Spotlight On: The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin (Day Five)

Chapters Twenty-Two – Thirty

So we finally see the origins of narcomancy and just how powerful the fabled Reapers are.  These guys are pretty scary and able to take down a whole city with just a thought.  And this kind of power is what the Hetawa sees as blasphemy and I can’t much say I blame them on that.  Learning this kind of puts the restraint that the Gatherers have to show into perspective.  These guys have to maintain a strong level of self-control because they’re just too powerful to not have it.

Ehiru is starting to slip into madness.  The reasons for which are actually very well explained and seamlessly flow into the story.  I remain impressed by Jemisin’s world building skills and as I’m reading I’m certainly taking notes along the way.  I’ve always liked Ehiru throughout this story, but I think I feel like his humanity is being revealed more the closer he edges to a state of being he loathes.  It’s a kind of humanity that only a truly empathetic writer would be able to inject into their character.  This isn’t to give the author gravitas, but merely a statement of fact.  I just don’t think you can write good stories if you don’t have a basic empathy for people.

In my mind, this story is really an exploration of the wages of religious devotion and just what it can cost a society and the people within it.  The rigidity of life that the Gatherers followed left them wide open for a conspiracy to take place right under their noses.  A conspiracy that it doesn’t seem like they’ll be able to stop anymore at this point.  It’s definitely a statement on what happens when you close your mind to other points of view.  An unwavering world view can allow corruption and decay to happen right in front of you.


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