The Omen Machine - Anyone here going to read it?

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

  1. Karyle

    Karyle The Sophisticated Pug

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    Well, now that it's the next day and I've had time to mull it over, I suppose I can give my final impressions of the book as well. I finished it up yesterday afternoon and signed in to write up something about it, but honestly I just felt drained and like I didn't have much to say, so I figured I'd give it time to process.

    In that time, I decided to pick up the second novel in the SoT series, The Stone of Tears, open it to the approximate middle, find the beginning of a chapter, and give it 50 pages.

    I learned two things from that experience: 1) My memory does not serve me incorrectly in assistance to my evaluation of this new detestable entry to the series that is The Omen Machine, because The Stone of Tears was considerably more engaging, entertaining, and well thought-out. The characters seem much more real, both in their speech and mannerisms, the environments are fleshed out with significantly better detail and reasoning, and the overall tone of the book is considerably different (in that The Stone of Tears is capable of drawing an emotion from the reader at all other than disgust in oneself for sacrificing the time necessary to read the book. And, with that... 2) These books appear to be written by completely different people. Honestly they are so different that if selections from each were handed to me, and I were ignorant of anything to do with those selections (be it author, story... anything), I would never believe they were from the same author. It's nearly the equivalent of Goodkind having suffered a stroke someone along the line and deciding to struggle on with his writing career. The Omen Machine, as someone said above, feels decidedly YA. Dialogue is amateur and rushed, without feeling like anything important is ever being said. The plot is not only ridiculous, it's horribly incomplete. It's very obvious that Goodkind (whoever it is that wrote this thing) had an idea. I'll go so far as to call it a complete idea, in that it had a set-up, climax, and resolution. Then, someone decided that it's going to need to be split into multiple books for monetary purposes. Goodkind, unsure what to add to his complete idea, just bulked his book out to certain word count with repeated dialogue in nearly every conversation, 3-4 chapters worth of a child character running through a swamp and describing his fear and the swamp itself over and over again (e.g., "As he pushed forward, the swamp became even foggier than the previous section, and the trees seemed to push down around him even more."), another 3-4 chapters later in the book with a different character going through the exact same swamp... You get the idea. And then, at the end of the book, there is a climactic "battle" that takes up about 2 pages, nearly all of the secondary characters (e.g. the villains, other characters working towards something, etc.) are never mentioned, so it's just assumed they're still keeping on with what they were doing. Even the motivation for the villains actions in the "battle" are never given. All in all, the entirety of this book feels like a quarter of just one of the story threads Goodkind would have running in one of his previous entries to the series.

    That said... am I glad I read it? I guess so, if only because that means I'm back at having read 100% of the series, and that means my opinion is well supported. Otherwise, it's really just depressing to see what this series has devolved into, especially after going back to The Stone of Tears and seeing how it used to be. I am glad I read those 50 pages, though, if only to remind myself that it wasn't terrible at the beginning, and my semi-loyalty is justified. I honestly couldn't recommend this book to anyone, though. I'm not that cold-hearted. :)



    I'd be willing to chime in on this - this has made me want to re-read Wizard's First Rule oddly enough. I've also watched all the episodes of the television show (which I actually enjoyed, but only because I've never been one of those people that wants a movie/show adaptation to be exactly the same as the book, and like to see the differences. Plus I like silly fantasy television, haha!) and wouldn't mind watching them again.
     
  2. Karyle

    Karyle The Sophisticated Pug

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    Sorry guys, I tried to edit that post above and revise it for clarity, but the site wouldn't let me. Try to ignore the obvious grammatical errors, please(!), I'm at work trying to secretly write this out. At least all the hurried typing made me sound busy! :p
     
  3. Heather Myst

    Heather Myst Chocolate.....Count Me In

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    Well I just finished the book and as I have said before the Sword of Truth series is one of my all time favorites. I'm sure that the fact that I just Finshed Dance With Dragons before reading this did not help but I not very impressed. Overall I would rate it about 2 out of 5. This and Debt of Bones are the only two SOT books that I would not recommend to other readers.
     
  4. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Dare I ask why?
     
  5. Karyle

    Karyle The Sophisticated Pug

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    The only two? I would include Law of Nines in the SoT series (especially since the referenced "law of nines" was mentioned no less than 5 times throughout The Omen Machine), and that's definitely a book to stay away from. I would also never willingly try to make someone suffer through Soul of the Fire; that book was atrocious.

    Also I can't help but feel like you were being more than a little generous with that second star... what do you feel was redeeming enough from The Omen Machine that you would give it 2 stars?
     
  6. Heather Myst

    Heather Myst Chocolate.....Count Me In

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    I have not read The Law of Nines so I have no comment on that book. Since I saw that this opened up as number one on the best selling list the week it came out I'm guessing that we are going to see more SOT books in the future.
     
  7. StoneBurner

    StoneBurner Registered User

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    I am surprised that people still consider reading Goodkind. Especially these days with all the good stuff available.

    Even if you ignore the usual complaints (poor writing, blatant copying, silly attempts at social and political depth, his stupid pen name) at some point this dude needs to just move on and try something new.
     
  8. murf99

    murf99 Registered User

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    Lol. The SoT has sold like 25 million copies. Safe to say TG is doing ok.
     
  9. murf99

    murf99 Registered User

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    Finished this a few days ago and was really disappointed. I know TG is no literary genius but the writting was absolute horrible. Its almost like a different author wrote this book. It also felt rushed and the book was much shorter than previous books. Also the repetition almost drove me crazy. It felt like TG thought his readers were stupid and had to repeat everything 3 or 4 times to make sure we got it. Cut out the repetition and it wouldn't of been much longer than a short story.

    The plot was ok. It kept me interested enough to finish the book and probably read the next one (in paperback). The character of Hannis Arc really intrigues me. I hope the writting improves and the repetition is cut out. Seriously what were his editors thinking? I loved the SoT series, but this new one is off to a very poor start. I rate it 2/5, which is the lowest I've rated any Goodkind novel, even LoN.
     
  10. Severn

    Severn boss of several cats...

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    Shudder.

    I found 'Wizard's First Rule' a few years into my discovery of the fantasy genre. And I can say, unequivocally, that at the time I loved it. 'Rave rave rave', said I to my friends, 'you must read it!'

    Book two was a similar experience.

    I made it to book five I think - the one with the ranting about Goodkind's philosophies 'subtly' written in - before I really started going 'hrrrrm' and wondering what I was doing still reading them. Sadly, I was a collector. So, I had half a series, and that meant I had to buy the lot, albeit with gritted teeth.

    Throughout this, I was going to university and reading 'grown up' books, while expanding my genre reading. (Oh yes, I am now a full-fledged book-snob, I won't deny it).

    It was when I was standing in the store, flipping through that ridiculous book with the goat, that the light dawned: I could just throw them away and be rid of them!

    So I did. I biffed the entire series in the garbage and felt so free and giddy. I'm sure I giggled madly.

    As to the thoughts of Murf99 and Karyle: Goodkind is well known for his condescension and low opinion of the reading public. I wonder if it is possible that these attitudes are creeping into his work, hence leading to a dumbing-down of his texts (which I'm of the opinion started well before this latest book). He hasn't hesitated to let his own views colour his writing so it's not a stretch to imagine his thoughts about his readers influence his writing style.

    I hope I'm wrong.