The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I found this one fairly slow going in comparison to how much I loved her other novels, oddly enough. Things went big-time with the Inheritance Cycle and MUCH bigger with The Broken Earth, so I felt like a floundering fish in a relatively deep exploration of two cultures where dream magic is shrouded with dark secrets and a very careful and gentle facade.
The best part is the magic and the world-building, in my honest opinion, but I really shouldn't overlook the importance of just how much ground is covered with the characters. We learn an awful lot about them and their place in the world, starting with a mistake and guilt and going right through the nature of love the possibilities of sex and then, eventually, power and corruption. It's really quite beautiful.
But I'll be honest here. I didn't really get into it mainly because of the learning curve. The names are strange, and while that is never a bad thing, in theory, it makes for a heavy and complicated read for an otherwise rather simple or at least simple-seeming story with gradual and later fascinating reveals. At least it picked up in the later half and I was hooked.
Overall, though, I felt slightly underwhelmed. Maybe I like spicier fare. It was good but it was mild, overall, even with the coming war, the harvesting of dreams, and the much-anticipated inclusion of the monster on the streets: The Reaper.
Definitely one to enjoy for any of you who like complicated, in-depth explorations of the human heart and slightly alien societies... in this case, an apparently ancient Egypt that is unlike the one we think we know. As a work of imagination, it's quite excellent. As an exercise in world-building, it's pretty amazing. :)
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