Book Review: Eona by Alison Goodman

Posted August 22, 2014 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Eona by Alison GoodmanEona by Alison Goodman
Series: Eon #2
Published by Firebird on April 19th, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Pages: 637
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

The New York Times bestseller and stunning companion to Eon!

Once she was Eon, a girl disguised as a boy, risking her life for the chance to become a Dragoneye apprentice. Now she is Eona, the Mirror Dragoneye, her country's savior - but she has an even more dangerous secret. She cannot control her power. Each time she tries, it twists into a killing force. And more destruction is on her trail - High Lord Sethon's army. She and her companions must find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona's power if he is to wrest back his throne. But to help him, she must drive a dark bargain with an old enemy, which could obliterate them all. Eona, with its pulse-pounding drama, unforgettable fight scenes, sizzling tension - and many surprises - brings to a close an epic story.

3.5 Stars

After reading Eon for book club and unanimously loving it, we decided to read Eona as well, so hopefully we could gush more and more about this amazing high fantasy duology. Now, while 3.5 oranges is not a BAD rating and Eona is not a BAD book, this was disappointing to me in several ways… unfortunately. It did not live up to the high expectations instilled in me after its predecessor.

But let’s start off with the good: the world building is still absolutely incredible. It’s so carefully crafted with the Japanese and Chinese mythological elements. The magic is layered and extremely intriguing to read about. And there’s this interesting power dynamic and struggle between Kygo and his uncle. All of this is complimented by Goodman’s lovely writing style which really suck you into her world and keeps you turning the pages.

Unfortunately, Eona as a character started to really annoy me in this book. Though she’s still strong and brave, she’s constantly keeping secrets and withholding the truth in this book while trying to figure out the extent of her power and what’s happening with the dragons. She lies and keeps people at a distance, and I almost quit caring. It made the plot drag on and on and made the 630 pages feel even longer than I expected. Given the ending of Eon, I thought we would have an action-packed book with tons of intrigue and stuff, but it was slow, and Eona’s characterization bothered me, because I did not understand her reluctance to trust the characters around her.

More than anything, though, I was extremely creeped out by Ido. Although in reality he’s not that much older than Eona (I think just 24 or something, right?), based on his actions, voice, and portrayal in the first book, my mind had pictured him as being some graying old dude in his mid 40s. So anytime Ido tried to start something with Eona, or convince her that they should be together because of the amount of power they would have, I was cringing and shuddering because NOOOOOOOO. It’s not just how he appears old, though, I really don’t trust him after the events of Eon, and while ordinarily I would be all for a dark mysterious love interest with questionable motives, I just felt Ido was really skeevy. I wanted to understand Eona’s attraction to him being more an attraction to the power he held, but I couldn’t brush it off. Just no.

And unfortunately, the high hopes that I had for Eona and Kygo’s romance were not exactly met either. I understand Kygo’s hesitance to trust Eona after her deceptions of the first book, and I wanted to sympathize with him as a character for all the struggles he was going through, but he just seemed a bit too cold to me. At the same time, it’s understandable, because Eona flat out refuses to clue him into the things she knows, and he hates that they’re not communicating. The result is that I didn’t really buy into their chemistry. There was too much drama for me. I ended up not shipping them. And I really thought I would. *sigh* This was not helped by the introduction of Ido making this a pseudo-love triangle with all the jealousy one would expect. Gah, why why why did we go this way?

But at the end of the day, the plot stands strong as a whole. I really thought, romantic drama aside, that the story was beautiful and engrossing. The action-packed battles were gory and dramatic, which really worked to keep me enthralled and entertained. And it’s not just battles for life or death, there are these power struggles and moral battles, which really make you think. There were extremely emotional turns with character deaths that damn near broke my heart, but it fit with the story and made the overall picture extremely impressive. And I must once again praise Goodman’s side characters, because the struggles that Ryko and Lady Dela go through, both physically and emotionally in their romance, really got me in the feels.

Summing Up:

Definitely go into the Eon duology for the world building and the plot – do not have high expectations for this romance. I feel really deceived by it, and though it doesn’t really dominate the plot because, hello, they’re saving their country too, this is heavily affecting my rating because I just cannot. Overall, I’m really still impressed by Goodman’s storytelling ability, because as a whole the plot was really impressive and immersive. I can’t wait to read Singing the Dogstar Blues and anything else she brings out!

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

High fantasy fans.

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2 responses to “Book Review: Eona by Alison Goodman

  1. Hmmm…not sure if I should read this one. I did enjoy Eon, but the romance drama does sound annoying and I HATE when the main character keeps secrets, etc. so that could get old real quick for me. I’ve had this checked out from the library forever, but I keep putting off reading it for some reason. Guess it might sit on the shelf a bit longer! 🙂

    • I dunno, most people I know thought this book was amazing as well. Friends raved about it and said it was even better than Eon. I don’t understand why, though. I don’t get what I’m missing. But yeah, this one didn’t impress me that way – maybe I was a bit overhyped, but still. I mean the story’s still GOOD. But it’s also 600+ pages. Sooo… yeah. It was worth it to finish the series though. I can at least count it to my finished series quota xD