(Yes, it is true that I loved the hell out of American Gods. That was different-- I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to note that in Gaiman's novel, what the gods are doing with humanity in the book isn't a game of chess, but a con game instead. I suppose my love for reading about charming rogues-- why hello there Locke Lamora-- explains my enjoyment.)
I'm going to have to let the book percolate through my brain for a while before I write more about it, but the one big thing that's sticking out in my head for me (and I don't know if this is something that Jemisin specifically intended, because I really hope I'm not misinterpreting the book) is this idea that, yeah, you are the product of what's happened in your past and there's nothing you can do to change that because it makes you who you are-- BUT, what's freedom is the ability to choose for yourself what will influence your life going forward. And I know that sounds really simplistic when it's written out like this, but the more I think about it, the more it sounds powerful. There are certainly worse ways to life your life, I'd say.