The Writer's View: Eona by Alison Goodman
From Goodreds: Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon's army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona's power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the selfstyled "Emperor" Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power - and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans. . . .
Eona, with its pulse-pounding drama and romance, its unforgettable fight scenes, and its surprises, is the conclusion to an epic only Alison Goodman could create
The Writer's View
Have you guys ever read a book or seen a movie that you *know* was great -- but you just didn't like it? I saw Old Country For Old Men when it came out in theatres and I didn't like it at all. Clearly I was a minority, since it won an Academy Award for Best Picture that year. Even though I didn't care for the movie, I could see why it appealed to people and why it won an Oscar -- it was "good," even though it wasn't for me.
Reading Eona was a lot like seeing Old Country For Old Men. I can see why people love this book. The writing is excellent. The worldbuilding and magic is so creative and unique. But I didn't enjoy the story all that much.
Why? Goodman does such an excellent job of getting into the nitty gritty of people, of exposing the inner light and darkness of everyone. For me, the "good" guys had a little too much dark in them, to the point that everyone is lying to each other and keeping secrets from one another for their own personal gain. Even characters who are friends and/or love interestes. There is just so much deceipt and manipulation. Seriously, I just wanted to throw flowers at all the characters and get them all together for a big group hug. Can't we all just get along a love each other? Please? But that wouldn't be realistic, and hats off to Goodman for creating realistic, gritty characters and situations. Shame on me for being too much of a hippie.
I think readers who like dark characters will enjoy this.
Positioning a novel for the target audience
This book contained THE MOST TWISTED love triangle I have ever seen. In the left corner pocket: Lord Ido, mass murder and rapist. In the right corner pocket: Prince Kygo, who must always put power and his throne above his feelings for any woman. And, as emperor, he must have a harem.
So -- mass murder and rapist, or harem member? I found myself just wanting to say RUN, EONA! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! GO MARRY SOME DIRT POOR FARMER INSTEAD! Maybe I am just an old jaded woman, but I could not find myself investing in either of these love interests. They presented siuations I would never want to be in. I don't care how hot you are, I am not joining your harem. And who wants to get it on with a murder and rapist?
This brings me to my point - positioning a novel for the target audience. I wrote a post about YA vs Adult, which was inspired by this book. I honestly believe this should have been positioned for an adult market, rather than YA. The #1 reason being this love triangle. I'm just not sure how many teen readers will connect with it.
What do you guys think?