The Holy Terror's Reviews > Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon by Alison Goodman
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Aug 01, 12

bookshelves: ebook, young-adult, asian-characters, dragons, fantasy, asia, magic, wendy-said, favorite-books, 2012, cover-love, buy-hard-copy
Read from July 18 to 25, 2012

Aaaaahhhh, this was good ... though not without faults, and I think anyone who reads Eon will know exactly why I deducted a star. You will figure out early on why Eon is struggling, and it'll drive you crazy until she figures it out. The fact that Eon takes forever to realize the "big secret" was not something that ruined my enjoyment completely, but it definitely dampened a story that could have been perfect.

I started this book hot off the tail of Seraphina, not even realizing until I started writing this review that I had read two young adult fantasies with dragons back-to-back. Normally I'd read something different because I genre- and series-hop constantly, but Galla and CJ wanted to read this one together so I obliged (though I forged ahead a bit on my own ...) This book was very different from Seraphina though, and if I had to compare it to another book I would say it reminded me of a historical Cinder, but I also can't go without mentioning Mulan. I'm not saying this story isn't original or engrossing though: quite the opposite. Even though there are many books, movies, and historical events that Eon draws from, this book is special in spite of that fact. Goodman still manages to maintain an air of originality even with all of the stories that have come before it.

If you've known me for any length of time you're aware that I have an infatuation with all things Asian. I actually have a BA in Asian Studies, though I'll admit history wasn't my strongest suit; my concentration was in the Japanese language. It was still easy to recognize that Goodman pulled a great deal from many different historical events and cultural backgrounds. "Woman Script" is a reference to hiragana (fun fact: the first novel written in Japan was by a woman), I could see the shadow of the rise of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and Confucianism practically permeated every aspect of this world. Fear of foreigners, dethroning the emperor so the warriors could rule, women being powerless, this was all something that actually occurred. I also couldn't help but remember the early Joseon period, and since I went back and read some of the history, I see why Eon felt so familiar! Besides pulling from historical events, Goodman deftly weaves together elements from many different Asian cultures, blending things seamlessly. With all that being said, you don't need to have any knowledge of any Asian history to appreciate how much detail this author put into creating her world.

This story was fascinating, the characters were richly developed, and the world was lushly created. Not everything was as it seemed and I was honestly surprised at some of the twists the story took, plus Goodman managed to create a villain that I couldn't hate completely. If you're looking for another book with dragons after reading Seraphina or you want another young adult fantasy that takes place in an Asian setting like Cinder, definitely check this book out; Eon isn't perfect, but it's certainly a fun ride.
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Reading Progress

07/18/2012
0.0% "Reading with Galla and CJ." 6 comments
07/20/2012
5.0% "For some reason this feels like historical Cinder to me (though of course I know this was published before it.) Disfigured/shunned main character, Asian setting, lush descriptions ... Lol, I don't know why I keep comparing everything to Cinder lately, but maybe it's because I LOVED THAT BOOK." 1 comment
07/21/2012
5.0% ""I don't know why you bother," I heard Irsa say. I opened my eyes. She was in the doorway, briskly brushing down her skirt. "The freak doesn't understand your words." She smoothed the looped braid of her hair.
Chart and I exchanged glances. No doubt the miller's man was going home happy.
"Sl...u...t," Chart said loudly."
07/21/2012
7.0% "I knew he was right; women did not have power. Or if they did, it was from the shapeliness of their body. Not from their spirit. And certainly not from their mind.

ಠ_ಠ

" 4 comments
07/23/2012
32.0% ""It's in Woman Script."
"In what?"
Lady Dela smiled at the look on my face. "It's very old. Passed from mother to daughter. I think it started as a way for women to write to each other. To express their feelings. Nothing very learned, of course, but since we are not allowed men's letters, it is a way for us to share our thoughts."

Hey! That's what hiragana used to be in Japan ... my degree is useful!

"
07/23/2012
45.0% ""You are wrong when you say there is no power in being a woman. When I think of my mother and the women in my tribe, and even the hidden women in the harem, I know there are many types of power in this world." She turned around to face me. "I found power in accepting the truth of who I am. It may not be a truth that others can accept, but I cannot live any other way."" 3 comments
07/24/2012
60.0% "You know, you would think with all of the mentions of "balance," Eon would realize she needs her moon energy ..." 5 comments
07/24/2012
70.0% "Well, that did NOT go the way I thought it would go. Holy crap."
07/25/2012
78.0% "I find myself increasingly nervous for what's to come ... the suspense is killing me!" 4 comments
07/25/2012
100.0% "Man, that was intense!"

Comments (showing 1-40 of 40) (40 new)

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Galla Any interest in doing a buddy read on this one some time soon?


The Holy Terror I think I'm starting a trend where I don't actually mention any of the plot in my reviews ...


Rachel Filer Great review, I don't even think it matters that you haven't mentioned the plot, we can find that out from the book description. Anyway although you don't state the plot you touch on parts of it that you thought worked and parts that didn't. The main thing we wanted to know how you felt about it and that definitely comes across!


CJ - let me hold both your hands in the holes of my sweater Can I just say, I'm not quite done with the book (maybe another 75 pages) and I figured out what the problem was.


CJ - let me hold both your hands in the holes of my sweater The Tale of Genji right? First novel? Good lord, I did not like that book. Can't wait for the second book. Maybe we'll end up buddy reading that one as well.


The Holy Terror Lol, we've spoken about Genji before!

I actually started Eona today, and Galla is reading it too! I couldn't help myself.


CJ - let me hold both your hands in the holes of my sweater Oh trust me, I can't sleep. I'll be starting it within the hour ;)

Seriously though, The Last Airbender is running through my head.

Also, my review is going to be your review. I'm going to link it. But I'm going to add an Airbender gif. I have to.


message 9: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Great review! I really did appreciate the author's notes at the end of the book when she did explain how she melded all different kinds of Asian myths together.

Take a break and then read Eona - it is so good.


Galla If I were the kind of person who posted a bunch of GIFs on Goodreads, I'd have to make one that said, (view spoiler)


message 11: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Well said, Galla.


Crystal Starr Light Excellent review!! I was so captivated by the world Goodman created and wondered how close it was to real Asian cultures. (I love it when authors do some real research and cleverly include it in their stories!)


message 13: by B.C. (new) - rated it 4 stars

B.C. I enjoyed the review. Your insight to the history adds another level of my enjoyment of this book.

I want to bounce this off you, tell me what you think...In my review of this book, i pointed out that there is a lot of sexuality in it. It deals with LGBT especially. Do you think she didn't figure out the the sun drug/moon energy issue because she wasn't smart enough (don't know how else to phrase it) or because she is in some serious denial? I felt like she was in denial and that frustrated the reader, which made the reader understand the frustration LGBT deals with in society. That may be a stretch, so let me know.


message 14: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Great review. I took three years of Japanese and I had to learn about hiragana being woman's script from a Goodreads review. That's really interesting. It explains why that alphabet makes more sense than kanji. :)


Caroline Man, I really need to pick this one up sometime soon--been eying it for a while now because of the pretty cover, and I've been hearing so much good about it. And neat trivia about "hiragana." I took a year of Japanese and had no clue (really poor instructor on a lot of fronts, though)!


message 16: by The Holy Terror (last edited Jul 26, 2012 11:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

The Holy Terror AH wrote: "Great review! I really did appreciate the author's notes at the end of the book when she did explain how she melded all different kinds of Asian myths together."

Thanks!

Lol, I didn't even see any of that in my excitement to start the next book : |

I'll have to go back and read the last few pages!


The Holy Terror Brandon wrote: "Do you think she didn't figure out the the sun drug/moon energy issue because she wasn't smart enough (don't know how else to phrase it) or because she is in some serious denial? I felt like she was in denial and that frustrated the reader, which made the reader understand the frustration LGBT deals with in society. That may be a stretch, so let me know."

The reason I think it took her so long was (view spoiler)


The Holy Terror Lisa wrote: "Great review. I took three years of Japanese and I had to learn about hiragana being woman's script from a Goodreads review. That's really interesting. It explains why that alphabet makes more sense than kanji. :)"

Lol, yeah, you would've learned about hiragana in a history class. And ha, so true. Damn you, kanji!


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh I was, but now I am ready to confess my infatuation with your shelves.


message 20: by B.C. (new) - rated it 4 stars

B.C. The Holy Terror wrote: "Brandon wrote: "Do you think she didn't figure out the the sun drug/moon energy issue because she wasn't smart enough (don't know how else to phrase it) or because she is in some serious denial? I ..."

I agree. I may be giving the author a little much credit, i really want to believe she is a good enough author to purposefully create emotional reactions in her readers.


Wendy Darling Hey, remember how I emailed you right after I finished this book and told you I thought you'd enjoy this and you were all, "Really? Hmm."

\o/ Victory!!

Also, I sent you a box yesterday. :) You should receive it by Friday


message 22: by Bonnie (new) - added it

Bonnie Alright. Sold. I'm reading this next.


The Holy Terror Wendy Darling wrote: "Hey, remember how I emailed you right after I finished this book and told you I thought you'd enjoy this and you were all, "Really? Hmm."

\o/ Victory!!"


Ah! You're right! This is a Wendy Said then, isn't it?

"Also, I sent you a box yesterday. :) You should receive it by Friday."

!!!

*flails*


The Holy Terror Brandon wrote: "I agree. I may be giving the author a little much credit, i really want to believe she is a good enough author to purposefully create emotional reactions in her readers."

Well, I wouldn't sell her short. She incorporated quite a few subjects - gender roles, eunuchs, transgenders - that most authors wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. I don't know if she was just enforcing Confucian ideals of the time into her story or if she meant something else entirely - that's the beauty of critiquing literature; nobody is really "right."


The Holy Terror Bonnie wrote: "Alright. Sold. I'm reading this next."

Awesome! Can't wait to see what you think!


message 26: by Lindsey (new) - added it

Lindsey I love your review and your knowledge of Asian history was informative & intriguing. Thanks for sharing! This is in my TBR pile along with Cinder...which one should come first?


The Holy Terror Lindsey wrote: "Thanks for sharing! This is in my TBR pile along with Cinder...which one should come first?"

Oh man ... that's tough. Um ...

Well, there's romance in Cinder and it's also shorter than Eon. So, maybe read that one first?

I don't know! They're both good!


message 28: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Of course this is a Wendy said book. It's on the awesome list.


Brandi Oh man, these books had their hooks in me for days. I agree with you that Eon was a bit stronger too. These books made me want to find more Asian themed stories actually. I have always been a bit intrigued by the culture, but after these I wanted to really immerse myself. I don't know where to start though, do you have any recs?


message 30: by Krystle (last edited Jul 26, 2012 06:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Krystle There's women script in Chinese as well. The women modified the characters and changed how they read them in comparison to the originals. It was used in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. ^^;;. This book felt really more Chinese-culture influenced than a Japanese one to me. XD.


Keertana Brandi wrote: "Oh man, these books had their hooks in me for days. I agree with you that Eon was a bit stronger too. These books made me want to find more Asian themed stories actually. I have always been a bit i..."

I couldn't help seeing your comment on my newsfeed Brandi and when you asked for recommendations, I had to reply. I haven't read Eon yet, so I don't know exactly to what degree of Asian-infused stories you're looking for, but I read a novel called The Dragon Keeper a couple of years back and it was based in Asia as well and I remember enjoying the cultural aspects thrown into the fantasy. I don't remember it too well since it's been a few years and I don't remember the sequels too well, but I remember the book kept me up all night. Of course, my opinion of it might change now, but it doesn't hurt to give it a try and it's the only Asian-themed novel I can think of. :)


The Holy Terror Krystle wrote: "There's women script in Chinese as well. The women modified the characters and changed how they read them in comparison to the originals. It was used in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. ^^;;. This book felt really more Chinese-culture influenced than a Japanese one to me. XD."

Interesting! Funny that we saw it differently. My Chinese history is probably the worst (there's sooooo much of it) but I realize that the other cultures evolved from it, as well as the Japanese and Korean languages.

I'm absolutely awful with all history, honestly. I'm surprised I remembered what I did.


message 33: by The Holy Terror (last edited Jul 26, 2012 10:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

The Holy Terror Brandi wrote: "I have always been a bit intrigued by the culture, but after these I wanted to really immerse myself. I don't know where to start though, do you have any recs?"

Cinder! :p (I kid, I kid.)

There hasn't been much I've read, unfortunately, and what I've read I read for school so it's mostly literature. I have shelves though, if you want to check them out:

Asian Characters
Setting: Asia
Japanese Characters
Setting: Japan
Korean Characters
Setting: Korea

I've also created two Listopias:

Non-Caucasian Protagonists in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Paranormal Romance
Fiction by Korean Authors and/or Containing Korean Characters

Sorry I couldn't give you more recs! I wish I've read more. Krystle, in message 31, might have some good reviews to check out though. If I remember correctly, she also has a degree in Asian Studies ...?


Krystle The Holy Terror wrote: "Krystle wrote: "There's women script in Chinese as well. The women modified the characters and changed how they read them in comparison to the originals. It was used in Snow Flower and the Secret F..."

I guess since she combined them all you could interpret it from either culture, really. Hehe. I graduated with a degree in Japanese language. Asian majors, ftw! *fist pump*


Nafiza Asian minors too! :P


message 36: by Maya (last edited Jul 26, 2012 10:08PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Maya Brandi wrote: "These books made me want to find more Asian themed stories actually. I have always been a bit intrigued by the culture, but after these I wanted to really immerse myself. I don't know where to start though, do you have any recs?"

Asian Fantasy is a pretty rare genre, but for starters I always recommend the same novels, because they're the best I've read until now and some of the few available in English:
Nahoko Uehashi's Moribito / Guardian series
Fuyumi Ono's 12 Kingdoms series
Noriko Ogiwara's Magatama series

Pretty much all of these books can be read as stand-alone as well and the first two have also been adapted into TV series.

btw, another "historical trivia" that Goodman used in Eon is the Mandate of Heaven. Ono uses the same in her above mentioned 12 Kingdoms series, but in a completely different way.


message 37: by Brandi (last edited Jul 27, 2012 06:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brandi Cinder! :p (I kid, I..."
Pfft, lol!

Thanks Maya!


Ariana Oh dear god, I just started reading this and just read the first paragraph of your review and if the "big secret" is what I think it is then it's going to drive me mental.


message 39: by Hershey (new) - added it

Hershey Great review!


Dagmar Totally agree! How frustrating that she couldn't figure it out. Still five stars for me. I downloaded the sequel already. Great review.


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