Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Review: The Omen Machine

The Omen Machine
by Terry Goodkind

Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
From the beginning, with Wizard’s First Rule, Terry Goodkind set a new standard for epic storytelling. Now he returns with a powerful new tale from Richard and Kahlan’s world.
An accident leads to the discovery of a mysterious machine that has rested hidden deep underground for countless millennia. The machine awakens to begin issuing a series of increasingly alarming, if minor, omens. The omens turn out to be astonishingly accurate, and ever more ominous. As Zedd tries to figure out how to destroy the sinister device, the machine issues a cataclysmic omen involving Richard and Kahlan, foretelling an impending event beyond anyone’s ability to stop. As catastrophe approaches, the machine then reveals that it is within its power to withdraw the omen . . . In exchange for an impossible demand.

Why I Picked this Book: I am a major Terry Goodkind fan.  It was a no-brainer.

My Thoughts:
When I found out that there would be another Terry Goodkind book to devour and love, I was beyond ecstatic.  I preordered The Omen Machine and waited on pins and needles for the book to arrive.  I have been a Sword of Truth (SoT) fan for many years now, and seeing the chance to dive back into D'hara and walk alongside the likes of Richard and Kahlan again was just too good to be true.

Why did I have to be disappointed?

If you haven't read SoT before, it is an amazing series full of life lessons, strong characters, a world so real you swear it is out there, and too many moments that take your breath away.  At the same time, as the 12 book series progresses, it also becomes riddled with lots of repetition and many page long preach sessions about living your own life.  Then comes this one, number 13...

The Omen Machine starts right after the last book of the SoT series ended.  Which instantly gave me worries.  Goodkind managed to end the SoT series in such a poetic, perfect wrap-up that I couldn't fathom where he could possibly go next.  The fact that he starts the very next day made me almost uncomfortable.  But I read on, because Richard was there.  And boy do  I love Richard.

The first half (or more) of the book dragged.  It seemed to talk non-stop about prophecy and whether one should rely on prophecy or not.  Lots of repetition.  Thing is, no one would be reading this book if they hadn't read the previous 11.  And because of that, all of the conversation and opinions taking up the first half of the book were already known, and old news.  I couldn't wait to get past it.

The general plot did intrigue me.  People become so obsessed with prophecy that they start to cause the very omens received to happen.  Self-fulfilling.  Along with that, an ancient machine is discovered, inside the palace, that starts spitting out dire omens.  People go nuts.  

Oh, and the crazy voodoo-like lady.  CREEPY.  Seriously, I didnt even want to picture her.  Man, she creeped me out.  Which was good.  

There were three bad guys in this book.  I believe.  You rarely ever "met" the main bad guy, the secondary seemed evil and manipulative but lacked actual devolopement, and the third sub bad guy (voodoo lady) was the one the climax battled.  Um.

Obviously set up to become a series.

Yes, I was disappointed.  I had hoped for more magic and awesome epicness that kept me page turning late into the night.  Instead, The Omen Machine almost felt like a fan fiction, ringing with Goodkind's magic but riddled with so much repetition and half formed characters that I became sorely confused.

I want to give this a high rating.  Solely because of how much I do love and adore the previous books.  But I can't.  As excited as I was for this book to come out, I am starting to feel Goodkind should have left the SoT series alone and started something new and fresh.  You don't tamper with perfection.

Terry, I still love you.  Major fan, right here.

My Rating:
(3 out of 5 stars)


Michael Offutt said...

I'm going to have to give these books a read. I'm a huge George R.R. Martin fan and at least with the Goodkind books...they are a finished series with I guess this new one starting a new story arc. I can handle that because I get the impression from your review that I could stop with book ten if I wanted and that would be fine.

Jenni Merritt said...

I hated having to give this a lower rating, just because of how much I do adore the SoT series. Read it. The first book is Wizard's First Rule, the last one is Confessor. LOVE them

MissMOE said...

Sorry, Terry Goodfind let you down with this book, but I'm guessing you're still going to read the next one? I'm a new follower from Wobble Over Wednesday. I would love a follow back.

Trisha said...

I haven't read any Terry Goodkind, but I did buy a book of his the other day. It looks pretty interesting!


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