Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate

The Obelisk Gate
N.K. Jemisin

This is the follow up to Jemisin’s incredible, mind blowing, the Fifth Season and its good. Very good, even. Jemisin’s prose is top rate, and the story churns forward revealing more about our characters and the world they inhabit, while still keeping up the mystery and allure that made Fifth Season so wonderfully strange.

But its hard to follow up on a classic. I don’t know anything about how Jemisin wrote these books, but the sense I get is Fifth Season was painfully crafted, perhaps over years, every sentence worked to death, then every paragraph, then every chapter, then back again. The Obelisk Gate doesn’t have the same feeling. It’s a damn good book, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t have the clock work precision of Fifth Season.

Still and all, if excellent SF/Fantasy is your thing, odds are you’ve already read this. If gorgeously written novels struggling with identity, gender, race, and the nature of relationships interests you, you should get over your genre prejudices and check this one out.

Recommended.

Review: Morrison’s God Help the Child

God Help the Child: A novel
Toni Morrison

A minor work by a major author, this slim book by one of the greatest American novelists  is beautiful and haunting. It moves back and forth from the allegorical to the realistic tracing the story of Bride, a wounded child who grows into a celebrated, but wounded women. Morrison deals here with race, and gender, and the unique horrors our society metes out to black women. She address child abuse, and dysfunctional relationships, and love. All of it in a way that feels real and devoid of the hectoring tone some political works can have. Beautifully written, you shouldn’t pass this one up.

Recommended.