Sep 27, 2007

Eragon

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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Musings of a Bookish Kitty

2 comments:

Chain Reader said...

I wasn't wowed by this one either. I listened to the audio version of it while doing housework, so I didn't feel like it was a total waste of time! I was bored during the movie also. My 11-year-old son enjoyed the book, though.

Jeane said...

I did get the impression it might appeal to younger readers. I'm wondering what this author will produce when he's older, I expect it will be much better.