The Fifth Season v Ghost Ship

Book: The Fifth Season
Author: N.K. Jemisin
Publisher: Orbit
Published: 2015

AFAIK the Broken Earth trilogy is the only series to have won the Hugo for best book for each entry.

I think it’s important to go into this book with an awareness that you are about to read something which requires you to be switched on. It’s a very clever book which is doing so much that if you read it as a cozy comfort read you are likely to struggle to relax.

It is also quite a hard one to review properly without giving away some pretty incredible ‘oh, shit’ moments. So I’m just going to focus on one of the three POVs.

Essun, the ‘main’ pov is a middle aged mum of two. She is an Orogene in hiding when the book begins. Orogenes have the ability to manipulate the planet’s energy, particularly it’s heat. The Stillness is a world which suffers from a shit load of seismic activity so Orogenes are needed to redirect the energy of the regular earthquakes. They are however treated with fear and disdain and only ‘roggas’ from the Fulcrum are tolerated.

So when Essun’s husband discovers their children have the ability, he murders the youngest and runs away with their daughter while Essun is out. Essun discovers this at roughly the same time that a another particularly powerful Orogene instigates his revenge on the world by causing the worst ‘Fifth Season’ in history. This basically means that a period of super destructive earthquakes is on the way. Essun in her rage at discovering her son’s body and daughter’s kidnap, shunts an earthquake away from her home but in doing so alerts her neighbours to the presence of an unregulated rogga. She is forced to flee and hunt down her husband and daughter.

She must traverse a world in chaos and come to terms with her past in order to save her daughter and accept her present. Along the way she meets a truly exceptional array of diverse characters.

Beer: Ghost Ship
Brewery: Adnam’s
Style: Pale Ale
Strength: 4.5%

A bit of a citrus taste but overall quite a watery mouthfeel. Drinkable, for sure, and preferable to a standard lager but not one I’d be overjoyed to find as my only proper beer option. I actually think I prefer the low-alcohol version.

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