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The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin eARC {4 Stars}

The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin is a novella that takes place after her Inheritance Trilogy in the beautifully envisioned world of gods, godlings, and mortals with strange powers. The Awakened Kingdom is an absolute delight to read for those who have finished the trilogy because it is narrated by a baby godling just as she comes into existence and explores the world to find her nature. And she is hilarious! However, it very much spoils the events of the trilogy so you probably shouldn’t read it if you haven’t finished and care about being spoiled about the major ending events. I had hoped that it could be read without worrying about the trilogy much so that it could introduce new readers to this amazing world, but alas it can’t be. You don’t have to worry about spoilers in my review though, just the blurb.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Awakened Kingdom from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin eARC {4 Stars}

The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin (The Inheritance Trilogy #3.5)
Published by Orbit on Dec. 9th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 124 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

SOME TRUTHS MUST BE LEARNED THE HARD WAY...

As the first new godling born in thousands of years -- and the heir presumptive to Sieh the Trickster -- Shill's got big shoes to fill. She's well on her way when she defies her parents and sneaks off to the mortal realm, which is no place for an impressionable young god. In short order she steals a demon's grandchild, gets herself embroiled in a secret underground magical dance competition, and offends her oldest and most powerful sibling.

But for Eino, the young Darren man whom Shill has befriended, the god-child's silly games are serious business. Trapped in an arranged marriage and prohibited from pursuing his dreams, he has had enough. He will choose his own fate, even if he must betray a friend in the process -- and Shill might just have to grow up faster than she thinks.

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • Jemisin’s writing shines even in short-form novellas! The Awakened Kingdom is bursting with the personality of the new godling (who is born without a name ;-) ). The Awakened Kingdom also breaks the fourth wall completely, which I love, and part of the fun is figuring out who Shill is actually speaking to the whole time that she tells her tale!
  • Shill is seriously hilarious! I was laughing a lot at gems like the parenthetical statement inserted when she considers being an organism that doesn’t have a gender, “Like amoebas. I like being an amoeba! Glurgle glurgle squishchomp.” (From the ARC so it might change, but I hope it didn’t!)
  • The Awakened Kingdom isn’t all laughs though and Shill spends a fair amount of time in a culture where women rule and men have no rights. This of course is a wonderful opportunity to explore gender roles and the complex history that led to current situation.
  • The Gods and godlings are perhaps my favorite part about the Inheritance trilogy though it is pretty tough to decide! We learn a lot about how the gods experience their existence in Awakened Kingdom and I couldn’t get enough of it.
  • The end of The Awakened Kingdom opens up some really interesting possibilities that I’d really love to see explored in a new series. I can’t say more, but it’d be awesome!
  • Though there are spoilers for the trilogy, if you don’t mind those, you can definitely still enjoy The Awakened Kingdom quite a lot without having read the trilogy. The Awakened Kingdom is a great introduction to what makes Jemisin’s writing so darn addictive ;-).

Weaknesses:

  • I find that novellas are often  most useful if they can be used as a low-stakes introduction to a writer and world. Therefore, I’m pretty disappointed that The Awakened Kingdom spoils the trilogy so completely and will probably only be read by people who have read the trilogy and just want more in the world.
  • I really dislike it when a novella is actually shorter that you think it is because there is a crap load of extra content at the end to promote another book. The Awakened Kingdom ended at 73% in my version and that really threw me for a loop.
  • The Awakened Kingdom didn’t quite have the amount of closure I was looking for. It is never really voiced what Shill’s nature exactly is and omg I need to know for sure!!!
  • Shill at times mentions going off and skating on moons and dancing with asteroids, but doesn’t go into detail because “you don’t care about that.” Shill, I totally want to hear about that! Tell meeeeeeeeee!

Summary:

The Awakened Kingdom was quite enjoyable and is a great afternoon entertainment for those who loved the Inheritance Trilogy and can’t get enough! Unfortunately, it isn’t safe for those who want to check out what these books are about without the full commitment unless you don’t care about getting major events spoiled :(.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I absolutely ADORE The Inheritance Trilogy, and I cannot believe that there is a novella! Although it sounds like my beloved characters from the trilogy don’t make any cameos, and that makes me sad.

    But still, the fact that it is set in the same world makes me SO excited. And hints for a new series? YES, PLEASE.

    I obviously need to run and buy this right now. It sounds lovely :D

  2. YESSS, NEEED!
    Claire recently posted…Comment on Claire is Moving to London! by Claire (BWB)My Profile

  3. I haven’t read the Inheritance Trilogy yet, but I own the first book and it’s on my 2015 challenge….soon. Soon I shall read it! There’s just something so good about fantasy religions, the whole interplay between goddesses/gods and humans is always really interesting.

  4. I adored this one, but then, I enjoyed the original trilogy. I definitely agree that it’s pretty much only a good read for people who already knew and loved the original stuff, a return to a beloved world rather than a teaser of what the author’s writing can be like. But that’s exactly what I wanted out of this, and so it’s exactly what I got, and I have no regrets.

  5. I haven’t read The Inheritance trilogy, although someone recommended it to me. Is it good? The person who recommended it to me didn’t tell me much about it. I need to finish a few half read series first or it’ll come to a point, where I won’t be able to remember all the details in those plots, but even if I don’t end up liking the trilogy too much, I might read it just to get to this novella. Shill sounds really cute!
    Hellen recently posted…Review/Reseña – All Fall Down – Ally CarterMy Profile

    • Yes, so excellent! There used to be three gods, but then there was a war and now the gods are imprisoned by the royalty of one nation and the MC gets pulled into that craziness :D

  6. YOOOUUUR BLOOOOG IIIIIS LIIIIKE HEEEEAAAAVEEEEEN >.<

    I am following straight away. I'm so excited! I love discovering new fantasy blogs. :3

    Haven't read the Inheritance Trilogy yet but I mean to. I read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms last year and it was excellent. I'm torn between wanting to read everything from the authors I like, and wanting to read a bit of everything from different fantasy authors including new books, standalones, and underrated/hidden/underground books (LOL). -le sigh- so much to read, so little time =/ Btw your purple ratings dragon is so cute. *hugs dragon*
    Ashana Lian . recently posted…Romance In Fantasy Novels Should Not Be A Shape, But A Squiggle (Beautiful People #6)My Profile

    • THANK YOU!!! :D I completely understand, I end up alternating a lot by reading a couple new author books and then one from a beloved series, hehe.

  7. I’ve been meaning to check out Jemisin’s work for a while. I’m guessing you’d recommend the Inheritance Trilogy then? It sounds like you liked her other words quite a bit.

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