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#BookReview: The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind

The Omen MachineThe Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Because I loved The Sword of Truth Series, the characters, and the world, I wanted to see how Terry Goodkind handled the world AFTER the death of tyranny. I was sorely disappointed.

While I could understand the possibility that someone new, who never read the previous 11 books, would pick this book up and read it with fresh eyes, I cannot understand the continued repetitiveness of describing who these characters are/were throughout the entire length of the book.

Goodkind’s repetitive nature doesn’t stop with just telling the reader who the characters are. He has a nasty habit of repeating a lot of the information in the story, sometimes paragraph after paragraph, sometimes weaving it in throughout the chapter, or chapters. After a few times the reader starts scratching their head and wondering if the author thinks the reader is dumb or forgets easily. The 525 page book could easily have been edited down to 300 pages just by removing the repeat offenders. Or, edited down to 300, then brought back up to 525 pages by finishing the story! (but I will go into that in a moment)

The feel of the writing was definitely not Goodkind feel. In my eyes and heart, I believe that either Goodkind forced this book to appease his fans, or he had a ghost writer. The characters I came to love were flat, nothing more than a sounding board. There was no growth. The characters had already fulfilled their growth in The Sword of Truth series. It ended. That should have been the last we heard of everyone. But for some reason, everyone wanted another Richard and Kahlan story. I certainly did not need this. Kahlan lacked her usual strong feminine appeal. Just because she was sick she didn’t need to be so clingy. She never was in the previous books. Now that Jangang is gone, what? she suddenly turns all princess-y and becomes insecure and needy? I was not happy with her, or any of the other major minor characters that were so well-loved. In this book, they only provided a means for Richard to figure the puzzle out. They asked childish questions, obvious questions. Basically, it was like Richard was talking inside his head, but Goodkind slapped a face/name to the one asking the questions. They really weren’t needed. Very disappointing.

The reader is left wondering who really is the antagonist in this book. Based on the synopsis, we would assume Hannis Arc is. But after reading it in total, we are left wondering. Really, is it the machine? Is it the Hedge Maid? Bishop Arc? Abbot Ludwig? Come on, make up our minds already! It took 500 pages to build up to the climax of the story. Richard talking to the machine. Prophecy running rampant throughout the lands. The discovery of a mysterious prophecy machine. The treason going on in the palace instigated by Abbot Ludwig for the sake of Bishop Arc. But really, Ludwig wants all the power. A slight detour showing us that Bishop Arc is guiding the Hedge Maid.

At 500 pages we are lead to believe that Bishop Arc is the true antagonist. We “guess” that he’s controlling the Hedge Maid and The Omen Machine. He is controlling “prophecy” and that Richard will have to fight him in the end to stop all the nonsense. Yet, we are left with the “knight in shining armor come to save the beautiful princess from the horrible Hedge Maid”, but the REAL evil is never addressed at the end. All the questions that surround the omen machine, Bishop Arc, and Abbot Ludwig are left unanswered. It was a poorly executed ending. More like, “OMG there’s so much more story, but I have to hurry up and finish because I’m at 500 pages, and really it’s only about Richard and Kahlan so I can end it there, right?!”

No, I’m sorry, I did not like this book. It was not in the nature of Goodkind. I feel cheated. I don’t think this book is worthy of the rest of his books. The story is good, whenever/if ever he finishes it. But to leave it as is…I will not be recommending this to anyone. Richard and Kahlan, and all the rest of the characters from the Sword Of Truth world, should have ended with the final book in the series, Confessor.

I do hope his next book THE FIRST CONFESSOR will be much better. At least that will have new characters and a new plot to follow, grow, and hopefully fall in love with.

View all my reviews

One Comment

  1. Ping from Gerard Sansone:

    Awesome Article. Thanks!

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