The Obelisk Gate: The Broken Earth, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
This is the way the world ends, for the last time.
The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.
Essun - once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger - has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request. But if Essun does what he asks, it would seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
Far away, her daughter Nassun is growing in power - and her choices will break the world.
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|Listening Length||13 hours and 19 minutes|
|Author||N. K. Jemisin|
|Audible.ca Release Date||August 16 2016|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #2,209 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#21 in Dystopian Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#186 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#355 in Dystopian Science Fiction (Books)
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The Obelisk Gate returns to Essun’s life, she has found a safe place to wait out the season. But, there are people from her past wanting things from her, and her daughter is still missing.
Jemisin’s world building and characterisation is flawless. I find myself completely swept up in the world, lost to reality around me. The world building and plot is quite complex. I do have to focus a lot when I am reading and had to look up a recap of the first book before picking this one up. If anyone has the time, and wants to read this trilogy, I recommend reading them together so that you can follow the complex plot in an easier way. That being said, once I remembered who everyone was, and what was going on, I fell completely back in love with this series.
One part of this book made me feel quite emotional. I ended up pausing to read the passage over and over again, it was so beautiful. I am left with a. million questions, and don’t fully know what went on towards the end of this book. However, I do feel a deep sense of calm within me. These books truly give the reader the ability to join another world, away from this one. Jemisin is a wonderful writer who has created an incredibly rich world that I cannot wait to return to.
I recommend this series to fans of fantasy, it is quite complex at times, but still suitable for newbies to the genre (like myself!).
The Obelisk Gate is the sequel to the excellent The Fifth Season and the middle volume of the Broken Earth trilogy, N.K. Jemisin's critically-acclaimed take on the venerable Dying Earth subgenre. The Fifth Season was a highly accomplished novel, describing a brand new world with skill and intelligence and blending together elements of fantasy, post-apocalyptic fiction and a dash of the weird to create something compelling and interesting.
The Fifth Season was also helped by its structure, in which we follow the same character at three different points in her life. The story rotated through each version of the character in term, gradually giving the readers all the pieces to assemble the full narrative. It was a great literary conceit, well-conceived and executed, which allowed the reader to really get to grips with the character.
The Obelisk Gate can't use the same structure, so instead adapts it by moving between Essun's story and that of her daughter Nassun. Whilst the first book was an extended road trip, the second book alternates between Essun's static story and Nassun's long journey across thousands of miles into the far south. This changes things up nicely and means that Essun, now a guest of the community of Castrima, has to actually stay put, learn what's going on from Alabaster and help defend the community.
It does mean a slightly more uneven book than The Fifth Season. Not actually a huge amount happens in this novel, especially for Essun's storyline, and some implausibility creeps in when you realise she is spending months and months hanging around in Castrima (to allow Nassun to travel many, many thousands of miles from almost the equator into the Antarctic region) but doesn't seem to really learn a lot of new information despite Alabaster being right there. That said, there is quite a decent amount of character building and atmosphere here and Castrima, a subterranean city suspended in a giant geode, is a terrific piece of worldbuilding.
Nassun's storyline is more dynamic and disturbing, as her father tries to take her to safety but instead brings her into an even more dangerous and unstable situation, with her own burgeoning powers to contend with. There's a dark mirror here to Essun's childhood upbringing as related in the previous novel, with the feeling that Nassun is what Essun could have become if she was indulged more instead of tortured.
The result is a sequel which expands on the world and the story but, in a common failing of middle volumes of trilogies, can't quite match the relentless pace and sense of discovery from the first book. There's a lot of introspection in this novel which is beautifully written, but risks redundancy later on. However, the book ends with an explosive confrontation between Castrima and a rival community which once again shakes things up and leaves them in an interesting place for the final book in the series to pick up on.
The Obelisk Gate (****½) is a readable and strong sequel to The Broken Sky, if a slightly less original and relentless one. It is available now in the UK and USA. The story concludes in The Stone Sky.
I didn't find the structure quite as compelling as in the previous one, but it made up for it by giving a wider spread of points of view, to help readers better understand the characters and the world.The previous book felt rather like a character study, and while those elements were still maintained, this broadened out the focus. There was a lot more about the history of the world, the mysterious obelisks and stoneeaters, and the causes, nature and limits of oregeny, and I really liked this deeper world building.
In some respects - perhaps because of the greater variety of narrators, perhaps because of the more fantastical focus - it felt like quite a different book to its predecessor, but ultimately, it maintained most of what made that special and added some great new elements, so is definitely a worthwhile sequel.
It goes on and on about the main idea of the books (Society hates the magicians, which is bad. It - society - has created different ways in repressing the magicians. Father willing to kill his two children because they’re magicians? C’mon). I guess that’s the main idea of the books.
The setting is great. They are slowly revealing the veil covering the dead civ mysteries.
The characters I am not sure about. Surprising, illogical. The relationships feel real.
I want to see characters dealing and using their powers solving every day problems. Helping with the dishes or laundry…
I am liking the "world-building" more, and can relate more to the atmosphere she has created. I also like that she hasn't put much effort into describing what happened in volume 1 for people who started with volume 2. If you're gonna read a trilogy or whatever, then start at the beginning.
Now hoping to find the final volume at least aas good as this one.