Book Review: ‘The Obelisk Gate’ by N.K. Jemisin

Posted: 28 July 2017 in Book reviews
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As the world outside slowly  descends into chaos, life underground in Castrima is relatively safe. For now. They will do their best to survive this Season as has been done before, but how can you survive a Season predicted to last 10000 years?! The only way is for Essun to create the an Obelisk Gate. At least that’s what Alabaster was trying to tell her. He never was a very good teacher, so she misunderstood him. And he only has a matter of time to teach her how as he is turning to stone. He has set in motion events that will right a wrong creating thousands of years ago. They will give Father Earth his only child back. Doing this should end the Seasons.

This means Essun has to put the search for her daughter on hold. She needn’t worry as Nassun is a survivor. She and Jija have traveled across the country looking for a place called Found Moon. It’s a place where Jija believes she can be “cured”. But does she want to be cured? Under the tutelage of Schaffa, she learns of power she never knew she had. Like her mother, there is something special about her. She has a destiny to fulfill.

While Essun attempts to learn from Alabaster, her new Comm is threatened. Now she is charged with teaching the young orogenes to control their power. Alabaster does not like this distraction, but it isn’t the only thing stopping her from them. At first it was Tonkee, the Comm, and teaching orogeny, but then an army appears. Now their survival is in jeopardy. The Comm can survive, but they must do so at the sacrifice of their Orogenes.

The survival of Essun and her fellow Orogenes is to be brought to a vote. Will the non-roggas succumb and evict them? Or will they band together and fight to survive? Either way, there will be disastrous results.

My Thoughts

This book picks up exactly where it ends in The Fifth Season. This one was a lot easier to dive into than the first one. Not too surprising. Introducing a story is not always easy to do. Especially one such as big and intricate as this one. I really enjoyed how Jemisin was able to really open up more about certain aspects of the story, and the history of the world. I especially enjoyed learning more about the Stone Eaters. Hoa is pretty cool. I also enjoyed the scenes using Nassun’s orogeny. Those were awesome. Clearly I liked the book.

While there are no real new characters, a few of the bit part characters have now taken more leading roles. These two are Nassun (Essun’s daughter) and Schaffa (Essun’s Guardian). Nassun is a lot like her mother despite not wanting to be. She is a survivor. She does whatever necessary to live. She is still a child, but has matured to deal with her current situation. She wants her dad (Jija) to love her, but at some point understands that this is not going to happen. But she has to let him believe that she is still his little girl. She is clever and strong, especially regarding Orogeny. Then there’s Schaffa. He is an interesting character. He has allowed himself to go down the road Guardians mustn’t go down. And it changes him. It woke an insatiable hunger in him. He also now has a better perception of the earth and what it wants. This of course makes him more dangerous. He is a seriously strong character and can do some seriously cool new things. I really like him.

The writing was very nice. Like I said before, this one was much easier to get into. Also, I really enjoyed how developed the world and the background stuff is. There is so much cleverness in explaining how things ended up the way they are, and describing the scenes. Jemisin has a very creative mind to think up some of these things. It was all really well done.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book. I really can’t wait to see what happens in the third and final installment of this series. Let me know what you thought of the book. Enjoy 😉

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