I so had this at 5 star status from the very beginning. Everything I was waiting for in Eon--Eona to embrace her power and the fact that she's a woman, action, mystery, a touch of romance --it's all here.
We pick up right where we left off in Eon, and one of the things I like most about Alison Goodman's style is how quickly she moves the story along. We don't waste time on overly long journeys or drawn out conversation. I can't imagine how long this book would have been if we'd had to sit alongside the characters every time they trekked across the continent on their next mission. There are plenty of mysteries to solve, and I'm happy to say I was back to my usual cluelessness when it came to figuring them out.
Romance was included in the perfect dose...just a slight addition to the story and not nearly a central focus. Merely an extra, which as I said in my review of Eon, is the perfect amount as there is enough going on without needing the angst of romance getting in the way. Eona's confused feelings regarding Ido were an interesting twist. I wouldn't go so far as to say this was a love triangle situation, but the fact that Eona's doubt stemmed from whether she had truly changed Ido's nature when she healed his Hua was a question I was eager to find the answer to as well. I love when an author is able to take a character that has previously acted in horrible and unforgivable ways and twist us up on our heads, sowing doubt where we were once steadfast in our opinion of his character.
There are some interesting consequences to Eona's mastering of her power, the unwelcome bond and attraction to Ido--a wavering alliance at best--just one part of it. She's also faced with decisions that have no clear right or wrong, but some of both. Do you save a friend's life at the expense of their freedom? Do you save many friends' lives at the expense of breaking sacred laws and murdering thousands? Would your choices reflect the best interests of others, or only yourself? Eona explores all of these questions--in life and in war--and quite philosophically I must say.
While the limited rating scale has me leaving it at 5, I knocked half a point because it had no proper conclusion.
Don't unhide this spoiler if you haven't read yet. Seriously, it's not a little spoiler...last warning.
I'm all for an abrupt ending when it suits the story, but in this case there are just too many loose ends left untied. I don't need another ten chapters, but a chapter to wrap everything up would go a long way. Even so, Eona was packed with so many aspects I loved, I'll look over the lack of an ending.