Geomancer: Well of Echoes, Book 1
Written by: Ian Irvine
Narrated by: Grant Cartwright
Length: 23 hrs and 47 mins
Series: The Well of Echoes, Book 1
Release Date: 07-12-13
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
I had big expectations for this audiobook when I stumbled upon it while browsing. It seemed very promising and largely lived up to my expectation with a few exceptions.
What Geomancer is about: Tiaan is a crystal worker who makes controllers, intricate components that control huge war machines. She lives in a world exhausted by a war against a winged race called the lyrinx. Everyone in society has their role in supporting the war effort, and if you don’t have any particular abilities which can be useful, you get sent to the front lines if you’re a man, or used as breeding specimen, giving birth to the next generation of soldiers, if you’re a woman. When Tiaan is falsely accused of sabotage, she finds herself on the run and looking for a man she’s seen in her crystal visions, her true love.
Geomancer seemed like it would be awesome and it started out that way. The world building was perfect. The writing – superb, except for the fact that the characters are described using the exact same wording in multiple places. Almost like they rushed it out and didn’t do a final proof-reading. On the plus side, I liked how almost all of the characters were done.
Unfortunately, Tiaan soon became kind of annoying. She falls in love with a weird guy she’s only seen in these visions she has when working with a particularly powerful crystal. She’s talked like two times with the guy and it’s not long before they are ‘lovers’? Oh, and by the way he’s from another dimension and if she could be so kind as to go to a mountain and open a gate so he and his people can escape from some threat and save her world in the precess. Yeah… All of that is fine – it’s a fantasy story, but she doesn’t even question his motives or anything like that.
The following part has spoilers! Skip this part if you want to read the book!
So Tiaan helps an injured lyrinx and she finds out that apparently the lyrinx who are the enemy have honour, and so he won’t kill her because she saved his life, and will help her get home. She explains to him that she wants to go to a far-off mountain to help her lover and of they go. The lyrinx protects her and saves her a couple of times, and yet she is surprised when the “my debt is repaid!” moment comes. It’s just not very believable that you’ve been at war your whole life, then trust the enemy without much convincing and when he wants to leave you’re all surprised.
As for the ending, it was quite predictable. Tiaan successfully helps the people from the other world through, and though they were supposed to be just a few thousand people, surprise, surprise – an army comes gets through the portal, and amazingly enough, they’re here to conquer this world. What a shock. I suspected this during most of the book and was just annoyed with how stupid Tiaan was. (End of spoilers)
There were likable characters but of course most of them die with a few exceptions. Interestingly, some of the best characters were ones who looked quite bad, but developed throughout the story. They were flawed, but ultimately relatable. This was the first audiobook narrated by Grant Cartwright that I’ve listened to and it was amazing. I loved his British accent – quite distinct but very easy to understand and follow. Good acting and performing of all the different voices for the characters.
Verdict: I liked very much some elements in Geomancer, but in the end Tiaan’s stupidity really hindered my enjoyment of the book.
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