March 2019

The Fifth Season

N. K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth Book 1) (London: Orbit Books), 2015

jemisin fifth season
I'm not a big fan of science fiction, but when this book was selected as the Science Friday book club selection, I decided to read it so I could follow along with the radio discussion. I guess one might call it science fiction in the mode of "Journey to the Center of the Earth," but mostly it is a fiction/fantasy novel that employs a bit of scientifically accurate information about geology, plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes. It was interesting how much discussion about the specifics of the geology reflected in the book was discussed on the radio given the simple fact that one would not need to know the science behind the story in order to make it an enjoyable book to read.

The story, however, is compelling and well-told and it is easy to get into the characters. I didn't make all of the connections between the story lines at first, but soon I understood that there were multiple story lines from different points in the life of the same character. The story is tantalizingly complex and just challenging enough to keep one interested while still being a quick and easy read.

The book was enjoyable enough that I decided to read the other books in the trilogy. I wasn't disappointed.