The Omen Machine - Anyone here going to read it?

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Twinner, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    I know exactly how you feel. Card was one of my favorite authors in my adolescence/young adulthood -- and then I heard him speak in person. He is not a guy whose personal beliefs I agree with. Nonetheless, I still think that many of his books are very good -- and I'm still willing to purchase them in many cases. If I did some sort of litmus test on authors to make sure I agreed with everything they believed before I read them, I wouldn't be reading very much!
     
  2. Namel

    Namel Registered User

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    I try to avoid reading about authors. I like their books, I don't care about their lives.

    I actually like Sword of Truth a lot, specially the start. Last few books weren't that good. I really thought series was done and he would start something new so I was kind of disappointed when new book came out and not very interested of it.
     
  3. Karyle

    Karyle The Sophisticated Pug

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    I have to say I agree. I read each installment of the Sword of Truth series excitedly, and while I didn't love them all, they still hold a fond place in my heart. I don't mind his Ayn Rand way of thinking, really, but I think it's more because I have an extreme level of empathy to ideologies as long as it doesn't involve pointedly hurting women or children, or overt sexual judgement.

    I also tend to try to stay away from things like interviews with him, though, after what happened with Orson Scott Card. I read Ender's Game when I was younger, and I loved it. I read the Ultimate Iron Man comics he did, and while not amazing, I didn't hate them. I was quasi-excited to someday move onto his other Enderverse books. And then I saw an interview with him. I cannot stand bigots, I cannot stand overly righteous individuals, and I absolutely cannot stand when anyone judges a person's life because of who they decide to love and/or have sex with. So now, I can't see his name without a welling sense of disdain, I gave away my copy of Ender's Game, and I refuse to support that man in any way, shape, or form. I really wish I hadn't ever found out what kind of person he is.
     
  4. Karyle

    Karyle The Sophisticated Pug

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    Well, the book is out as of today (at least here in the USA, I didn't check for international), and Amazon shows that it should be on my doorstep when I get home. I'll likely start it tonight and might be able to get some impressions up, too.

    Did anyone else pick it up yet/is going to soon?
     
  5. Mekrath

    Mekrath Registered User

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    I ordered a copy and should have it tomorrow. I'm halfway through Clash of Kings right now and plan to read Omen Machine afterward as a break from the series.
     
  6. Karyle

    Karyle The Sophisticated Pug

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    Well, I only made about 75-100 pages into it last night before succumbing to sleep, and I'm honestly hesitant to say much about it. On one hand, having read all of the Sword of Truth series as each new one came out every year, it's pretty fun to be reading this book. It feels pretty similar to his older ones, and I honestly can't say if it's because I've read so many different things since I last read any Goodkind or if I'm guessing correctly on this one... but it feels like the television show damaged his writing. Not that it was anything wonderful to begin with, and again, I could just be drawing this conclusion because I've watched the television show since the last time I read anything he's written, but this book feels like reading the script for a show. It's very... shallow, with more attention paid to "brow furrowing" or thing like, "he looked confused," than any type of decisive emotion from the characters. It reads like stage direction, relying on the actors to give it life... but the actors are in your head, so it's up to the reader.

    Also, and again I'm hesitant to bring it up because it's still early, but I honestly don't remember the characters being this stupid in the previous books. And don't get me wrong, I mean literally stupid, dumb, thick-headed... however you want to say it. The characters will have conversations that not only are worded so poorly that the characters appear to have the collective vocabulary of 10 year-old child, but the simple lack of logic and problem solving is astounding. There is a scene, and I kid you not, where Richard explains to Zedd (who, in case you're not familiar with the series, is the "wise old wizard with an attitude" type of character) how they are going to organize a library so that they can find information when they need it. Zedd argues the idea the entire time, stating that it's simply too complicated a notion to organize books, and that it would be a massive waste of time because there are "thousands" of volumes in the library. This scene lasted roughly 8 pages.
     
  7. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Maybe Richard will invent the Dewey Decimal System, but call it something daft.
     
  8. Sfinx

    Sfinx Life's a riddle

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    Is there a chicken involved at any point?

    Sorry, couldn't resist :)

    <cackling softly with satisfaction>

    Sfinx

    (who is not a sfinx. I may look like a sfinx, like most of Egypt's sfinxes. But I am no sfinx. I am evil manifest)

    And it's probably just a prelude to Richard inventing the alphabet - punishing Zedd for his obstinacy by making 'Z' the very last letter. And probably renaming it to Rahlphabet....
     
  9. Karyle

    Karyle The Sophisticated Pug

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    Well, what's worse is that during that scene, there is another character present who is supposed to be the person tasked with devising how the books are categorized; she points out a "particularly odd" volume that no one has ever seen before, and has categorized it as a "wordbook." The others are baffled at this notion, and she explains that the book is only about half readable to her - there are parts that are in another language she's never encountered before, and then other parts providing translations in an ancient language she just happens to be versed in. The other characters, again, cannot grasp the idea of such a book existing. She explains what's most interesting is that the book isn't complete, and that it has obviously had a portion of the book removed and then what remained was re-bound. Richard then grabs the book from her, flips to the last page, and after much "brow furrowing" and his complexion blanching, he reads the last line to the others, which explains that the rest of the book was removed and locked away... *queue dramatic music*
    in the Temple of the Winds!
    Which of course means Richard likely has to go back there, probably before the halfway point in the book. Yay.
     
  10. Mekrath

    Mekrath Registered User

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    I bought a copy of this book. Like many others, I liked the 1st few SoT novels and didn't like the later ones nearly as much. I did read them all, and now however many books later I feel invested in the series so I keep reading it.

    I'm only about 70 pages in so far but I do have to comment on this - I'm about 2/3 of the way through Clash of Kings right now, but I took a break from it to bang out Omen Machine. I have a good friend coming to visit Sunday who is a SoT fan, and I want to finish the book and give it to him. It is absolutely AMAZING to compare the difference in writing skill between the 2 books.

    I'm not saying that Omen Machine is a bad book, the story may be really good once I get into it, but man, is there a difference between the authors and their skill with words.
     
  11. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    Just to check, Mekrath: you're saying that GRRM is a better writer?

    OK: got that.

    Think what people here might want to know is, Is the Omen Machine better or worse, in your opinon, than the other SoT books you've read?

    Comparing GRRM and Goodkind is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, whereas comparing different Goodkind books is like comparing different types of apples: let's say, Cox's and Pippins. :D

    Mark
     
  12. Mekrath

    Mekrath Registered User

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    I'll finish the book in the next couple days and report back on how it compares to the other SoT books. I can say that it seems shorter than many of the later books in the series, hopefully that means less rambling :)
     
  13. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    Be interested in what you think.

    Mark
     
  14. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    If it means less boobs I'm not reading.
     
  15. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Simple things, eh? I have a poster print thingy of Cara from the TV show ;)
     
  16. Karyle

    Karyle The Sophisticated Pug

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    Well, I've only had the time available to read up to page 150 or so (so really not much more than before) but I can honestly say I'm struggling to keep myself motivated to read this book.

    Keep in mind, I'm someone who has read all of the other SoT books. I even enjoyed them, years ago.

    I don't know if it's more that I've grown considerably less tolerant of lackluster writing ability, or if Goodkind truly has gotten so much worse... but wow, this book is terrible. The dialogue is some of the worst I've ever read. All of the characters continue to be absolute morons, and there has yet to be a situation where one character explains something to another character in a single attempt. It's always, "Huh? I don't understand. So you're saying... blah blah blah repeat what he/she just heard, etc.," followed with, "Yes, that's what I'm saying... blah blah blah repeat it again," finished up with, "That makes sense." Often there are "knowing looks" between characters during these conversations. And what, you might be asking, are they actually talking about that could be so complicated? It's just
    simple, heartwarming stories having to do with mothers or fathers having "visions of prophecy" that something terrible will happen to their children, so they've taken it upon themselves to spare their children such terrible fates by stabbing those children to death, or throwing them off of a plateau into a shantytown/marketplace, or other simple, painless activities. Which, I might add, seems to have very little emotional impact on the robotic characters, mainly because they're all "angry" that everyone surrounding them (see: thousands and thousands of people, literally) seems to be completely obsessed with "prophecy." That word is in quotations because that is the word that Goodkind uses over, and over, and over again. I'd wager on average of 2-3 times a page in the book thus far. And that's not an exaggeration.

    I'm not sure if I'll make it to the end at this point, especially with Abercrombie's The Blade Itself having arrived yesterday, still needing to finish Fall of Hyperion (which I stopped in the middle of for Goodkind's drivel), and the entirety of Robert Jordan's WoT series awaiting me on my shelf. I am extremely interested to pick up a book from early on in the SoT series, open it up to somewhere in the middle, and read a few pages just to get a feel for how his writing style (and my perception) has changed since I read those books 10 years ago.

    While I might collect the rest of his novels, just because of my OCD nature, I'll never buy one new again. Only second-hand shops for me; Goodkind does not deserve any more of my money.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  17. Mekrath

    Mekrath Registered User

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    Well, I finished the book a little while ago, so as promised, I'm back to let you all know what I thought :)

    I cant really compare it to any of the SoT novels. It is certainly shorter and less preachy than some of the later novels, but it was unlike the 1st few books as well. In short, I would say if the original SoT books would be more targeted toward mature audiences, this book seems almost "YA". Sorry Bastard, no boobs :).

    The story is OK, I didn't struggle to get through the book (though it was very short). Yes, it was 530 pages, but the font was huge and it was a much quicker read than any of Goodkind's previous stuff. Considering the length, it took a very long time for much of anything to happen. By the end of the book though, it's apparent that this is not a standalone and is intended to the the 1st book of a new series, so the book didn't have to rush to tie up all the story-lines.

    As a previous poster said, the dialogue is very repetitive and it does seem like the characters are not very bright and very slow to grasp things. They seem like dumbed-down versions of the characters in the previous books.

    All in all, the book is readable though pretty forgettable. I certainly won't be counting the days till the next book in the series comes out, though I imagine I will read it just to see where the story goes.
     
  18. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply, Mekrath.

    I think it's useful knowing what fans of the series so far think: from the two posts above, it seems that even to fans of the series, Omen Machine is disappointing.

    If such a response is repeated elsewhere, then I wonder how far they can go with the series: diminishing returns, surely?

    Mark
     
  19. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Something interesting I read the other day was a PR blurb for The Omen Machine which stated that the series had sold 25 million copies...which is impressive until you realise that this is the same amount they were reporting for the final book in the main series. Which is bizarre. We knew that Law of Nines had under-performed, but it still scraped the lower reaches of the NYT list. In addition, I was expecting a reasonable upswing in sales as a result of the TV series.

    Yet this doesn't appear to have happened. If we assume that the publishers were rounding up with previous sales figures and down with the latest ones, that means that the figures have only crept up a small amount. I was expecting a more substantial upswing in sales from inertia and the TV series.
     
  20. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Y'know, I've been thinking about Goodkind's stuff. I'd be willing to sacrifice myself to review Season One of Legend of the Seeker, and perhaps Wizard's First Rule. Could be fun!