Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
This book is going to be a bit awkward for me to review. I trudged through the first 400 pages pretty reluctantly – really the only thing that kept me going was the thought of the next book which I’d ordered and was on its way and which I would be desperate to read the moment it arrived – all of which meant that I had to finish this book, which I’d foolishly started the same day I ordered the next book, quickly in orer to clear the way for the next book.
The premise was promising – in an alternate, vaguely Asian world where women are definitely secondary citizens, 11 dragons and their dragoneyes (people who are able to control the dragons) carefully keep things in balance, supporting the emperor and using their powers to manipulate the weather, crops, etc. I think. Goodman didn’t really explain what else they do (though I may have missed the more thorough explanation in my haste, I suppose)… There are actually 12 dragons, but the Mirror Dragon has not appeared to choose a dragoneye in over 500 years. Eon, a girl masquerading as a boy, is training to be the new Rat Dragon dragoneye but is instead chosen by the missing Mirror Dragon.
The first 400 pages are full of political intrigue but mostly Eon trying to navigate her new courtly position while learning to control the Mirror Dragon (who mysteriously [though not really] seems suddenly reluctant to cooperate with Eon) and have her real identity remain hidden. Most of my frustration with the book was due to the uncooperative Mirror Dragon and its reasons for being reluctant. I had realised the problem about 200 pages before Eon did and, as she just kept making bad decision after bad decision, I really just wanted to reach into the book and smack her on the back of the head in an attempt to knock some sense into her!
But at page 400, when Eon finally, finally figures things out, it really picks up and gets rather exciting. The intrigues all come to a head, the bad guy is really bad (until all of a sudden he’s not which seemed to happen to quickly and he was really too bad for me to feel any sympathy for him at all), the really, really bad guy is really, really bad, and the cliffhanger for the next book is set up.
So I’ll probably read the second one just because I want to see how it all ends and I would recommend the last 200 pages or so, but you do have to read the first 400 to get there, so…I’ll leave it to you to decide.
first 400 pages – C
last 200 pages – B+