What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

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    alvspr

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    What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by alvspr on Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:25 pm

    So, what did we think of the return to Richard and Kahlan's world?

    I think that for Terry it was out of necessity more then anything else given how Law of Nines was received.  I feel sorry for him in that respect, given that the man just wants to write books.  He may have wanted to write other novels but the success of the Sword of Truth are kind of like golden handcuffs.  An actor might say that he's been "typecast".

    Taking that into account, what did you think of The Omen Machine?

    The first time I read it it was kind of exciting being back in that world.  At the same time I kind of wanted Confessor to be it.  I'm a literal practical person and like things tied up.  I like a beginning, middle and an end.  Confessor was an end but here we were back in that world.

    It was a shorter novel and there were two things that jumped out at me.  One was that towards the end, things kind of jumped around a bit to quick and second, I never bought how Richard realised how to kill Jit the Hedge Maid.  I thought that was a bit of a leap.

    I just finished reading it a second time in preparation for The Third Kingdom and to be honest, I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around.
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    Aravis

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    Re: What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by Aravis on Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:14 pm

    I actually really did enjoy it, though reading it made me very anxious (goes back to a long standing fear of wolves and being chased by them...yay childhood nightmares). That being said, I haven't read it a second time (see anxiety above Razz) but I do remember being completely captured by the book and not being able to put it down unlike my response to The Third Kingdom where it took me at least a week and a half to really get into the book.
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    DuDZiK

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    Re: What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by DuDZiK on Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:53 pm

    I liked it, and that's as much as I can say quickly about it. I wrote a review of it when it first came out for another forum, so without further ado...

    So I picked up Omen Machine, as we all know by Terry Goodkind, a couple of days ago. I read about 7 chapters at work the day I did so, but did not read it until two nights later (I was just finishing a re-read of Way of Kings, so that took up the first night). Once I restarted it, I finished it in a single night.

    I don't mean to say that I loved the book so much that I couldn't put it down until I finished it, though that was true of most of his books in the SOT series. However, that's also not to say that I WOULD have been able to put it down until I finished it. It's just that the book wound up being just over 500 pages, with pretty large font, and as per Terry's style of writing it was an easier read than, say, George R.R. Martin.

    To put it more simply, I breezed through Omen Machine.

    All that said I enjoyed it, and I would rank it along side Blood of the Fold or Temple of the Winds in terms of quality. Though the fact that its shorter than the others does detract from it somewhat.

    Now into the nitty-gritty.

    Most all of the characters that survived the end of the SOT series that we knew and loved showed up in Omen Machine more than just little cameos: Richard, Kahlan, Zedd, Nicci, Nathan, Cara, Benjamin, Rikka, Berdine... the only others I could really think of that didn't make an appearance were Chase and Verna, though its likely they'll show up in the next book or two.

    I was glad to see all of them again, though at times it was a bit awkward. A couple of scenes came up where Richard and Kahlan had a question about prophecy, which resulted in a conference of Zedd, Nathan and Nicci. Since it involved translating books in High D'Haran, that meant Berdine was there to help Richard, and to help explain translations. And since Richard and Kahlan were there, Cara was there. And since Cara was there, Benjamin was there. And there were a couple of other Mord'Sith as well, usually. So you can imagine how the scene would progress: Richard and Kahlan got input from four sources, while Cara as usual shot in a very pragmatic statement or question, and Richard and Kahlan would opine about something as well.

    However, Terry managed to avoid this kind of awkward scene by having the characters split up to do various things: these two translate a book, these two deal with emissaries from various kingdoms that are part of the Empire, these two examine the Omen Machine, these two do something else. Only occasionally, during "big" moments or discoveries, do they all come back together.

    And I mention that kind of awkward scene for a reason, since prophecy played an overwhelming role in the plot for this book. And I don't mean in the sense that it came up in the SOT series, in this book prophecy (and fake prophecy, and omens, and foretelling, and everything that has to do with seeing into the future) is the be all and the end all. Everyone in this book is worried about prophecy, they demand prophecy from Richard and Kahlan and Nathan, they demand to know what "prophecies" given by various people mean, and so on.

    You can imagine how thrilled Richard was about all this

    Which brings me to the Omen Machine itself. Its not what I had first assumed it might be, when I heard what the title of the book would be. Its more in line with other magical objects throughout the series. But of course... no one is sure that the Omen Machine is magical at all. *DUN DUN DUNNNN* By that I mean, by the end of the book we really don't know ANYTHING about the machine. We ONLY know what it does... and only kind of.

    But I liked how the Machine was worked into the plot, and the mystery that Terry weaves around it. I like how the Machine develops almost like a character, and you're left with more questions and suspicions about it than you had when it first made its appearance. It has me curious about the next book.

    I'm a bit lukewarm about the enemy that Terry created for Richard and company in these books though. His name is Hannis Arc (sounds a bit like Panis Rahl, doesn't it?). The back story for him seems to be a combination of Drefan's and Jensen's, with a bit of originality mixed in. However, that aside he does seem quite sinister and his source of power as mysterious as the Omen Machine.

    At one point Terry explains why Hannis Arc didn't rise up against Richard sooner by using a kind of "the enemy of the enemy is my friend" story. So Hannis was biding his time, helping Richard fight the Imperial Order until there was nothing else to worry about, no other threat to his plans and existence, except Richard himself. It makes sense. At times Terry almost overdoes his mysterious powers, which are only glimpsed at and never explained, to the point that it seems he is invulnerable. But Hannis himself mentions how he could not have taken on the Imperial Order by himself, and that he needs to win over the people of the Empire rather than simply having Richard and Kahlan killed in a bloody coup. So he himself reveals that he has limits.

    One such minion is the Hedge Maid. So powerful that Richard's Sword of Truth can't harm her, nor can Kahlan's Confessor power. Only the mysterious power of the Hannis Arc (sounds a bit like Panis Rahl, doesn't it?) seemed to be a threat to her. In the end Richard only defeated her by using a trick. But of course, a good trick is like the best magic, as Richard himself has done time and time again.

    But that leads me to something else... once again Kahlan ended up being taken away and almost killed, and Richard had to chase after her to save her. This damsel in distress formula that Terry uses, IMO, is starting to be overused. Just like Richard using a little trick to overcome the odds, rather than a power or ability that is on par with whoever he is fighting. Its a pattern that Terry has used that has been successful, but when he does it so much it gets tired and predictable. It hasn't gotten there yet, but I hope its something he avoids in the future.

    I think that covers all my thoughts on the book. I'm sure after a second and third read through I'll think of other more, and notice other things that I didn't before.

    All in all, I'd give this book a solid 7 out of 10.
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    rainshadow
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    Re: What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by rainshadow on Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:10 pm

    I only had one real gripe when I read it:

    One of my favorite characters all time of any series is Zedd, yet he was a mere shell of his former self in this book. It seemed he was just there to try to counter Richard at every step along the way, to say why he was wrong, only for Richard to turn around and prove HIM wrong.

    Well, it's been awhile since I read it so maybe I'm a bit lacking in my memory, but that's what I seem to recall.


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    DuDZiK

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    Re: What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by DuDZiK on Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:48 am

    That's something that bugged me more and more even as SOT wore on. Despite the fact that Richard proved himself, time and again, to be very smart, and despite the fact that he was the 'chosen one' in prophecy so his choices/decisions were supposed to be the important ones, everyone always seemed to second guess him.
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    Re: What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by rainshadow on Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:30 pm

    It was very understandable in the Chainfire trilogy. Literally the scope of everything changed. But it got so bad with Zedd in TOM that I had to assume that he was still in some ways affected by chainfire. That maybe the spell had eaten away so much of his mind that it was impossible for him to retain all that had been lost.

    Maybe he'd just gotten that old. LOL


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    Aravis

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    Re: What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by Aravis on Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:42 pm

    rainshadow wrote:I only had one real gripe when I read it:

    One of my favorite characters all time of any series is Zedd, yet he was a mere shell of his former self in this book. It seemed he was just there to try to counter Richard at every step along the way, to say why he was wrong, only for Richard to turn around and prove HIM wrong.

    Well, it's been awhile since I read it so maybe I'm a bit lacking in my memory, but that's what I seem to recall.
    it has definitely been too long since I've read this -- but now that you brought this up, I remember thinking the same thing. I remember being so frustrated reading through the book. I kept thinking that Richard already overcame controversy from those closest to him, why again? (I hope this train of thought makes sense -- I'm a bit brain-foggy at the moment)
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    GeneralBensGirl

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    Re: What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by GeneralBensGirl on Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:41 pm

    Well, I feel bad for even saying it but I just did not like this book. His writing was so repetitious in this one that it just took me right out of the scenes as I read.  I mean, the wonderful characters that we love just were not present in this book, only mere shadows of them. There were moments that I liked but over all it just seemed like filler to me. I don't know, it just did not have the thought provoking feel the others did. It just left me longing for the stories he used write. The First Confessor has been way better and I really hope The Third Kingdom is better.

    *EDIT: I added the words missing. lol cheers 


    Last edited by GeneralBensGirl on Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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    GeneralBensGirl

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    Re: What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by GeneralBensGirl on Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:43 pm

    BTW I'm on my tablet so sorry for missing words. I'll try to edit later. ;-)
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    alvspr

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    Re: What Did we All Think of The Omen Machine- Spoilers

    Post by alvspr on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:10 pm

    GeneralBensGirl, for what it's worth I enjoyed The Omen Machine much more the second time around.

    And The Third Kingdom (especially the last half) is awesome.

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