The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Novel Series “The Broken Earth Trilogy” Needs More SLOHS Readership ASAP 


  This is the way the world ends, for the last time. Photo courtesy of sophomore Roslyn Risner.

  “The Broken Earth” trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin is an amazing book series, and necessary for more students at San Luis Obispo High School to read. The first book, “The Fifth Season,” came out on August 4, 2015, with “The Obelisk Gate” (2016), and “The Stone Sky” (2017) finishing the series off.  

  The books are written in a way that will keep readers on the edge of their seat, with many plot twists and surprises.  

  While they aren’t the most popular books, they have earned multiple well-deserved rewards. 

  “The writing style is quite unique, and it is super interesting, immediately pulling you in. If a less experienced author wrote in second person as she does, it might come off as clunky, but N.K. Jemisin executes it really well,” said English teacher Serena Enzerink. 

  The series is fantastic, and with so many twists and turns, and really in-depth world-building, there is always something to discover, often with important information in every chapter. It should not be read in a hurry, time to delve into the books and immerse in the world is crucial for full enjoyment of the series.   

  “I love Jemisin’s writing in general, the world-building is very impressive and purposeful without feeling forced. I also appreciate the representation with the diverse characters that are presented,” said Enzerink.

 Jemisin broke many standards of the genre. She is an astounding author, with a unique style, including a point-of-view character written in the second person. 

  Jemison burst on to the epic fantasy scene with her earlier “Inheritance” trilogy (completed in 2011) and has well conquered it with “The Broken Earth”.

Last year she became the first black writer to win the Hugo Award for best novel; one of the biggest prizes in the fantasy and science fiction realm, for “The Fifth Season,” the first volume in the trilogy. This year, she won it again, for the middle volume, “The Obelisk Gate.”  

  The only hitch of these books is the focus needed when reading them. If students are looking for a light, easy-to-read book this series is not for them. However, if they want a high-interest epic fantasy book with many plot threads and action, “The Broken Earth” is exactly what students are looking for. 

  The series is set on a supercontinent known as the Stillness, throughout the series it is constantly rocked with seismic activities often causing earthquakes and devastation. “The Fifth Season,” which is the first book of the series, follows three separate narratives from the POVs of characters Essun, Syenite, and Damaya. 

  A large plot twist involving the character’s connection will ensue later in the book, but that is not to be spoiled now. 

  All three of these characters are shown to be orogenes, or people who can draw energy from living things as well as the earth to alter seismic events. The characters are enthralling and very interesting, including side characters.

The way the book opens is quite shocking, with Essun finding her son was killed by her husband, Jija. Damaya’s first part, with her parents trying to get rid of her because she is an orogene, and Syenite’s first chapter starts with her assignment to travel to a coastal town and clear the harbor of coral, with an advanced orogene named Alabaster.  

 “I love [those books]. It is one of the best series I’ve ever read,” said sophomore Lorelei Leinhos. 

  The first book is filled with emotions and is quite a wild and entertaining read. Jemisin’s books are unique and will certainly engage imagination, taking the readers on a trip to the Stillness. 

  “She lets the reader figure out what’s happening by giving them clues as the story goes on, which both makes for a good read and enhances the reread value,” said Leinhos. 

  Overall, “The Broken Earth” trilogy is definitely worth students’ time, even if they have a “To-Be-Read” list with more books than they can fathom, an addition of three more might be needed. 

  Happy Thanksgiving reading, Tigers!


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