Top 10 N.K. Jemisin Books (In Order) Updated
People often underestimate the power of books. These days, it is all about social media and newer devices, while books remain untouched in libraries and bookstores. Thankfully, authors like N.K. Jemisin do not give up easily, and we can still see them publishing their creative works on the internet. The author is a really special person. She fought her battles with today's social biases, she broke with traditions and pushed fantasy to a whole new level.
Jemisin, an African-American author, has been praised for her unique storytelling approach, which often incorporates diverse cultures and perspectives, a reflection of her own background and experiences. Born in 1972, she grew up in a variety of places in the United States, which contributed to her broad perspective.
Her work is particularly notable for its exploration of themes like cultural conflict and oppression, often set in elaborately constructed fantasy worlds. Jemisin's narrative style is characterized by its depth and intricacy, weaving together multiple plotlines and perspectives to create stories that are both engaging and thought-provoking. It's also worth to watch her world building workshop in 2019 hosted by Wired.
Now let me show you some of my personal favorite books from the author in reverse chronological format.
Outstanding N.K. Jemisin Books Ordered By Year
(Check out also the Upcoming N.K. Jemisin Books)
The World We Make, by N.K. Jemisin (2022)
The book throws you right into the heart of New York, but not the New York we know. It's more alive, almost breathing through its six human avatars. The concept itself was intriguing: a city personified by these distinct characters, each representing a different facet of New York's diverse and vibrant personality.
The plot picks up where we left off, dealing with the aftermath of the battle against the Woman in White. But now, there's a new threat, and it's not just about mystical battles. The book smartly intertwines real-world issues like gentrification, xenophobia, and political manipulation into its fantasy setting. The new mayoral candidate, a puppet of the capital “E” Enemy, presents a danger that feels all too real and relevant.
What I appreciated most was how the avatars, Brooklyn, Manny, Bronca, Venezia, Padmini, and Neek, worked together. Their unity against the forces threatening their city felt symbolic, a nod to the power of collaboration and diversity in overcoming adversity. The author did a good job of giving each character a distinct voice and role, making their team dynamics interesting to follow.
The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin (2020)
After the avatar set in New York falls into a coma and unexpectedly vanishes, a group of 5 emerging avatars enter the view to fight the common Enemy. With this event, people around New York can feel the odd things that hang in the air. First, a student from Manhattan suddenly realizes that he doesn't even remember his name nor his address, but he can feel the beating heart and the power of the city. Meanwhile, a gallery director from Bronx found a strange graffiti so powerful that it’s calling her.
Not just it, a mother in another part of the city can hear the pulse and song of New York. However strange they may seem for these people, they’re not the only ones experiencing those. If you want to know how things will turn out for the city of New York, read this page turner and prepare yourself for the most epic battle of the century!
How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?, by N.K. Jemisin (2019)
The four time Hugo Award winning author, N.K. Jemisin, brings us another set of stimulating narratives of challenges, rebirth, destruction, and revival that investigates the contemporary society we are in through her first repertoire of short fictional stories. For starters, included there is a story about spirits who extremely haunted the deluged streets, after a strong hurricane hit the land of New Orleans. Also, in a parallel world, a progressive society is observing our world to learn from the mistakes we made as humans.
On the other side, a mother must rescue her child from an enemy who offers nonviable promises. Lastly, a street fight will surprisingly give rise to an ancient metropolis’ spirit. If you are interested in brief stories of different themes, then this one's for you. Buy now and enjoy yourself with the variety of adventures that you can unfold anytime!
Emergency Skin, by N.K. Jemisin (2019)
Jemisin takes her writing to a new level with this science fiction novella (38 pages) that highlights the story of a spaceman who traverses from a planet colonized by white men who abandoned Earth hundreds of years ago. In this story, the spaceman has his AI companion that only converses to him in his mind. They both agreed to take the mission and expected to find a planet with no signs of life or completely barren. However, what they found is really interesting and contrary to what they’re expecting.
Hence, the spaceman is eager to survive the mission because he is promised to own a pale skin that is powerful beyond measure when he gets back. Although invigorating, the man didn’t know that the skin which will be given to him after his return is not what he thought it was. Brace yourselves and read this fun adventure brought to you by the award-winning author for fictional stories.
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth Series, Book 3), by N.K. Jemisin (2017)
Of course, this third book gets back to the story of the now most skillful orogene, Essun, who is given the hardest task which is to gather power from the obelisk and bring back the moon to end the Seasons with the help of Hoa, a Stone Eater. Meanwhile, Nassun is still growing in power and being summoned by a rival group of Stone Eaters to utilize the obelisk for their ends. Luckily, they can weave all the stories about the Obelisks’ origin, the factors that triggered the Seasons, and why the moon vanished in the first place.
Furthermore, Essun still hopes to find her daughter despite her crucial role to redeem the northern continent of Stillness. For Nassun, Essun’s power to manipulate the obelisk gate is already too late. Nassun has been exposed to the evils of the world that she no longer thinks it can be saved. Explore the possibilities of one of the greatest series ever written by reading this third book of The Broken Earth by Jemisin.
The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth Series, Book 2), by N.K. Jemisin (2016)
Essun, the fearless mother, is still in search of her abducted daughter named Nassun. However, this time, with the help of Alabaster, her mentor. Together, they are trying to figure out what’s happening piece by piece. Their main goal is to know how the fifth season began and how to end the long night.
Now, this is where obelisks enter the scene. The two are gradually progressing in their journey to seek for answers after knowing that obelisks will play a crucial role to end the fatal climate in Stillness. Meanwhile, in a faraway place, Nassun is becoming more powerful than ever. What’s bothering is that her choices will either make or break the entire world. Prepare yourself for intense revelations and read more of this 464 pages story by Jemisin.
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth Series, Book 1), by N.K. Jemisin (2015)
What if three extreme events happen in a single day? Essun, a simple woman living in a small town, found out that her husband murdered their son and as if not enough, also abducted their daughter. On the other hand, the mighty empire of Sanze collapses due to the deaths of its citizens because of a madman’s vengeance. Lastly, a great continent named Stillness suffers from ashes that may darken the sky for centuries.
Essun has decided to take the steps in finding her kidnapped daughter herself, without caring if the world is in supreme chaos around her. Even though Stillness currently battles to survive the longest ‘dark night’, Essun takes the leap to save her daughter from possible dangers. An award winning science fantasy book, The Fifth Season will surely awaken your interest for end of the world type of stories. Unfold the events and the characters’ fate by reading this masterpiece by Jemisin.
Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych, by N.K. Jemisin (2015)
A prequel to the Inheritance Trilogy, Jemisin gives us a glance of the world before Yeine was called to fight for royal inheritance. Even before the existence of the floating city, Sky, there are pre-existing three tales that affected the next events that took place in the Inheritance Trilogy.
First, a newborn who struggles to find his own purpose to live. Second, an empowered demon who seeks for her father as well as answers to his questions. Third, a currently slaved Nahadoth submits to a dark alliance with a human for survival or worst, vengeance. Satisfy your curiosity and explore the depths of these three tales by reading this noteworthy prequel.
The Inheritance Trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin (2014)
Jemisin focuses on a world where gods walk alongside mortals. It was all serene until one day, a young refined lady named Yeine is summoned to Sky, known as the floating city, after the death of her mother. Yeine, from the continent of Darr, unexpectedly receives news that proclaims her of being one of the candidates to be an emperor of the world. What more is that Yeine did not even have the slightest idea as to why her name got involved in the first place.
Yeine starts to learn about her past and now faces an upcoming fatal battle of power against her two cousins. The time is ticking and Yeine only has a few more weeks to learn the gameplay of the treacherous political court of Sky. However, her personal desires kind of interrupted during her search for answers. With the continuous flow of bad events, will Yeine manage to survive this deadly power struggle?
Find out more as you read The Inheritance Trilogy in this 1472 pages trilogy.
The Dreamblood Duology, by N.K. Jemisin (2012)
Peace is considered to be the only rule in the desert city of Gujaareh. In its corners and facets, there are no crimes nor any signs of violence. Ruled by Hananja, the dream goddess whose priests see all the conscious and the unconscious thoughts of people, the city maintained their order for centuries. However, a series of events give birth to a conspiracy in the great temple of Gujaareh.
The said conspiracy made the priests and all the gatherers question everything they know about their people. Surely, someone is interrupting the order and killing the dreamers in Hananja’s name. The only way to overcome this problem is to murder the one who interrupts the dreams or else the ancient city will experience war and black magic. Find out more about the city’s destiny by reading this wholesome series by Jemisin.
Final Thoughts on N.K. Jemisin Books
Reflecting on N.K. Jemisin's books, one is struck by the depth and originality of her storytelling. Her works stand as a testament to the power of speculative fiction in exploring and challenging societal norms and injustices. Jemisin's narratives, deeply rooted in her experiences and perspectives as an African-American woman, offer a fresh and necessary voice in the fantasy and science fiction genres.
If you are into SF check out our favorite sci-fi books to read in your lifetime.
My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming or my Chrome extensions for ChatGPT. But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes. If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has its unique value.