The Obelisk Gate Book Review

Title: The Obelisk Gate
Author: N.K. Jemisin
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Published: 2016
Pages: 391
Goodreads Rating: 4.28
Rating: 9/10

“But it is one thing to resolve to die, quite another to actually carry out that resolve in the midst of dying.”

In The Obelisk Gate, we follow Essun and Nassun on their separate journeys as Earth enters into an especially deadly fifth season. With no end in sight, they attempt to figure out what can be done to save humanity. As tensions rise, their search uncovers additional complications surrounding a long forgotten war that is still ongoing. Will orogeny be the key to right what is wrong? Will they be strong enough to do what needs to be done?

Pros:

Interesting magic system and races
What I really appreciate about Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy is that it is dystopian, science fantasy with extremely unique races and a fascinating magic system. You won’t find mages, berserkers, or wizards. Instead you have orogenes, stone eaters, and guardians. You don’t have spellcasting… you have the seizure of the planet’s natural power. 

An ending that had me instantly picking up the 3rd book 
Immediately after finishing The Obelisk Gate, I started The Stone Sky. Once again, Jemisin did a tremendous job of ending a book by answering some questions while providing a dozen new ones. If you’re looking for an engrossing trilogy where all of the books are readily available, The Broken Earth trilogy is the one for you.

Cons:

Some elements of the story feel like plot convenience 
At points in the story, characters seemed to learn things too quickly or changed their initial journeys without any real explanation or reasoning. The plot had to move forward and it needed the elements gained from the rapid learning process and change in character direction. But you can’t avoid asking how and why? 

Overall…

This book grabbed my attention immediately. In my opinion, it is such a distinctive fantasy story. Jemisin’s writing style takes some getting used to but it is well worth the effort because her interludes and prologues add some mystery and perspective throughout the story. I highly recommend having The Stone Sky, the 3rd book in the trilogy, ready to go once you finish The Obelisk Gate. 

Published by Caroline

Avid reader, board gamer, yogi, and photographer.

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