Finally! My long-awaited review of the book Eon, by Alison Goodman. Well, perhaps you have not been sitting on pins and needles, waiting for this review. That’s okay. For those of you who have read the book already, this will probably be redundant, so I apologize. If you have not read the book, I would recommend reading it, but I also suggest you finish reading this piece so you can pick out the benefits of the book.
Eon is the rags-to-riches story of a boy who longs to hold the coveted title of Dragoneye. He undergoes extensive training and preparation to compete with other boys in a contest of skill, designed to draw the Dragon’s attention so he will be chosen as the Dragoneye. This year, Eon’s presence disrupts the ceremony in ways no one could have foreseen and eventually forces Eon to come to terms with a secret which could spell disaster for an entire nation.
If you read the synopsis on the back of the book, you will have nearly the entire book figured out. This leads me into a few different topics which I will address in other posts. I want to talk a little bit more about the book today.
As writers, I think we tend to be a little more critical at times of different forms of media. Movies are not quite what we expect, scripts are terrible, synopses could have been better, etc. The following review is my personal opinion regarding the book, which is definitely colored by the writer’s side of my brain (that’s my little disclaimer).
At first the book seemed to be quite slow. I was curious enough to continue reading, however, the book did not get exciting until approximately halfway through. This story was written with the majority of the emphasis on the story setting, rather than character development. I still do not feel tied to the main character and have not picked up the sequel yet (nearly unheard of for me). I feel that entire sections could easily have been cut or replaced with story that draws the reader to the characters in a more personal way.
That being said, the “setting” is really amazing. I can only guess the number of hours that Goodman has put into research. While reading the book, I was struck with the realization of how extensively she must have researched cultures, in order to craft a believable “fictional” society. It is very extraordinary in that respect and I applaud her for the accomplishment. It is not every author who can compel me to finish reading a book merely out of fascination for the culture. The way this book was written has wonderful examples, (both positive and negative) which other writers can utilize to further hone their craft. The book is a great display of how to craft an engaging setting, and also serves as a reminder to enthrall the reader with the characters as well. In my opinion, setting and characters when combined properly, offer the reader the surreal emotional experience they are seeking. Until we, as writers, are able to blend the two factors in a harmonious balance, we may fall just short of the “wow” factor. The books can still be good, as is the case with Eon, but while we are reading a little voice tells us it had the potential to be so much more than “good”. It saddens me, seeing all the loving care which obviously went into crafting this piece, and not really feeling attached to the main character. I am hoping that the sequel will focus more on the character, rather than the setting.
That is all I have, if you ever check out my blog at blogger here: http://camikahayes.blogspot.com/ today’s post is the same, just fyi.
Have an awesome day!