Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Review: THE KILLING MOON by N. K. Jemisin

Rating: 3/5 stars

I loved the Broken Earth trilogy so much that I knew I had to read everything N. K. Jemisin has ever written. The Dreamblood duology sounded especially cool because it’s about demons that come to people in their dreams. I love stories about dreams so I was very keen to read this series.

The Killing Moon had me interested right from the start. The first chapter is about a Gatherer going into someone’s dream to gather the dreamblood. In the next couple of chapters, we get introduced to many characters, each with a unique name I’ve never heard before, and I started to feel a little overwhelmed for a while that I couldn’t keep everyone straight or remember who everyone was. But after fifty pages or so I got the hang of it.

Thankfully, this book has a glossary with a character list mixed in, which helped out tremendously, but which I, unfortunately, did not discover until a hundred pages or so into the book. This made it hard for me to immerse myself in the story in the beginning when I was getting characters mixed up and when I was unfamiliar with the new terminology and magic system. Usually, when I start a new book with an epic fantasy setting, I like to spend a good hour just looking through the appendices to familiarize myself with the world and characters, but I wasn’t able to do that here because for some reason I didn’t realize the glossary existed, which is my own fault. One thing The Killing Moon doesn’t have though is a map. In my opinion, this book severely needs one because there are many regions mentioned and it’s hard to picture them all in relation to each other.

There were quite a bit of political machinations that I didn’t understand at times, and (even with the glossary) I couldn’t keep all the characters straight. Most of this book I had the general gist of the story without knowing all the details, which pulled me out of the book and made me feel really distant from what was going on.

It took me almost a full month to read this book, which I hated because it made me feel so detached from the story, but this wasn’t the book’s fault. I’ve been stuck in a depression for the past month and reading has not been my priority and it hasn’t been a particularly enjoyable pastime of late, either. This being the only physical book I’ve picked up during that time, it kind of got neglected, unfortunately. I do think an epic fantasy was not the best thing to read during this time, but it’s too late for that. I will definitely need to reread The Killing Moon when I’m in a better headspace to be able to experience optimal enjoyment of the story; I am fairly certain I will like it better and rate it higher upon reread because the writing and the plot are well-constructed; N. K. Jemisin is a master. This was just a bad time for me to read this book, sadly. 

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