The Obelisk Gate is as difficult to review without spoilers as the first book, especially because it follows tightly on the first book, and I’d have to spoiler that as well. Suffice it to say that it remains dark, that the answers we get only make it clear that there are deeper and deeper mysteries, and that Jemisin wants to tear your heart out and stamp on it as it bleeds wetly beneath her foot.
…And if you don’t like that imagery because it makes you cringe, you’ll struggle with this book. Like I said, it’s dark, and twisty, and it goes places. Essun isn’t a great person; Nassun (who becomes another key character) isn’t either. Alabaster is inscrutable and terrible. Hoa’s up to something. Nobody is pure, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions and a lot of dead bodies.
I still love the stuff Jemisin is doing with the narrative point of view, and I’m sure she’s not done using that to surprise and shock. I look forward, with some trepidation, to reading The Stone Sky.