 3.

3 people found this helpful

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If my job wasn't so dull I might not have finished

Brace yourselves with this one, nothing really happens. The story would have been more interesting from Alabaster's perspective because he is an active and enthusiastic protagonist. Essun seems to need steering from point to point by other more engaging characters.

Half of this story follows Essun getting lessons from Alabaster who follows the Albus Dumbledore style of teaching in little chunks where you don't tell your pupils what they need to know. It is written off as him being a terrible teacher but no-one could teach as badly as he seems to.

The other half follows her kid, Nassun who is quite annoying and slow to realise that her father is a waste of space. This is fairly dull as it is mostly a travel tale and similar to book 1.

I'm still quite interested in the overall story and what will happen to the Earth. I think I'll even read book 3 as the ending should be more interesting. I think this series was planned as a trilogy from the outset and so this book is mostly irrelevant filler to pad it enough to warrant a third book. You could probably fit all the relevant plot details into a couple of tweets though.

Narration was as good as book one. Better on 1.1x speed.

1 person found this helpful

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Incredible!

Loved the continuation of the story, so very gripping. I hate when I need to stop listening.

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn’t stop listening

This series is so good. It’s easy to listen to and simultaneously a very interesting story

1 person found this helpful

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Keeps getting better!

Enjoyed this as much as the first one if not more! Moves at a good pace and love all the twists and changes. Struggled following the voices once or twice but otherwise great.

Starting the next one immediately.

1 person found this helpful

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A one book story dragged into a trilogy

t is sad that fantasy fiction has somehow latched itself to the trilogy format. This lengthy format addiction means that too many authors stretch their material to fit. The Broken Earth story has material for one book - at max two. Being stretched over a trilogy means that it looses its momentum. It keeps going long after the reader/listener has lost interest. It is a pain to listen to plot elements that would have been exiting in a 5-10 minute frame, being dragged out for over an hour.
Authors, editors and publishers - Please start making single novel fantasy stories. Please don't make epics out of a one book novels!

As for the Broken Earth trilogy, a drawn out storyline is not the only problem unfortunately.

They author struggles to make some of the key characters believable. The daughter is particularly jarring. It seems that the author is concerned that the reader/listener will not follow her development - so she over explains. Sadly, for me that just emphasises the wrongness and strains the character's credulity.

Magic and the fantastical is part of the beautiful escape of the fantasy genre. But even magic and the fantastical needs to be consistent. If a rule for the magic has been established - then it can't be ignored half a book later. Changing rules/systems along the way challenges the reader/listener"s belief in the story - and abruptly ends the suspension of disbelief.

For instance - stone eater travel could have resolved all tribulations of the stillness and the characters in the story. As it finally does in the end of the third book. So it finally takes place after two books full of unnecessary ordeals.

The Broken Earth world is a fascinating one. The author has a lot of potential. Her ideas are strong and enjoyable.

I hope she and her editor will avoid stretching her material next time.

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Excellent

There is not much more I can say about The Obelisk Gate that I have not already said about The Fifth Season.

Worthy of all the awards bestowed upon it.

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An incredible imaginary world

Spellbinding to listen to. A masterpiece. Can't wait to listen to the final part of the trilogy.

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Excellent sequel

The second book in the series is, satisfyingly, just as good as the first. This is often not the case in the middle book of a trilogy, but N K Jemisin skilfully carries on the saga whilst also making this book a complete story - with the preparation, of course, for the final instalment.

Great praise, too, for Robin Miles, whose narration continues to be near perfect.

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loved it

loved it. I wasn't expecting to; given that a lot of reviews claimed it was difficult to follow. I'm not sure I agree with that. Strange names and terms to deal with, maybe, but the story and flow is beautifully told.

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  • Nora
  • 18-10-17

Slow but hard-hitting

I love this series! It's one of the great modern sci-fi books, in my opinion. It's not about action but the development of characters in a dystopian world. Very strong female characters.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Karolina Molla Gazi
  • 03-05-19

it just gets better

I loved the book. I am rather new to audible and I struggle to focus when listening to a book. The narrator, as well as the contents of the book of course, made it very easy to focus.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-01-19

The second book is as good as the first!

The story keeps evolving and expanding without losing focus. A rare trilogy where the second book is at least as good as the first.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-01-20

Best Books I've Read in Years

This entire trilogy was such a joy to read, even if it was quite dark in theme. Was so refreshing to have a true adult, fantasy/scfi storyline that didn't shy away from heavier topics. I was completely emersed until the very end. Best books I've picked up in many years

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  • T.V.
  • 12-10-19

Brilliant Conclusion

Brilliant conclusion to the series that once again does not just continue the story, but expands it and builds something else on top of the foundation.

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  • Muhammad Mohsin
  • 24-07-19

incredible story

a great extension on the original story
almost all players are revealed and as always a great cliffhanger