Reviews: Jemisin, N. K.

Of People Going By

How Long ‘til Black Future Month? — N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin’s 2018 How Long ‘til Black Future Month? is a collection of short stories. It is her first collection of stories. Nota bene: it’s only been out for a month, but that still makes it a 2018 publication and thus eligible for a 2019 Hugo. Just saying.

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Pick A Star From The Sky

The Awakened Kingdom — N. K. Jemisin

2014’s The Awakened Kingdom is a sequel to N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

Years after the events of the trilogy, the Gods Itempas and Yeinne make a godling, one who might fit the place left empty by the late Sieh. Being gods, they raise their child Shill in the manner befitting gods, which is essentially to kick the kid out the door and hope for the best.

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If The Sky Fell

The Stone Sky — N. K. Jemisin
The Broken Earth, book 3

2017’s The Stone Sky is the third and final volume in N. K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy.

The Moon, long ago torn from its orbit around the Earth, is returning. Two women, Essun and her daughter Nassun, have the power to determine its course: a) past the Earth and back into interplanetary space, b) back into orbit around the Earth, or c) directly into the planet itself.

Nassun, having had a good look at the evil humans do, is firmly convinced the third option is the correct one.

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See All The Colours In Disguise

The Broken Kingdoms — N. K. Jemisin
The Inheritance Trilogy, book 2

2010’s The Broken Kingdoms is the second volume in N. K. Jemisin’s The Inheritance Trilogy.

Ten years after the world changed, blind artist Oree makes a living in the city of Shadow, once called Sky. Although enforcement of the god Intempas’ laws is far laxer for reasons those in charge decline to explain in detail, it would be very bad for Oree Shoth if she were to come to the attention of the Order-Keepers.

Bad enough she found a murdered godling. Much worse that the Order-Keepers know she found Role’s corpse.

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The Obelisk Gate — N. K. Jemisin
The Broken Earth, book 2

2016’s The Obelisk Gate is a direct sequel to 2015’s The Fifth Season and is the middle volume in N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. The Fifth Season was nominated for the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award. It was also listed on the 2015 Tiptree Long List 1. Any sequel is certain to face some high expectations. This book lived up to mine; whether or not it will live up to yours is unclear.

It’s some months after the end of the world.

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Beginning 2016 on a high note

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms — N.K. Jemisin
Inheritance Trilogy, book 1

2010’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is the first volume in N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

You’d think that being recognized as a member of the family that rules the world would be an occasion for celebration. Not for Yeine. She distrusts her grandfather, whom she believes to have sent the assassins who killed her mother (his own daughter!). Taking her place in the Arameri court in the great city of Sky means that she is effectively exiled from her beloved homeland of Darr, forced to live among cruel overlords whose ways are both alien and abhorrent. Poor Yeine will suffer for her unwanted elevation.

Her grandfather Dekarta already had two heirs: the cruel and malevolent Scimina and her drunken brother Relad. Having acknowledged Yeine as an Arameri, Dekarta takes the additional step of designating her as his third heir. This is in no way a favour to Yeine. Years ago there were four heirs but two have died; Arameri see politics as a full contact sport. As a rival heir to Scimina and Relad, Yeine is now a target for her more powerful and dangerous kin.

And then there’s the matter of the gods.

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Not with a whimper but a bang

The Fifth Season — N. K. Jemisin
The Broken Earth, book 1

The unfortunates in 2015’s The Fifth Season live on a world almost as active as Jupiter’s moon Io, a world constantly rattled by tremours and reshaped by volcanoes, a world where geological and historical timescales are the same.

Embracing whimsical gallows humour, they call their single landmass “The Stillness”.

Any particular community on this world can be certain that, in time, it will be wiped out by earthquake, tsunami, acid rain, or abrupt climate change. Humanity as a whole survives on the Stillness because until now, no calamity massive enough to kill absolutely every human has happened.

Thanks to the forward-thinking social policies of the Sanze Empire, humanity’s run of luck is about to end.

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