Prologue – Chapter Four
***Spoilers could be in the mix here, so stop reading now if you don’t want any***
So I’ll be honest. The opening to this story didn’t immediately grab my attention in the way that The Killing Moon did. I think The Killing Moon just started off with something so foreign and powerful that it hooked me right away. The opening here felt jumbled and kind of all over the place. Part of me thinks this was thematically done to represent the chaos that this world is in, but it just didn’t grab me right away.
Now Chapter One did catch me for a couple of reasons. The first being that it was done in second person. Those narratives always catch my attention because I want to see if people can actually pull it off. Jemisin does. Man she’s uses it in perfect fashion here to take us through the grief of a devastated Mother who has to deal with a murdered toddler. It was intense and it kept my attention.
Jemisin’s world building shines through again in how quickly and effortlessly she establishes the world she’s taking you into. The rules it operates under, the prejudices littered throughout it and the peoples populating it. There are some so-called “pro-black” folks who give Jemisin flack for the multicultural nature of her stories, but yea I say a big F them to that. There are obviously buttloads of African American experience and perspective in her writing.
The plight of the orogenes has so many ties to discrimination, injustice and slavery. What I like too is that our three main characters so far (Essun, Damaya and Syenite) are all women operating in this system. What’s even better is that the story starts to pick up and be so good that you barely even recognize that fact. It’s feminism infused with good craft. What’s not to love about that?