While I think many would enjoy this absorbing tale, the people who will truly be bowled over are the dedicated fantasy readers out there who are looking for that next level in world building, originality, and absolutely meticulous plotting. N.K. Jemisin's ability to wrestle huge ideas and entire, rich societies into the boundaries of a single book, while also never losing touch with the personal journey of the main character is simply stunning!
I checked this out based on the critics' very positive reviews. I enjoy fantasy and science fiction but gave up on The Killing Moon after 60 pages. The first 2 major characters are barely introduced and it appears one must slog through many more pages before learning who they are and what motivates them. Frankly I was bored. Some good world description but without characters to root for, who cares about their world?
A wonderfully crafted world, full of imagination! The focus is on a culture based around the power of dreams; these dreams are used to heal, and bring peace. Such a system sounds ideal, but on the flip-side is how it exerts control over societies morality and behaviour. Though this is a huge issue that is addressed, the central question concerns the relieving of suffering by giving another a peaceful death. Many perspectives are given, and ultimately it is left open, for it is a personal belief. The system is quite unusual and the culture rich, and this can make it quite difficult to follow what was just said. The author takes her time to explain the meaning of everything, but she does make things clear, and there is a helpful glossary at the end.
N. K. Jemisin always manages to create a believable world without subjecting the reader to the lengthly descriptive passages so many fantasy authors seem to need. Her characters are beautifly contructed and always complex. They are often frustrated and find that they must learn to cope within a flawed society, but I think it is their limitations which make them so believable. If you liked "The Killing Moon," her first trilogy was amazing, and I would also recommend Mary Doria Russell's "The Sparrow."
This is the first book in the Dreamblood duology. The thing I love about Jemisin's fantasy is that it's not about White people in whatever variation on Medieval England authors are writing these days. In other words, her characters, her settings and her worlds are refreshing, engaging, and incredibly well realized. The kind of love she writes about can help restore your faith in humanity. But she also handles hard issues like rape, incest and class issues with humanity and grace. I would also highly recommend her first trilogy, The Inheritance Trilogy, which consists of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, and The Kingdom of Gods.
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