I was kind of more than a little surprised (and impressed to be honest) how much I ended up liking this novel at the end of it. For the first 100 page...moreI was kind of more than a little surprised (and impressed to be honest) how much I ended up liking this novel at the end of it. For the first 100 pages I was in agony; seeking only to read my required amount (I give every book 100 pages to shape up, though there are exceptions to that rule), before I could smack it across the room and into my to-sell pile.
But somehow I ended up reading the next 100, and the 100 after that.
Hades' Daughter has an...interesting...plot. And by that I mean its crazily convoluted and just...well out there. Reincarnation, jumps in time, moments with a murderous Minotaur (and believe me that sounds much more fun and scary than it actually was), gods and goddesses, ritualistic, rapey sex...
Yeah, it's one of those fantasy novels. With plenty of emotional outpouring (literally and metaphorically) by the characters to boot.
I think my shelves say it all. The cast in Hades' Daughter had both a very whiny (enough to rival the majority of the YA heroines I read) and highly annoying protagonist (her tears alone....jeeze) and a bunch of idiots who get much too overworked over their jealous feelings.
And one of the main villains can't seem to figure out how to assassinate someone, even though she has the power to create crazy sea storms, destroy gods, and apparently is good at manipulation based on her ability to control these jealous idiots.
but that would ruin the plot, Carissa.
The main villain, said Minotaur, is sadly as about as interesting and compelling as our whiny, pathetic heroine, and most of his random moments made me want to jump in with a jar of tar-tar sauce and kill him, so I wouldn't have to read about him chuckling in the darkness and stroking his knife (no that is not a euphemism, I hope anyway) while waiting for his revenge.
Which, considering there are THREE sequels to this series, is going to be a lonnnnnnnnng time in coming.
Which is also kind of the reason why I'm not going to continue reading the series, even though I'm sort of interesting in reading more. I'm trying to be more selective in my reading choices, something a long 500-pages meh quartet doesn't quite cut it, plus based on the synopsis for each of them, there's a definite reincarnation and repetition theme going on, probably with some added character development.
Which, if you hadn't guessed, I'm not quite intrigued by.
All in all, while I was somehow sucked into this novel (something I'm still trying to figure out-its definitely not the writing, maybe it's train-wreck-cant-look-away worth?), its not a fantasy series I wish to continue. Too much crying. I've been there once before, with Wizard's First Rule. On the bright side, however, my reaction does bode well for my future reading of The Wayfarer Redemption. 3.5/5(less)
You know that moment of pure emotion where you just sit there gasping and wondering what the hell just happened to you?
Well, that's me right now.
I hav...moreYou know that moment of pure emotion where you just sit there gasping and wondering what the hell just happened to you?
Well, that's me right now.
I haven't been affected by a book like this in a very long time.
And it's a pretty fabulous and terrifying feeling all at once.
Bare with me, I'm trying to find my thoughts.
I fell in love with Garth Nix the first time I read Sabriel, then fell deeper in love with the rest of the Abhorsentrilogy series. I kind of fell out of love with him when I got to Drowned Wednesday in his Mister Monday series (I can't remember the real name of that series tbh..) I haven't attempted to read anything else of his until, after being pushed by more than a few friends, I ended up picking up Shade's Children on a whim.
And thank god I did. Because it really got me thinking about re-reading the Days of the Week series (whatever) and maybe even checking out some of his other work instead of just sticking to my collection of well-read Abhorsen novels.
Shade's Children is kind of sort of your typical scifi. Evil overlords, good rebels, and a sense that everything isn't quite what it seems. But it's...well it's just damn good. The world, the narrative, the way everything collides so beautifully. Practically everything about this book was wonderful for me, even if the characters, at moments, weren't quite pulling at my heartstrings-though I definitely felt for them more than once. The suspense really go to me throughout this novel, and I really was breathless while I was reading.
Because damn if I knew ANYBODY was going to get out of this alive. Stand alones are definitely not good for my heart.
I really love the fact that Nix is also playing with some pretty big ideas here in Shade's Children, especially since he does it covertly and subtly throughout the piece. While the novel is about manipulation, knowledge, and the concept and corruption of power, these elements to the book are carefully weaved into the plot without taking over it. And that's truly my kind of book. Mostly because it forces me to think really hard about these themes and then I get to analyze the shit out of it.
English majors, we don't live for much.
All in all, I loved/adore/worshipped Shade's Children. (Which made it really hard to do homework this week) It had everything I wanted in a scifi book, and got me to question my earlier tastes concerning Nix's other series. I mean I liked Gossip Girl back then; my tastes have definitely changed.
**REVIEW NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T READ EON. Shoo!**
On the run, wanted, and haunted, Eona, Dela, and Ryko are now rebels in an empire rava...more**REVIEW NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T READ EON. Shoo!**
On the run, wanted, and haunted, Eona, Dela, and Ryko are now rebels in an empire ravaged by war, and the hostile, violent take-over by the late emperor's brother, Sethon. On a mission to find Dillion, driven mad by drugs and holding the black folio, as well as the true emperor Kygo, Eona, her dragon and her friends must salvage an empire torn by greed and secret plots centuries old. Romance, action, and magic: Eona is everything you wish for in a good/great/amazing fantasy novel.
It's kind of weird but Eona is where I originally became interested in this series. I saw the cover (YES I AM A COVER WHORE.) at chapters one day, picked up the back of the book, saw it was the second in a series, and went off my merry way to find out what the first one was all about. Then, *sigh* I fell in love.
(AND YES I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS COVER. IT'S FREAKING FANTASTIC.)
So Eona picks up pretty quickly after the events in the first novel, as we race through rebel-held lands as Kygo and co attempt to take back the throne from evil smevil Sethon. I'd like to tell you that Eona's journey as they bring happiness, rainbows, and sorts of lovely things is full of good, happy moments.
BUT ALISON GOODMAN LIKES TO SEE YOU SUFFER.
And because she likes to do that, this book is full of morally grey everything. Characters, ideas, events, you name it, Goodman will make you think about it fifteen times over until you JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO, HOW'S IT GOING TO TURN OUT, AND HOLYGODEONAPLEASESTOP. It's a mess, and you're a mess reading it, and HOLYGOD is the SUSPENSE freaking good. And scary.
BUT, it's great. It's superfreaking great in only the way Goodman can do it by bringing such morally ambiguous situations to you, and making you think (as well as weep), but also making you realize the big point in all of this:
War isn't beautiful, war isn't majestic. War is dirty, war is horrifying, and even when war is justified, it still isn't justified. Because the things we do for the 'greater good' don't justify violence, don't justify hardship, and they don't ever justify death of any kind. And that is one of the things that moved me deeply about this novel.
That's not to say there weren't other thematic parts to this novel: slavery/loss of free will is certainly a big aspect, as is gender relations, power, corruption, and the idea of love vs. lust. All of these things, including war are wonderfully interwoven within the greater plot of the novel, adding depth to the world and its characters.
The plot I won't talk about much, because Eona (and Eon for that matter) are both books that if I even hint about I'll give wayy too much of the story away. Trust me, however, that it moves quickly, yet agonizingly slowly in such a way that each scene is presented fully, but the pace continues to drive you. Goodman is the type of writer you can tell takes the time to carefully select the various scenes you read about, and just like a great filmmaker, EVERYTHING is important plot-wise, character-wise, and theme-wise.
One thing I found quite different in Eona in comparison to Eon was the addition of an actual romance, something that's sort of hinted at in Eon, but mostly relies on attraction than any feelings being developed. Until now, when Eona is pretty known to be a beautiful, powerful female figure.
The romance, or love triangle, was kind of weird for me at first since I thought one of male characters was MUCH MUCH older than he really was. (35-40 vs. 25ish) It was still kind of awkward, seeing as Eona is 16/17, nearly ten years younger, but the romance/lust fest between them does, however, really work in the context of the novel, as well as presents more of those thematic qualities I listed above. (And sorry no spoilers-you'll just have to read it to find out) I liked the other relationship Eona had, mostly because I'm a [insert name] fan, and well he's less of a douche, but I also liked the fact that this relationship between them had its problems, had its power adjustments, and was in every way real. A lot of it was sort of based on that love/lust quality, but there was development, there was caring between the two of them, and in the end there is love.
What really made me happy, though, was the insecurity Goodman creates around the various relationships Eona has with these two men. There was never any clear, or at least to my mind, knowledge of who she was going to chose and why. And I honestly, even I couldn't decide who would be the better choice at some points. It was wonderful, it was utterly agonizing, it made me panicky for the entire time I read this, BUT I LOVED IT. Because it showed me the talent Goodman has to create such a situation that had me dying to know the end, and it showed me how well Goodman was able to immerse the reader into her world, and more importantly into Eona's mindset.
I talked quite a bit about Eona's character in my review for Eon, but one of the major things I mentioned was the amount of realism Eona brought to the stage. In Eona this hasn't changed. Eona's still badass, but she's still scared, she's still insecure in her own skin, and most importantly she's still a conflicted person morally. She isn't some perfectly built heroine Conan-style, but she isn't a weeping Bella either. Instead Eona is achingly realistic and human. And maybe that's what makes this books both wonderful and terrible, because they force you to see the realism of humanity, the problems, the greed, the pride, the terrible things we do just because. And Eona, the novel and character, does a wonderful job of showing that.
The others characters also show that same realism and humanity, and easily allowing us to sympathize and HATE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Because all of them are, like Eona, terrible in their own ways, yet wonderfully done.
This whole book feels like that. Stuck between agony and happiness the whole time.
The writing is decent enough, though Eona's voice throughout it is probably the best part. See my rant on realism above. There are no wonderful languishing prose-atic moments that I can recall, but the writing is well done nevertheless to keep you hooked and racing to finish the massive thing.
All in all, Eona is beautiful, heart wrenching, and the absolutely perfect dose of original, addicting fantasy that high fantasy lovers will adore time after time. Great plot, great character, and a depth that bring life to a world you will want to discover. This is a book to be bought, loved, and read with fervor and madness. 4.5-5/5(less)
My initial review (because it's still applicable) I gave it like 5 stars, WHAT DO YOU THINK I THOUGHT ABOUT IT? Don't worry a full review will eventua...moreMy initial review (because it's still applicable) I gave it like 5 stars, WHAT DO YOU THINK I THOUGHT ABOUT IT? Don't worry a full review will eventually evolve out of this sentence. In the meantime I'm gonna go buy the sequel now. kthxbye.
Eon is the story of well Eon, or actually Eona, a 16 year old girl disguised as a 12 year old boy in order to be able to become an apprentice to a master of one of 12 great spirit like dragons who's powers help bring order to her world. Crippled due to an accident, scorned and beaten by those that surround her, and with the extraordinary power to see all of the spirit dragons without any training, Eona will face political intrigue, enemies on her journey towards finding herself, learning the meaning of friendship and figuring out who she really is: Eon or Eona?
I knew as soon as I heard about Eon I would absolutely love it. I knew it when I first got a copy of it from the library, and I was 100% sure when I started reading it.
Should've bought the book.
Also before I start this review, I should state that this is yet ANOTHER Aussie writer who've I've fallen in love with. I should never doubt their power ever again. Ever one I've read is absolutely awesome. I think that's their superpowers. In addition to the accent anyway.
Eon is a lot of things. It is first and foremost a grrrrrlllpowerrr!!! book. A lovely well researched, well developed, AWESOMENESS ON TOP OF AWESOME fantasy world. And it's also a book about identity, sexuality, and knowing who you are.
Which, in total, are three of the things I love to read about. So, um, yeah no surprised I went kind of crazy about it.
One of the best things about Eon is the world Goodman has created. Most of it is based on Asian mythologies, and you can easily see the influences the culture and its traditions had on the author's fantasy world. There's a good amount of research and planning done within this book, and it's wonderful to see such dedication to making this world absolutely solid and real. The infodumps within the book are done well, and while there is a lot of information to take in, most of it is easily picked up, and understandable.
Eon/Eona was another thing (person really :P) I absolutely LOVED about the book. While it's obvious any strong female heroine is going to make me happy, Goodman brought such utter realism to her character, I expected Eona to walk right out of the book. She was not only strong, but flawed, and arg, it was almost agony reading about her because she was just so real, and most of the time I wanted to slip right between the pages, and...well give the damn girl a hug. I think making her so flawed, in spite of her awesome grrl power moments, was definitely why the book barreled its way so easily into my heart. It's easy making a kick ass heroine (or hero), it's harder making them real on top of that.
One aspect of Eona that I thought was really interesting on Goodman's part was the fact she made her crippled. Now, if you've read any reviews by me, you'll find out soon enough that I'm a bit ehhh about the whole beautiful heroine/hero stuff that's filling up YA. Like how it's easy to make your heroine badass, it's easy to make them beautiful. What's actually challenging for a writer is making them lacking something. And Goodman does it wonderfully. And she doesn't even do it exclusively with Eona, but allows other characters to be flawed in certain ways that prevents them from gaining the full respect of those around them.
In terms of those other general things I usually talk about (plot, writing, pacing), Goodman does a lovely job. The plot is fairly fast paced, with lots of twist and turns that do keep you guessing, along with a good dose of political intrigue to keep you on your toes. The writing is very well done, and Eona's 1st person narration is particularly riveting. The only bad thing I do have to say about the book is the slower part around the middle of the novel. It wasn't too much to turn me off, but I did have to push past it to get on with the really good stuff.
All in all, Eon was one of those books, much like Graceling and Pierce's Tortall stuff, that'll fill your itch for high fantasy in this overpopulated urban fantasy literature. It's well detailed, well planned, and with a heroine who's real and absolutely human. I completely and utterly loved it, and have already ordered the sequel. That, above else, should tell you how much Eon and Eona have stolen my heart. 4.5-5/5(less)