Friday, October 11, 2019

Review: THE STONE SKY by N. K. Jemisin

Rating: 4/5 stars

This series has been so good. It’s been too long since I read this book for me to write a decent or accurate review at this point, so here are the notes I took while reading. There are spoilers ahead.

The prologue starts right off telling us that Hoa opened the Obelisk Gate and flung away the Moon. This sets up immediately for an intriguing story because I wanted to know what happened and why.

I didn’t really care for the Syl Anagist chapters because I didn’t understand their importance or what was happening in them. I knew they had to be there for a reason, and I read a review that said they give us more information about the obelisks, but I just didn’t see that. They were hard to follow, in my opinion. These chapters were the only part of the whole series that when I got to them I had to push myself to keep on reading.

I was also not very interested in Nassun’s viewpoint in this book, unfortunately. I much preferred Essun’s chapters to everything else. I just found myself a bit bored with Nassun’s POV and not really connecting to her character, which is unfortunate because I loved her in book two. I wish we had more Schaffa chapters in this book like we did in The Obelisk Gate because those were more enjoyable and informative to me. I was curious about Nassun’s story overall but her chapters just dragged in my opinion.

This conversation speaks volumes for some of the important and relevant topics covered in this entire series:
Nassun asks, “What is genocide?”
Schaffa responds, “Orogenes are essential. And yet because you are essential, you cannot be permitted to have a choice in the matter. You must be tools—and tools cannot be people. Guardians keep the tool . . . and to the degree possible, while still retaining the tool’s usefulness, kill the person.”
Then: “What can orogeny do against something like that? Keep her breathing, maybe. But breathing doesn’t always mean living, and maybe . . . maybe genocide doesn’t always leave bodies.”

Here are my overall thoughts for the whole series:
I think The Fifth Season was the strongest book, mostly because we get so much world-building and character development and everything is new and fresh. Plus I loved all three POVs in that book and loved the way they connected together at the end. That story also had the most enjoyable plot in my opinion.
The Obelisk Gate was much slower but we did get a lot more information about the world that I was hungry for and happy to learn. I enjoyed the three POVs in that book as well, though not as much as the first book.
The Stone Sky was back to being an active and faster-paced plot, although the only POV I cared about was Essun’s. I liked the continuation of the world-building and the ending and how everything came together, and it was a good conclusion, but it doesn’t compare to The Fifth Season in my opinion.
Ultimately, this series was dark and unique and a completely new take on the idea of earth magic, and I’m so happy I read it. It tackles many real-world themes and problems and doesn’t shy away from being gruesome and emotional. It’s definitely one I’ll be rereading in the future, and I’d also love to check out more works from N. K. Jemisin now; I love her writing.

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