Review: Eidolon by E.S. Yu

I knew I wanted to read Eidolon when I heard there was an ownvoices asexual main character, and I loved the premise. However, there were some major faults with the execution in this story which kept it from being as great as it could have been.

Eidolon CoverWhen bioaugmentation giant Cyrex Corp sends Vax to assassinate journalist Zai Lumero, he thinks it’ll be a straightforward job. With his bioaugments, he’s never botched a job before. But when Vax unexpectedly fails his assignment, he finds himself on Cyrex’s hit list as well.

The last thing Vax wants is to partner with a justice crusader who hates his profession, but he doesn’t have a choice. Zai is the only one who can expose Cyrex’s secrets and take the company down. And what starts as mutual hostility soon gives way to Vax’s grudging admiration for Zai’s determination…and possibly something more.

Yet as they race against time to unearth Cyrex’s secrets, it’s also clear to Vax that Zai is hiding something from him. And the closer Vax gets to finding out Zai’s secret, the more he suspects that the truth might destroy him. Goodreads

I received an eARC of Eidolon via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Eidolon needs trigger warnings for assassination attempts, mentions of repeated sexual assault, gaslighting, amnesia, medical tests, mentions of torture, self-medicating, estranged parents, and PTSD attacks.

I loved the science fiction and mystery aspects of Eidolon, but it kind of failed me on the romance front, and a little bit on the asexual front.

I wished that the augmentation aspect was given more history, and the reaction of the world to it as they develop. It would have helped the world feel a lot more real for me in this near-future world.

We don’t learn that Vax is asexual until literally the last five percent of the book, because he doesn’t remember that he is asexual. I didn’t love the way it was handled.

Mild Spoilers Ahead

Vax thinks that he’s broken because of his head injury, or because of past sexual assaults, and Zai is the one to tell him that he was always asexual and uninterested in sex.

Zai’s exact response to Vax saying he couldn’t have sex was “I thought that might be the case. I’m fine with that. It wouldn’t make things that different from how they used to be.”

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the interaction, but the context around it bothered me in a way that I can’t let go.

Overall, I didn’t really feel Zai falling in love with who Vax actually was. I can’t really go into it too much without spoiling a major plot point, but it felt rushed, while the rest of the book dragged on around it.

I felt like there was at least one subplot that could have been cut to make this a much more enjoyable read. However, I did otherwise enjoy the story. If this sounds more up your alley, pick up a copy on Amazon!


Title: Eidolon

Author: E.S. Yu

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: August 20, 2018

Rating: ★★★ / Three stars

Genre: Science Fiction/Mystery

Representation: ownvoices chinese american love interest, ownvoices asexual main character, ownvoices mental illness rep, bisexual love interest

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