Mark Finishes ‘The Broken Earth’: Q&A Party!

Welcome to the end of The Broken Earth!

Oh, what a delight to return to the work of N.K. Jemisin, y’all. This was truly one of the very best series I have ever read for this site, and I’m going to be thinking about it for a long time. (I also think that this might be one of the rare set of books I re-read that I’ve covered for Mark Reads. I’ve only ever done that with the Doggy Books by Tamora Pierce, His Dark Materials, and Deep Secret, which I re-read last year just to see how I’d feel about it.) I imagine that these are immensely rewarding works to revisit. 

But this is not about that! I wanted to have a big Q&A party about the series as a whole to wrap it. First, let’s go over my predictions for this book, and I already know one of these was EMBARRASSINGLY bad.

 The title is referring to… the Moon?

  • We will find out that Alabaster was “resurrected” in a way, but as a stone eater. Don’t ask me how that’s possible, I don’t know. Okay, yes, totally nailed this, but I FORGOT THIS FOR MOST OF THE BOOK LMAAAOOO
  • We’ll get a scene where Hoa eats part of Essun’s stone body. Correct!
  • I think the stone and the pure magic will spread evenly over Essun’s body. I LIKE SYMMETRY. Here’s me completely not understanding how all the mechanics of this work. They’re not “separate” things, Mark! READING COMPREHENSION, COME ON.
  • At some point, Nassun and Essun will be reunited. I’m cry.
  • And as much as I hate to say this, I think they will not be (initially) on the same side. WOW HOLY SHIT. I mean, I wasn’t even close to the true context, but still!
  • I think Steel is manipulating Nassun on behalf of Evil Earth. This was outright confirmed… but not as a means of working on behalf of Evil Earth. Three sides to this war!
  • I also think Nassun will reject her mother in some way. In some way??? SOME??? OH MARK.
  • We will officially meet Evil Earth in some form on the page. AND IT WAS HORRIFYING
  • Schaffa will die. I remain utterly transfixed by his arc, still!!!
  • Ykka and Essun will go get drunk together at some point. This is… this is so cruel. WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF.
  • We will learn where the Guardians actually came from and the original intent of their creation. We actually did!!!!
  • WE WILL SEE THE MOON look it’s an easy one. And still HEARTBREAKING.
  • The Moon will successfully be returned to the world. Yep!
  • But Essun will die in doing so. NO TAKE IT BACK
  • And Nassun will be the one to use the Obelisk Gate, not Essun. Actually, I was going to count this as wrong, but… technically, Essun uses onyx, not the Gate, right?
  • I think Nassun will also kill Evil Earth. I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS IS POSSIBLE, but I’m trying to predict haphazardly here because maybe it will help. It won’t. YOU’RE WRONG

So, not the worst, but definitely not a rousing success.

If you’ve not attended a Q&A Party before, think of this as a means for me to reflect on the whole series, rather than just on each individual chapter. I love talking about overall themes, favorite moments, and equally love that I cannot be spoiled so BRING ON ALL THE FANART. If there are cool interviews or essays you’d love to share about this series, now is the time to link them to me!!! I’ll be around all day answering everything I can.

And with that said, it’s time for the last piece of this. I’m sure many of you are wondering what will be covered on Mark Reads next. The truth is that I still don’t know. I had intended to begin looking at suggestions and picking something a couple weeks ago, but the truth is that I am very overwhelmed. I have been on non-stop deadline since August 2, and aside from my birthday weekend last month, I have actually not had a day off.

With the urging of my therapist, I am actually going to put Mark Reads on hiatus. I need time, basically, and I don’t want anything else in my life to suffer from burnout or being overstressed. This will not affect Mark Watches or Patreon; I still have quite a few shows lined up for Mark Watches that I’ll be announcing soon. It’s just that the end of this series has offered me a clean place to take a break and recoup. I have a number of intense deadlines to conquer in the next month. 

My plan is to reassess in a month, and I will announce Mark Reads’s next book AFTER I have written the reviews for it. Deadlines are weird, fluctuating things in publishing. I can go from super busy one week to literally nothing for like ten days. That happened to me in September, and I’m still recovering from having zero deadlines the week before Each of Us a Desert came out to having NINE of them a week later. It’s hard to plan for these things because I never know when edits are coming back. 

All this to say: it’s easy to find time to squeeze in a review or two, but I don’t want to announce a new book, write a few reviews, and then cliffhanger you because I got busy. So, let me clear up my schedule a bit, and when I have a new book to review, you’ll get those reviews without having to worry that I’ll take a long time to complete them.

Thanks for the understanding. This site has been going for just over ten years now, and Mark Reads will be 12 next year. I’m not going away; just re-shuffling things until life calms down a bit. As I mentioned, this won’t interrupt the schedule for anything else. It’s just a workload reduction for the time being.

Thank you for this wonderful ride. Here’s to many more journeys!

Mark Links Stuff

My second novel, EACH OF US A DESERT, is now out in the world!
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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