12 October 2011

Eona by Alison Goodman

Eona Bookplate

Where there is power, there is betrayal…

Once she was Eon, a girl disguised as a boy, risking her life for the chance to become a Dragoneye apprentice. Now she is is Eona, the Mirror Dragoneye, her country’s savior—but she has an even more dangerous secret.

She cannot control her power.

Each time she tries to bond with her Mirror Dragon, she becomes a conduit for the ten spirit dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered by Lord Ido. Their anguish floods through her, twisting her ability into a killing force, destroying the land and its people.

And another force of destruction is on her trail.

Along with Ryko and Lady Dela, Eona is on the run from High Lord Sethon’s army. The renegades must find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power if he is to wrest back his throne from Sethon. But if Eona is to help Kygo, she must drive a dark bargain with an old enemy that could obliterate them all.

This has been a very difficult review to write. I really love Eon. It had great characters, a great plot, and a lot of promise. While the result, Eona, is great, I’m not sure it lived up to the expectations I had in my head. I’m not entirely sure that is Goodman’s fault, though.

A few of my problems with this book were the disconnect with book 1. For all that Eon struggles with his gender identity in book 1, one of my favorite parts of the book, in book 2 it is a non-issue. Eona adapts seamlessly to being a girl. I really wish there had been a little more of a transition, a learning phase where Eona has to cope with figuring out how to be a girl after having lived as a boy for so long. I know that her heart and her soul were accepting of her gender, but it still takes time for the brain processes to catch up. It was the same with the disability and her coping of how it happened. Once Eona is healed of her hip problem she doesn’t really seem to need to relearn coordinated fights and movements which seemed very unrealistic to me. However, I did really like the power struggle and love triangle between Ido, Kygo, and Eona. The issues of power and love never seemed to fully separate, which I found to be very realistic, and Eona had to work t o understand how she felt and how to trust in a relationship. More importantly, she had to learn that she can’t have it all and that she has to choose, which is a very adult thing I liked to see in a YA book. I liked the death that happens late in the book and how the other main characters deal with it, it seemed very in character for all of them. The story of Kinra and the Dragons is even more compelling, and although I am not entirely comfortable with the surprise ending, I do acknowledge that there was no “easy” way to end that plot, which is very realistic and grown-up.

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