Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Geomancer by Ian Irvine

Title: Geomancer (The Well of Echoes #1)
Author: Ian Irvine
Publication Date: 1994
Length: 621 pages

Tiaan is an artisan who makes controllers, delicate instruments that control huge war machines. She lives in a world defined by its war against a winged race called the lyrinx. Everyone's job is serving the war effort, and if you aren't good enough at a skilled trade, like being an artisan, you get sent to the front lines if you're a man, and the breeding factory, where you pump out the next generation of soldiers, if you're a woman. When Tiaan is falsely accused of sabotage, she runs away, and winds up on a mission to find a man she's seen in her crystal visions, the man she loves.

I had so much hope for this book. It started out great. The world building is perfect. The writing is excellent, except for the fact that people are always described using the exact same wording in multiple places, like a final edit was never done. And in the beginning, I liked a good chunk of the characters.

Unfortunately, Tiaan soon became insufferable. She falls in love with this guy that she's only seen in these visions she has when working with a particularly powerful crystal. Seriously, she's had maybe two conversations with him when they start calling each other "lover". And when he tells her that he lives in a different world, and she needs to go to this mountain and open a gate for his people to come through, so that they can be safe from the threat on their own world, and also help Tiaan's world with their war, she doesn't even question it.

I'm going to have a spoiler section now, so I can talk about some other things that annoyed me in the story. Skip this part if you want to read the book!

OK, so she helps a lyrinx that's injured, for some reason. Then she finds out that apparently the lyrinx have honour, and so he won't kill her, and will help her get home. She says that she doesn't want to go home; she has to go to a far-off mountain to save her lover. So off they go. He saves her life several times, and yet she is shocked when eventually he's like "my debt is repaid!". Like, you've been at war your whole life, but you so easily came to trust the enemy and think he'd just keep helping you?

As for the ending, I saw it coming way in advance. She successfully helps the people from the other world through, and though they said it would just be a few thousand people, instead an army comes through, and oh wow, they're here to take this world for themselves. Shocker. I spent most of the book just complaining about how stupid Tiaan is.

There were characters I liked, however. Sadly, most of them die, but a few survive. Interestingly, some of the best characters were ones who started off seeming really bad, but grew as people throughout the story. They were flawed, but ultimately sympathetic.

3 stars. There were good things, but ultimately Tiaan's stupidity really affected my enjoyment of the book.

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