Sunday, April 10, 2011

Early Review - Eona (Sequel to Eon) by Alison Goodman (5/5 stars)

EonaReading level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Size:  656 pages
Publisher:  Viking Juvenile
Release Date: April 19, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0670063116
Stand Alone or Series: Sequel to Eona
Source: ARC from Librarything's Early Reviewer Program
Rating: 5/5 stars

I got an ARC of this book through Librarything's Early Reviewers program.  I enjoyed Eon and was excited to read the conclusion to the story that started in that book.  I actually "read" Eon on audio book and wasn't all that impressed with the reader; so I was hoping I would enjoy reading Goodman's writing even more than the audio book.  Luckily I did; this book was absolutely excellent.  You definitely should read Eon before reading this book.

This books starts with Eona fleeing the capital and on her way to join the Resistance.  She is hoping to find the Emperor and help bring him back to power.  Of course Eona is having to deal with learning how to be a woman in this book (after spending so much time dressed as a boy in the last book).  She is also having trouble merging with her Mirror Dragon; every time she does she is attacked by the other dragons who have lost their Dragonseyes.  The only one who can train her in the use of her dragon is Ido, and he is being held captive by Lord Sethon back at the capital.  Eona may have to rescue Ido and combine forces with her enemy if she is ever going to help return the true Emperor to power.

This book was very well done.  Goodman has a way with description that really makes the world come alive. The characters she's created here have a lot of depth and are easy to engage with.  Eona struggles with a number of issues and goes through a lot of hardship; she also matures a lot in this book and that was wonderful to see.  The plot moves quickly and takes a lot of twists and turns, it really kept me on my toes and engaging.  It was a very hard book to put down.

Of course Eona and Kygo (the Emperor) end up having a bit of a thing for each other; you could predict this based on events that happened in Eon.  It was nice to have this thread of romance woven through all the politics and killing that go on in this book.  The only thing I wished throughout this book was that there was a little bit of humor woven in it.  All the characters take themselves deadly serious and they never really learn to laugh at their mistakes or have any fun at all.

The story ends up being somewhat epic in proportions.  There are battles both in the physical and spirit world; these battles never get too graphic.  In general this book is well-suited to the young adult or older age group. The wrap up is well done and I enjoyed it.  Although I would have enjoyed seeing what our characters did after the conclusion of the end battle; you don't really get to see that here.

Overall an excellent conclusion to this series.  Wonderful description, wonderful characters, and twisty turny plot that really keeps the reader engaged and makes the book hard to put down.  Definitely something you should read if you read and enjoyed Eon.  If you are a fan of historical fantasy, especially Japanese based historical fantasy I definitely recommend picking up both Eon, along with this book.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:

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