Book review: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent middle book in the series. Jemisin’s worldbuilding here holds very solidly as she further tortures her characters. Essun and Nassun both are fighting for their respective lives in different places, as the Season creates more problems, more trauma, more loss. One of the things Jemisin is particularly good at telegraphing is the dissociation that sometimes comes with trauma. There would be times where I would feel as though I were not connecting with a character, and then I’d turn the page and find myself crying. Literally crying. Because the other (emotional) shoe had not yet dropped in the character’s POV before turning the page.

Once you get there, it’s like being hit by a ton of bricks in a cathartic manner. While I’m not always a huge fan of dystopia, the sheer stubbornness that leads to survival in this series feels particularly prescient these days.

View all my reviews


About Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas is a nine time Hugo Award winning editor and podcaster. In her day job, she is Head of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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