“No, I’m telling this wrong. After all a person is herself and others. Relationships chisel the final shape of one’s being. I am me and you.”
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Set immediately after the events of The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate continues to follow Essun at her maybe-temporary-home of Castrima where she is faced with the option of settling in and helping a new community during a Season or continuing on to track down her abducted daughter even though she no longer has any clues as to Nassun’s whereabouts.
This book was not as good as its predecessor but it was still a good read.
Essun’s chapters take up a lot more space in this book compared to the first one and unfortunately a lot of them seem to consist of long paragraphs of summarization and exposition, the latter of which rarely made a whole lot of sense to me. It was never so bad that I felt like the author was telling rather than showing, and I actually thing the second person POV helped with that, but it did get tedious at times.
While this is a fairly big negative, it is the only one.
I said in my summary for The Fifth Season this story takes place in a world where the Earth’s tectonic plates are in constant chaos and so earthquakes are frequent and occasionally lead to apocalyptic levels of catastrophe. A reason for this is introduced in this book and it is so obvious (once you’ve gotten there in the book) and so logical that I just loved it.
I really love the character relationship and I REALLY liked Nassun’s chapters. She goes through more than anyone should have to, much less a child and it has deeply affected her. Although they have been separated for 2 books by distance and how a few years have passed, a lot of this story is about their mother-daughter relationship. I think that Jemisin captured a confused, hurt, but incredibly intelligent 10 year old perfectly. Her hatred at her mother that slowly transforms into an angry understanding that for some reason just really captivated me.
After The Fifth Season, I really didn’t see how its sequel could surpass it and honestly, it didn’t. Too many passages of info-dumps and summarization brought the story down a peg or two for me but I am absolutely loving the characters and the world and especially the setup for the finale.