I think it should be said from the start that if this series of books isn’t a commentary on racial disparity and inequity in the United States then I will eat said books. BUT being a man of dubious knowledge and more likely to put my foot in my mouth then take a stand I’m going to avoid reading into what the novels are saying about our world. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t though. I encourage you to read these novels, like most sci-fi/fantasy books are, as a commentary on past/present/future social relations. And enjoy a damn fine book.
GONE is the time jumping that so tripped me up in the first book. It really kept me from jumping in as fast as I wanted. Essun (Syen) is still holed up in Castrima, the Rogga sheltering Comm preparing to wait out the worst season on record (essentially the apocalypse). Alabaster inches closer to death, but he has one last thing to teach Essun: how to get the moon back into orbit. Thus, ending all the terrible earthquakes and possibly even the Rogga’s orogenic abilities.
But, in the back of Essun’s mind, lays her original goal from the first novel. Find her daughter. Nassun may have found a new Comm to live in, and is no longer in the care of her Rogga hating father, but that care comes in the form of Schaffa, Essun’s old guardian. Schaffa is disturbed, and not entirely in control of his actions. An ancient evil works within him and it really looks like it wants to kill all humans.
And then there’s the stone-eaters. Hoa says they all want different things. But a lot want to kill Essun.
There’s a lot of unfamiliar words in there if you haven’t read the first book. But this time around I was way less confused. Probably because N.K. Jemisin left out the time jumping I could get into the story faster and dive into the lore way deeper. It is still an entirely unique world. I like Essun a lot better in this novel, which is way more contained than the others in that most characters barely move from their assigned locations.
The Obelisk Gate still throws me off with it’s use of second person, but we finally learn who is using the second person to describe the story. I love the subplot of the daughter getting hooked by Essun’s original guardian, and the stakes are extremely high. The writing is fantastic, the world is unique and I’m much more into the series now.
3.5 out of 4 stars.