Last book finished: So many! So very many. This is what happens when I take a week-long staycation–I read a lot. I think that I’m currently at six books read for the vacation, but the one I really need to talk about is The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin.
It’s one of the two novels on the Hugo finalists list that I hadn’t read yet. I’ll confess, I hadn’t read it because I read The 10,000 Kingdoms a few years ago and didn’t really enjoy it. Intellectually, I could see that it was a well-written book, but it didn’t do much for me on an emotional level and I never read the other books in the series. So when everyone was raving about The Fifth Season last year, I just sort of…didn’t bother. I had a feeling it would end up on the Hugo list anyway, so I knew that I’d probably read it eventually, but I had other books that I was more excited about.
I’d like to slap past me for that, because I loved this. Loved it in ways that I can’t express. If someone had sat down and tried to plot out a book that would be tailor-made for my narrative loves, it would be this book. From the world-building to the characters, I was enthralled. Global disasters and their aftermath? Intriguing dead civilizations? Strange abilities? Characters growing beyond what they’ve been told they can be? Epic adventure? Personal journeys? I got all of those!
Even the structural elements that I wasn’t sure I’d like–specifically, the use of second-person in certain chapters–worked because they were done well and pulled me into the narrative in a way that I didn’t expect. And as the pieces came together, those choices made even more sense.
In case you were in any doubts about how much I loved this, I went straight out and preordered the next in the series. Highly recommended, run to your bookshop or library and read this immediately.
Current read: Still working on Russian History: A Very Short Introduction. This will always be my status. I accidentally put a different book down on top of it on its new coffee table position. Clearly, moving it was a bad idea, so it’s back to its original position.
After finishing two books yesterday afternoon, my current reads are so new that I can’t talk about them much yet. The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan is a reread, but it’s been fifteen years so I’ve forgotten most of it (which is why I’m rereading). And Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines has a fun opening chapter.
Next read: I really need to tackle Mount TBR a bit. Libriomancer will help, but I pulled a couple of books off the shelf for my vacation reading stack, so it’ll be one of those: Ink and Bone or Games Wizards Play. I’m reading the Jordan on my Kindle, so I probably don’t need to pick another Kindle read for a while!
What are you reading this week, and would you recommend it?