Monday, 26 September 2016

Review: The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season 
Rating: 4/5 
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Orbit! 

A season of endings has begun. 

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. 

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. 

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. 

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this book, the synopsis intrigued me, it's a fantasy and I love fantasy books and I'd been told good things. As I started to read, I got more and more intrigued. The opening of the book is brilliantly done, pulling you in and piquing your interest in the world and characters, heartbreaking as one part is. The Fifth Season is unlike anything I've ever read before, it was utterly fascinating and completely original. 

As you read you have three point of views, with three different plot threads. As you read you start to see that they're not all taking place at the same time, that they're at different periods of time and I loved trying to work out how they related to each other, and what events in one meant for the other. It was a brilliant way of telling the story and it really drew me in and had me avidly reading. I had a suspicion becaue of two words in a chapter at one part of the book, which made everything click in to place for me narrative wise, and then it was confirmed not too long later and it changed my entire perspective of the book and what i'd been reading and it was a mind blowing moment! 

Our first point of view and plot thread is Essun, which is told from the 2nd person. Essun is a mature lady, and she is who we're following in the present, as it where. She's trying to track down her daughter who has been taken by her husband, who's just killed her son because he found out that her son has orogeny, a trait he inherited from her. People with orogeny are hated and feared, they have the ability to manipulate thermal, kinetic and related forms of energy to address seismic events and they can do a serious amount of damage as well as helping quell shakes and tsunami's and such. From my perspective, while I understood why people feared and hated the orogenes, some of the time they use their abilities unconsciously when scared for example, at the same time, I kinda figured that they where the only thing keeping people alive in the world of the book, where things like shakes occur rather a lot. ANYWAY. Essun is determined to make her husband and the killer of her son pay and she wants to get her daughter back. 

Then we have Damaya, a young girl who's been found to be an Orogene by her parents and is being kept in the barn like an animal. She's taken away by a Guardian, the police of the orogenes as it where, and she's headed to the Fulcrum to be trained in her power, and it turns out the Fulcrum has a secret at it's heart. 

Third we have Syenite, she's an adult who's been trained at the Fulcrum and has achieved the four ring level of service. She's being sent out on a mission with a new mentor, a ten ringer, and they discover something unusual when they reach their destination. Syenite has more power than she realises. Through Syen, we see an entirely different side of the Fulcrum and what it expects and demands of it's orogenes, and what they do to those who can't control themselves. 

I found the characters to be well fleshed out, and intriguing, and there's plenty of character growth throughout the book. There's also plenty of other characters that help to bring the story to life. Hoa, Alabaster, Schaffa, pirates and aliens and waaay more, but I can't really say too much more about the characters without entering spoiler territory, and trust me...this book is brilliant because of the huge surprise that's to do with the narrative and characters. So that's all your getting character wise! But I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative and the characters throughout the book. A lot of the supporting characters where so intriguing and I still want to know more about them, especially Hoa! 

The Fifth Season has a fascinating world with an intriguing history that I'm so eager to find out more about, and there's even a bit in the back of the book about the seasons! The world is vivid, Essun's narrative in particular feels particularly desolate and there's a dystopian, post apocalypse vibe going on. There's originality in every page, I found the science aspects fascinating (highly unusual for me, I suck at science), and the plot moved at a nice pace. There was plenty of intrigue, with action and some insane plot twists. The Fifth Season kept on surprising me, and I was totally blown away by the narrative and the twist with it! The only tiny little niggle I have is that when I started to read it, all the slang was a smidge confusing, but then I realised there's an appendix at the back that explains everything so check that first! 

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