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The Eon Enigma. Great SF or complete bollocks?
on November 16, 2003
Something inbetween perhaps. The ideas in Eon earn 9/10, however Bear's writing style gets a 4. For starters, he describes the different locations in overtechnical geometric language. Sentences like "Patricia stood parallel to the vortex so that she formed a toroid at 90 degrees to its summit" tells the average reader nothing. I made this sentence up but its not an overexageration. The book is full of these sort of descriptions. Great for a hard geometry test, terrible for anything but. In my opinion Larry Niven's geometric descriptions in Ringworld are about as far as a writer should go. Its a shame because if Bear had used simpler language I probably would have been amazed by the pictures my imagination formed. I think Bear's characterisation is ok. I disagree with other reviews in that I didn't find his characters akin to carboard. Neither does the book fall apart at the half way mark. The story develops nicely. The problem is that Bear spends too much time describing some things and not enough entertaining. I am not asking for a shorter book or for his characters to do a tap dance. I was simply hoping that Bear's characters would play more of a key role in the events that shape the 2nd half of the book rather than just being the unwitting cause of what unfolds. If you think about it, only Patricia actually does anyhing, and only right at the end. More involvement, less babble is required. It could have been a 5 star earner. This is the first book I have read by Bear and it is worth reading. I will check out Blood Music as I have heard its pretty good.