My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A good idea ruined in execution. It’s really a shame.
Rarely do you pick up a book that based so much on ancient Asian culture, but Goodman’s writing is so god awful and her characters are so irksome, this was almost a DNF.
1. Annoying characters
Probably one of the biggest problems with this book is that it wastes half of it’s words describe its lovely main character, Eon(a), moping around about how much she sucks as a human being and how much she totally doesn’t deserve this life, but also if she didn’t live this life, she’d have to work as a salt laborer or something similar so she’ll just have to deal with this life.
Goddamn, if you think something’s wrong with your life then so something about it. DON’T JUST SIT ABOUT AND MOPE.
In any case, I was also awfully repulsed by the fact that Ido thought it would be ok to rape a girl, who at least to his knowledge, was probably 12 and prepubescent. I don’t think that’s a want for power anymore, that’s just being a pedophile. (Also, not only did he want to rape her, it was like he was completely infatuated with her.)
Everyone else in this book felt like a sadistic ass and honestly, I hate everyone in this book. Except for the weird cross dresser ladyman. Whatever her name was (not Eon(a)).
2. Those Fucking Names
Ok. I understand the whole thing with Asian names being hard to translate because they’re usually named after objects in Asian culture and that just kind of sounds stupid in English, but as least TRY to make them sound more normal. Was there any reason to name a gate like… concubine gate?
I’m Asian and I’m still awfully annoyed by these shitty names.
Also, couldn’t you at least shorten the names of the stances so that they’re not such a mouthful? Wouldn’t someone have noticed that by now?
3. God awful prose
There is so much fucking padding in this book, I almost put it down because it was so slow. The amount of padding makes me want to shoot myself. The book doesn’t even pick up pace until the last 50 pages. Not only so, Goodman writes in such a roundabout way, it’s just absolutely awful. There’s no flow, no plot. None of the characters are likeable. Wtf?
“Ever since my body had first betrayed us six months ago, my master had kept a supply of soft cloths and sea sponges locked away, in his library. Safe from prying eyes.”
Modern Translation: Ever since I got my period, my master started hiding pads and tampons in his library to make sure no one would see them.
TMI and honestly, I don’t give a crap.
4. Fucking Woman Script
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. This part of the book pissed me off so much. WOMAN SCRIPT WAS CREATED SO THAT WOMEN COULD CONTACT EACH OTHER WITHOUT MEN KNOWING WHAT THEY WERE WRITING. YOU DON’T JUST FLAUNT IT TO A MALE. YOU DON’T EVEN TELL THEM OF THE EXISTENCE OF WOMAN SCRIPT. IF YOU TELL THEM, THEY’LL FIGURE IT OUT THUS DEFEATING THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF WOMAN SCRIPT.
YOU GOT IT WRONG. WRONGGGGGGG.
The end picked up a little. Everything else sucked. If you’re willing to plow through a couple hundred pages for a mediocre ending, this is the book for you.
On a side note, it seems that the second book is better than the first one, so maybe, just maybe, I’ll give it a try.