N.K. Jemisin is my favorite Sci-Fi/Sci-Fantasy novelist. I was introduced to her writings by a fellow blogger, S. Higsbee, of Brainfluff, in her review of Jemisin’s Broken Earth Series many years ago. Reading Jemisin’s trilogy was one of my best reading experiences ever. Starting The Great Cities Series this past year with The City We Became, was one of my greatest pleasures to date. (I reviewed this novel on PWR earlier–use the search bar.)

The Avatars of New York who finally found each other and came together in the first book, The City We Became, are ready to take on The Woman in White and her minions. They “join together with the other Great Cities of the World to take her down and protect their world from complete destruction.”

The action, the plot the twists and turns keep the reader turning the pages and staying up well past bedtime. Twists and turns occur as the solutions found become temporary and even create other situations to solve. It is a battle between good and evil which is fought out in the most creative of ways. What reader would have dreamt that spoken verse could be used as a weapon? The women characters/boroughs/avatars of New York have stronger roles than ever, and their love-hate relationships with each other are beautifully drawn.

Usually, I recommend novels as stand alone even when in a series, but on this one, it is necessary to read the first book to enjoy the second. I promise you will like it too. Both books are darned good reads.



The Purple Booker instructs us to copy a few lines from where we are currently reading in order to tempt/tease another reader into reading our book.

Today’s Teaser comes from N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, a sci-fi thriller set in New York City.

I am reading this slowly in order to savor all the heart-in-the-mouth moments.

Bronca has just caught sight of one of the mysterious white tendrils people who have been “taken over” have emanating from them,

“Bronca blinks, her attention caught…[Is that] “a loose shoelace? He’s wearing thong sandals, so that can’t be it…It looks like an especially long and wispy hair…at least six inches long…although as Bronca watches, it stretches upward as if trying to touch the crate [the man] is carrying. Nine inches. A foot, just shy of the crate’s wooden wall–and then it stops and contracts.”

This vivid description its a characteristic of Jemisin’s beautifully worded, horrifying novel.

Thanks, Evin


I need a friend, one who has a taste for urban fantasy and is a fan of NYC. Seriously, I have bought a signed copy of N.K Jemisin’s The City We Became, and need to MAKE time to read it. I first read this author in the Broken Earth series a few years ago when I bought the trilogy after its recommendation by blogging friend Sarah of Brainfluff. As a summer project, My Better Half and I took turns reading it aloud to each other. When fall schedules made an appearance again, we started Book Two, but soon he had less time to read than did I, so with his permission, I continued to read the book to the end, finishing my mid-semester. I put off reading Book Three for almost two years, making several false starts before finally finishing the trilogy during the Christmas Holidays that year.

The author is simply amazing, and when I saw that a Houston bookstore was offering a signed bookplate and a copy of the book as part of their online conversation with Jemisin, I jumped at the opportunity. So, now I have a copy of the book but do not have the self-discipline to begin the book and not be distracted by finishing library books first, finishing books for challenges first, etc. This is a book I want to read for myself, but I need someone to keep me accountable to reading x number of pages or chapters per day or week to check in with to assure that I stick to a schedule.

This “latest” promises to be a fabulous read!

Who will read this book with me and discuss it after we finish. I am open to how much or little we read at a time and how often we check in to keep each other updated on whether we are on track?

Here are its opening lines:


See, What Happened Was

I sing the city.

F***ing city. I stand on the rooftop of a building I don’t live in and spread my arms and tighten my middle and yell nonsense ululations at the construction site that blocks my view. I’m really singing to the cityscape beyond. The city’ll figure it out.”

The book is described as “Glorious” on the cover by Neil Gaiman. It was a New York Times Bestseller and Jemisin is a four-time Hugo award-winning author. Interested yet? This 2020 publication is the first in The Great Cities Trilogy, but you don’t have to commit to all three books–just this one.

Anybody interested? Say so in the comments/reply box below.




First Line Fridays was begun by Ms. B at Daily Rhythms and has been kept alive by several bloggers who carry on the tradition of recording the first line of a book they are ready to read.  Here’s mine from Rachel Caine’s Ink and Bone of The Great Library series:


“Text of a historical letter, the original signed of which is kept under glass in The Great Library of Alexandria and listed under the Core Collection.

From the scribe of Pharoah Ptolemy 77 to his most excellent servant, Callimachus, Archivist of The Great Library in the third year of his glorious reign… Pharoah has also heard your words regarding the unaccompanied admission of females to this sacred space (The Great Library) of the Serapeam, and in his divine wisdom refuses this argument, for women must be instructed by the more developed minds of men to ensure they do not wrongly interpret the riches that the library offers. For a perversion of such things is surely worse than the lack of it.”

Oh my, exclusion of women even back then! This is one of several books I am reading within the category of Books About Books. More on this at a later date.

KEEP READING, and share with us your first lines this beautiful, sunny Friday.

THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemison: A Review

This is the first book in the Broken Earth series, which was published in 2015.  I found it reviewed on Brainfluff, and it seemed like a really good story. As soon as the other two books came out, I also ordered them, and last summer My Better Half and I finally got around to reading the books. We decided to read it aloud to each other at night, and it has been an excellent experience.  We finished Fifth Season at the end of the summer and have moved on to Book Two, The Obelisk Gate. We hope to finish by the Holidays.

It is a strange, intricate and fascinating book, which includes a map of The Stillness, which is the known earth in The Fifth Season.  Seasons are eras, some a few hundred years, some thousands in the earth’s history, usually indicated by tectonic plate shifts, earthquakes and weather phenomena. The book begins,

“Let’s start with the end of the earth, why don’t we? Get it over with and move on to more interesting things…”  “This is the way the earth ends, for the last time.”

There are difficulties in reading the book, a vocabulary of words: “roggas,” “sessapinae,” “orogenes,” etc. that we had no idea how to pronounce, but we overcame this problem with pronouncing them however we wanted. A glossary in the back explains many of the words, but if the reader is good at context clues he/she can usually figure out what is going on without stopping and turning to the book’s end. NPR described the series as “astounding.”

Another challenging aspect is that the characters and times shift back and forth, and the reader can get confused.  This, however, was one of our favorite parts of the book, for as we read, it was revealed that main characters in different chapters were actually the same characters we had read about earlier as adults in their childhood days, or that a certain character was a character we had read about previously, but he/she/it ws in a different form.  All of this confusion is worth it to enjoy the beautiful, often poetic writing which makes the reader feel the movement of the earth or see the beautiful power of the gigantic obelisks.

The narrative itself is a “grabber,” which carries the reader along with the action throughout the twists and turns of the plot. We often exclaimed, “Oh, that’s the…” or “Wow! That’s why (the character) said or did so and so…” We felt so intelligent (LOL) that we figured out the revelation just before it became obvious in the “tale.” The author’s way of writing is unique. She feeds the reader information on a need to know basis and lets him/her draw the conclusion on matters just as the character concludes the same thing. The style is masterful, the word choice and phrasing original and spot-on, and the author’s imagination unlimited.

This is a must read.

WIZARD AND GLASS by Stephen King: A Review

At the risk of repeating myself, allow me to give a little background on King’s “Dark Tower” series.  When the first book of the seven volume series, The Gunslinger, was published, it was an extraordinarily hot Texas summer.  My Better Half and I checked out the unabridged CD of King’s novel, our first foray into audio books.  As the over one hundred degree afternoons droned on, we listened to Roland’s (protagonist’s) story while letting the fan blow across us on the bed.  The reader’s voice did NOT drone on and on, and we were caught up in the exciting, action-packed narrative, filled with King’s exquisite imagination.

The same reader read through Book III of the series, then died.  King said (in a newspaper account) he would never let anyone else read that particular series, so readers were committed to reading in print themselves the rest of the saga. Wizard and Glass was Book IV, and when I first attempted to read it, it seemed dull by comparison to the insane trip on Blaine the Train in Book III that I skipped Book VI and went on to Book V, The Wolves of Calla,which became, perhaps my favorite book in the whole series.  Since it was a detour from the quest/journey the ka-tet was on, there was no disconnect in the plot. I read The Song of Susanna, Book VI  next, another side-trip into Roland’s past, which revealed a darker side of both the gunslinger Susan and especially of Roland, the original gunslinger. It was perhaps the weakest book of the series, in my opinion, and certainly the goriest, grossest of all the books. Before reading Book VII, the end of the story, I realized there were gaps that I needed to fill in, so I returned to Book IV, which was all I lacked before reading the conclusion.

Book VI, Wizard and Glass, is a fascinating look into young (14 years old) Roland’s past and his first assignment as a gunslinger, as well as his first love, Susan Delgado. Perhaps one of the strongest features of this novel is the character of Rhea of the Coos, and unforgettable witch/wizard woman who will haunt your dreams and give you night terrors.  King outdoes himself with this characters and her “mutie” familiars, so grotesque that they turn your stomach. What she does to Roland and to Susan is revenge and perverseness, pure and simple.  Again this book is action-packed, a beautiful story of young love and worthy adversaries to the trio of young gunslingers (Roland and his two best friends) are the Great Coffin Hunters, all working for the Crimson King, who will appear in future books. Perhaps this is one of my favorite things about King’s series (I also found this in The Stand, another of King’s masterpieces.) is how characters from other books turn up in more recent ones to continue to do their evil or to have evil acted upon them; for example, the priest, Callahan, from Salem’s Lot, is a major player in Wolves of the Calla (Book V).

The strange, hypnotic globe in Book IV, the pink light emitting “8 Ball” of this book, is one of the thirteen globes that are encountered all through the series and has a definite effect/influence on the plot, the character development and the growth or devastation of the protagonists and antagonists in Book IV.

Wizard and Globe is long, but when I came to the end and faced the other three volumes with the quartet (quintet if you count Oy) of gunslingers, I was energized and could hardly wait to continue the journey to save the Rose and defeat the power  of the Dark Tower and the Crimson King. I do recommend reading the series in order, but King, starring with Book IV, does give a chapter or so refreshing the reader’s memory on what came before.  If you do not want to commit to seven volumes (several being over 700 or more pages), Book IV, Wizard and Globe is a good place to jump in.  Even the terrorizing suicidal journey on Blaine the Train is repeated and even prolonged and fleshed out a bit. This novel is a stand alone masterpiece and a vital part of Stephen King’s Lifework, “The Dark Tower Series.”

THE CITY OF MIRRORS by Justin Cronin

This is the last book in Cronin’s trilogy, and it successfully and effectively sums up an impossible ending to write. Cronin’s trilogy includes: The Passage, The Twelve, The City of Mirrors.

Again,as in The Twelve, The City of Mirrors opens with a prologue that allows the reader to “plug in” anywhere along the trilogy. The Passage  at 800+ pages was a slow trudge, brutal at times but always intriguing as well as completely original.  The Twelve is not to be missed in its entirety. It is action-packed and violent, yet frequently poetically beautifully phrased.

City of Mirrors begins (spoiler alert) after the Twelve have been destroyed, and all we have left to deal with is Zero, the most impressive incarnation of Evil ever imagined by any author. “The Girl From Nowhere,” Amy, first seen in The Passage, is the Adversary for Good.

As the cover says, “One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.”

This book is well worth your reading time.