The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

I actually enjoyed that even more than the first book.

Though this is told in a more straight-forward manner there was something about it that appealed to me even more. Maybe it was that we found out a lot more about the world, its history and its people. There is a small flashback at the start to show what happened to Nassun while Essun was travelling to Castrima. After that it is a fairly linear telling of the two stories as they each learn to accept their new lives and start to accept who they are somewhat. There are also a few minor POV’s from another character but I won’t say who due to spoilers.

Nassun was a new POV in this book and like the previous it was all tinged with sadness. As a father of a little girl myself I found some of her chapters very hard to read and all I can say I just hope that I will never let her suffer such disillusionment as Nassun experienced. The situation in the book is obviously pretty extreme considering what her father did but still. She is a tough character, her thoughts reveal more about her relationship to Essun as well which adds a complexity to both characters. Her path is very interesting and I’m very curious as to where it’s all going to go.

Essun is a bad ass. She had some awesome lines in this and it is good to see that some of her previous life and attitude is coming back. I’d imagine it would be tricky to be her friend but once you are she would be for life. Her life is full of such tragedy and regret but it’s heartening to see her cope with it, even if she doesn’t do it too well most of the time. We learn a lot more about the stone eaters in this book, probably more from Essun’s and it adds a whole new element to the game that’s playing out.

The writing again is not standard but you get used to it quick enough again and it didn’t bother me as much as the last book, probably as I went straight into this one. As mentioned the world and lore is really starting to shine and I’ll be honest I still can’t tell if this is our world or not. There’s a real blend of fantasy and science fiction here which is a fairly rare occurrence and it definitely adds an extra dimension to the story.

I read some reviews after the first book and people mentioned that it is really depressing. True it’s not exactly a story to warm the cockles of your heart but there is a lot of positives to it, mainly through the relationships between people. I have not found it depressing though it is pretty dark in places. Anyway really enjoying this series and looking forward to the final part.

5 stars

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