Book Review: The Obelisk Gate

(The Broken Earth #2)
08.16.2016 | Orbit
Rating: 5/5 stars


Warning: Possible spoilers ahead

The world has ended for the last time and civilization has faded into a long cold night. Ash is falling from the sky. Food is scarce. Being alone is dangerous. Essun has found a possible new home, but without knowledge of where her daughter is, she doesn’t feel like she can belong. New threats lurk around every corner and at the center is orogeny. Can Essun hardness her powers to help the world?


Jemisin picks up THE OBELISK GATE exactly where book one, THE FIFTH SEASON, ended. It was so nice to simply jump back into Essun’s storyline after such an intriguing cliffhanger! 

This time around the reader is gifted with hearing from Essun’s daughter Nassun. I’ve been so curious about what was happening with her that I was thrilled to see these passages. Both narratives are intriguing and captivating to read through. I appreciated how Jemisin chose to alternate them as points that left the reader with almost mini-cliffhangers between the chapters. I was consistently anticipating what would come next for Essun and Nassun that I simply flew through this book! 


My favorite aspect of these stories are the diversity of characters that Jemisin gives the reader. I love that she allows us to get to know secondary characters. Learning their quirks and their backstories adds such a great depth to the story that you truly feel submersed in this world. I find myself regularly hoping for characters to show up in the chapters because I want to catch up with their storylines just as much as I want to catch up with Essun or Nassun.

The pacing of THE OBELISK GATE is a bit slower and more methodical than it was in THE FIFTH SEASON, but for me this didn’t take away any love for the story. I actually enjoyed the slow down and felt as though it helped fully form a picture in my mind of all the world building Jemisin had done. The ending certainly breaks from this pacing and is absolutely epic! I could not put this book down for the last 100 pages. It was intoxicating and nail biting waiting to find out what would happen. Jemisin has certainly set the stage for what I can only predict will be a phenomenal finale in THE STONE SKY!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Obelisk Gate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s