And a happy new Cannonball year unto you! It’s my first review of the new year, and as last year my full cannonball slipped through my fingertips I’m hopeful that this is the year…of redemption. But like, also, this is the year of realizing that it’s just a number and as long as I’m reading I’m a winner. Onto my first review!
I had already heard of N.K. Jemisin from LeVar Burton Reads, the podcast wherein the ever delightful LeVar Burton reads short stories. He tends to stick to speculative fiction/sci-fi/fantasy and loves to feature people of color and women, and if you aren’t already listening to it you should!! Anyhoo, he has read a number of her stories, to include some from her fabulous collection called “How Long ‘Til Black Future Month” which I had already checked out from the library and was eager to read: her writing is so thoughtful and cerebral and creative that she crams a lot into just a few pages. So what the heck can this woman do with a book?! A number of my fellow book reading gal pals raaaved about The Broken Earth trilogy being their best read of last year, so I was eager to jump on board. And WHOA NELLY.
Oh, and if me and my friends loving it doesn’t sell you, well she won the Hugo Award (aka, the fancy sci-fi fiction book award) THREE YEARS IN A ROW FOR EVERY BOOK IN THE SERIES. And um, no one has ever done that.
I’m a little nervous to talk about the book because at this point, um, I’m a little behind in my reviews and so I don’t want to give anything away. But, how I’ve been trying to sell other people on it is this: imagine the incredible skill for world-building and immense mind-numbing creativity of Tolkien with epic battles of various factions but add to it vibrant modern social commentary and NOT EVERYONE IS A DUDE AND MORE STUFF HAPPENS THAN JUST WALKING. I see I have tipped my Tolkien card. But I digress again.
I don’t read a lot of science fiction/fantasy and find it to be stodgy and not very approachable. But Jemisin hooks you and you MUST RIGHT NOW know what happens next. A better comparison than Tolkien I think is Atwood’s Madd Addam trilogy, I remember it gripping me the same way. In conclusion, run, don’t walk, to get this trilogy. You’re welcome.