Allison's Reviews > Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon by Alison Goodman
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May 14, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, girls-with-swords, multicultural, ya-teen
Read in May, 2012

I thought that I would like this book more than I did. It seemed to be written for me, a die-hard Alanna and girls-with-swords fantasy fan. But I ended up feeling a little underwhelmed, and I'm not even sure I can say exactly why.

There were a few things I really liked about this book, like the multicultural aspect of building a fantasy world and magic around Asian culture and history, the whole discussion of gender roles inherent in the whole girl-disguised-as-boy plot, and the inclusion of a trans secondary character which deepened that gender discussion.

But something just feel a little flat for me. For one thing, I saw the twist a million miles away, so the tension was kind of lost for me. For another, I didn't really like Eon/a that much, and I got kind of tired of her reluctant-hero role. I went through this in the third book of Hunger Games with Katniss, too. I know that in real life you would probably be all worried and freaked out if a huge revolution and thousands of people's lives depended on your actions and abilities. But this is a fantasy book and sometimes I just want to read about a heroine who stops worrying and takes action. That's probably why I like Alanna so much.

Also, maybe I'm just getting a little tired of the whole girl-disguised-as-boy plot. It does seem like there's more that can be done with the girl-with-sword genre than just focusing on the moment when the heroine realizes that her true power comes from accepting herself as a girl/woman and tapping into her feminine power, which is literally what Eon is about. The disguise thing is fine as a plot device and I started off the book generally accepting of it, but I just got tired of hearing Eon/a worry about her true identity and its affect on her powers.

It's like, there wasn't enough else going on in this book. With Alanna, at least, you get her life in knight training school, like you get Harry Potter's life at Hogwarts. But this book was all centered around the climactic moment in the story when Eon/a must act or the country will fall. It's almost like it should have been the second or third book in a series and we missed the whole build up where we learn to care about the character. It just didn't feel balanced and focused too much on action and not enough on character development.

But, overall, the book was well-written, and I did enjoy the uniqueness of Goodman's system of magic based on the Chinese zodiac and an Eastern-culture-influenced theory of energies.
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