Jul 10, 11
Read from June 25 to July 10, 2011
** spoiler alert **
Eon begins with a fantastic premise - one day an asteroid is detected heading towards Earth. It gets close enough to the planet to be captured in its orbit, and the nations of the world begin up-close scientific study of this asteroid, only to find that it's been hollowed out and people once lived inside it. What the astronauts discover as they get deeper into the asteroid only gets more and more fantastic, and these discoveries will, of course, change the world forever.
I liked the first half of this book a lot. It's reminiscent of books like Rendezvous with Rama and Pushing Ice in the way Bear slowly reveals the secrets of his creation one at a time, at a pace that practically demands you keep reading just to see where you're going. However, around the halfway point the book kind of got bogged down in political & social details that, frankly, didn't interest me much. I really raced through the first 300 pages or so very quickly, only to have to push myself to finish the last 200. It doesn't help that the story's big menacing villain is only discussed, never shown or dealt with.
I kind of liked the way Bear chose to end the novel, with all the characters going in different directions, although the fact that they couldn't fix or undo the nuclear annihilation of Earth was kind of depressing and negated all the alternate universe / high-level physics stuff we'd just read all about. There are some intriguing ideas in Eon, although it needed some more polish to be a real gem.
(Oh, and the whole canonization-of-Ralph-Nader thing made me roll my eyes so far back in my head they almost popped out. Even though this book was written prior to the 2000 presidential election, I just couldn't buy it.)