Here was a read that was equal parts frustrating and astonishing.
The world-building was so intelligent. Sharply constructed, intricately thought out, and very, very interesting. A warped mirror of our own societal fractures and earthly toxicity.
The magic system made meI feel like revisiting my old Geology notes from when I took the class in university. So absolutely wicked how Jemisin blended magic with science.
I didn’t particularly like the characters. But I get why I didn’t need to – a world so roughly destroyed, so dangerous and gritty, would not have characters that were easy to understand or relate to.
I had two big issues with this book. The first was the beginning,because it was very difficult to get into. Nothing made sense. The world-building was puzzling. Clearly thought-out and confident, yes, but hard to wrap my head around. I’d say around the mid-way point is when things finally clicked and I was able to just enjoy the story without being absolutely bewildered. I think it was very possible for Jemisin to make the learning curve a little less steep and a little more seamless.
The second issue was the second POV. I simply don’t like reading that type of narrative. Pulls me out of the fictional dream. Feels awkward and bleh. I am so glad the whole book wasn’t written in second person, or I definitely would have DNF’d it.
Because I wasn’t all that attached to the characters, and because it took a long time for me to get a feel of the world, I wasn’t as blown away by this read as some people figured I would be. I definitely enjoyed it, and will likely pick up the rest of the trilogy some day…but it just didn’t hit as hard as I was hoping.
I’m still very impressed with the overall concept and cutting intelligence within the magic system and world. You can almost believe it’s a world we’re driving towards in real life. Total natural catastrophe because of the way we humans treat our home and each other.
Overall, an intriguing read.