by Christopher Paolini
Eragon caught my eye sitting on the shelf: over 500 pages, a beautiful cover illustration, and the author was only 18 when he wrote it! Plus I liked the premise: a poor young farm boy finds a dragon egg in the forest. He raises the dragon, becomes bonded to it, learns magic and swordplay, and sets off on an epic adventure against evil.
I was ready to be impressed, but halfway through started feeling disillusioned. The characters were uninteresting. The dialog is forced and awkward. The plot felt predictable, and worst of all, I kept finding blatant echoes of other fantasy writers I love. It seems the author pulled signature concepts from other works and instead of reinventing them his own way, pasted them all together with a formulaic plot. I found myself bored and irritated by turns until I just gave up. My husband and I went to see the film. I thought it might be better. Nope. After about fifteen minutes we had to get up and leave, the dialog was so ludicrous.
I guess the old adage "don’t judge a book by its cover" works both ways. I keep looking at this fat volume every time I see it on a shelf and wish it was a better book, it looks so great. But there's no meat between those covers. Good marketing, that's all.
Rating: 1/5 ........ 544 pages, 2004
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