Saturday, February 26, 2011

Eon by Alison Goodman

 Book Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he's been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye-an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.
My Review
I picked this book up pretty much blind.  I saw the quote from Tamora Pierce, one of my favorite authors, and I decided to give it a shot.  It took me forever to read!  Not only is it long, I was also trying to read several other books at the same time. (Why do I do that when I know it doesn't work?)  Once I put everything else down and focused on this one, I was able to finish it. I am ordering the sequel, Eona, as soon as I finish this post. Eon was 4 Stars for me...
Eon is a complex and fascinating character.  Goodman really delves into gender identity in this novel, which I enjoyed.  Throughout the book, Eon is in a major battle against herself.  She flip-flops quite a bit.  She loves her master, she hates her master.  She feels hopeful, she falls into despair.  She trusts her friends, she doesn't trust her friends.  While there was a lot of action, I'd say this book was really a character study.  As Eon struggled to figure herself out, I did occasionally struggle with liking her.  For the most part, I thought she was brave, loyal, and fierce.  When she wavered in those qualities, I got a bit frustrated, EVEN THOUGH I KNOW GOOD CHARACTERS MUST BE FLAWED!  Maybe it is the fantasy genre, where I just want my heroes to be perfect.  I don't expect it from other types of books. 
The world that Eon is set in is very richly described, and unique. Goodman creates a society that I found intriguing and horrifying- I have never read anything like it.  It takes a great deal of intuition and perception to put the pieces together to figure out the world that Eon lives in, so while I think this book would appeal to middle-grade and young-adult children, they would have to be a sophisticated reader to grasp the story.  Also, it is quite violent at times! 
I got a bit impatient with some of the lengthy descriptions, and even found myself skipping pages (Again, why do I do this, when I know that 50% of the time it means I have to go back and re-read to figure out what I missed?). The action happens in small bursts, with loads of description and character development in between.  I would have been totally O.K. if some of the chapters had been edited out of the story, because it did feel to lag at times.  There is a lot of political intrigue in the book that I enjoyed, and I was surprised by some of the plot turns. 
The primary relationships that are explored in this book are between Eon and her friends and political allies.  All of the supporting characters feel real and authentic, which I loved.  There may be the hints of a romantic relationship between Eon and someone else, but maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I read this book, and I really liked it too. I also write reviews (follow the link to blog if curious). I'm having trouble with the age range of this book. To what age group would you recommended it?