August 4, 2015
This is the first in a series highlighting diverse books, so expect at least one a month. Also, this was my first attempt at #bookstagram and well, it needs work, but the lighting was nice that day.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This was a tough book for me to get through. It starts off with the death of a toddler, and terrible things happen to both children and adults all the way through. There's no holding back from the horrors of this imagined world, and that is part of the point.
Like all the Jemisin's books I've read so far, the world building feels wholly original. It doesn't fall into any expected stereotypes or nor does it evoke any one past civilization as its inspiration.
Craft wise, the construction of the narrative is something to marvel, with two alternating points of view, that turn out to be taking place at different points of time, that gradually converge. Each point of view adds depth to the other, and add richness to the ending.
But boy, is it heavy, a commentary on slavery and who holds the power in a crumbling world. Sexuality and gender expression are presented without comment. It pulls no punches.
The dedication reads: "For all those who have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question"
And it's a fight all the way, but a worthwhile one.