The Fifth Season - N.K.Jemisin

This was a satisfying read, and I enjoyed it - a lot.

Warning Spoilers Below

The book summary is vague in disclosing what type of powers our protagonist is hiding and is right in doing so. These powers are eventually revealed but rather slowly and in layers. At first, each chapter may appear confusing, as if the author is telling different unrelated stories. These stories eventually converged, and that realization for me was exciting. It is good storytelling.

The Sci-fi

Our protagonist belongs to a race of people called orogenes, with powers to manipulate the Earth. Although derivative (Stone Bending - from The Last Air-bender), this aspect of the power comes with severe restrictions in its use. This power seems to obey the first law of thermodynamics. Energy is drawn from the neighboring environment, including living beings, and can be fatal if used by someone untrained.

The World

This story is set on an Earth with a single continent, and the Earth’s mantle is still violently in flux. The peaks of these violent moments are called a “Season” and can happen several centuries apart. A season is when the atmosphere is covered in ash, and crop cultivation becomes harder. Due to the lack of stability, humanity hasn’t expanded as widely. Most towns are communes, where each person has a role to play.

I am looking forward to reading the next couple of books in this series.