Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Gods Must Be Crazy

Remember how I was talking about sequels, and second book syndrome?  Baby, I've found the cure.  The Broken Kingdoms is an awesome book that just got better and better as I went along, until, two chapters from the end, I bought the third book because I didn't want to wait five more minutes to read more.  N.K. Jemisin is a great author, and I can't wait to see what she does next.

Not perfect, but I can't even generate a whole paragraph on that subject.  Basically, I wasn't sure where the book was going for the first 60 pages or so.  I enjoyed meeting the characters and the worldbuilding, but I couldn't figure out which details were going to be relevant to the bigger story, or which direction it was going to go in.

But when it started rolling, nothing held it back.  Oree is a blind artist who lives in the city of Shadow, under the World Tree and the hovering palace-city of Sky, where the powerful Arameri live.  This is a city where godlings live beside mortals and magic is mostly illegal and not uncommon.  Oree finds a silent vagrant in her trashbin and takes him into her home, and the story begins.  Godlings are being murdered, the balance of power in the world is shifting, and Oree finds herself at the center of the struggle. 

It's so much harder to enumerate what you like about a book than what goes wrong.  The naturalism of complicated emotions, bad luck, and bad decisions is handled effortlessly, which is often something I find awkward in books.  The worldbuilding is elegant and seamless, which is astounding with a mythology like this--the implications of the interactions of gods, mortals, and godlings are consistent and believable, but not invasive.

I wish I was a better reviewer, because I loved this book and I think you should read it.  I suppose that's the best I can do.  I'm so excited for the next one!

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