Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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Book Information  
AuthorChristopher Paolini
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Joe 
(Jul 06, 2006)

This is a brilliant first book in a very promising series. While I will concede that some of the other reviewers do have a point re: actual quality of the writing, the sheer scope of imagination more than makes up for this (very minor) deficiency. Utilising the best ideas that have been explored elswhere, Eragon creates a fantastic world, mythology and folklore that is a treasure to behold.

What I loved most about this book was the characters. Paolini has invested a lot of time into creating interesting, likeable characters that drive the story line forwards. By the end of the book, I was left desperately waiting for the next installment.

This isn't the best book you will ever read, but it is far from being the worst. People say he is not Tokien, but remember not everyone actually likes Lord of the Rings!

Four and a half stars.

Submitted by Anonymous 
(May 24, 2006)

Eragon is...okay. It's by no means a great book but isn't so mind-joltingly terrible that you'll be wanting to gouge your eyeballs out with a spork. If you've got absolutely nothing better to do it's a pretty decent read. I did find myself getting bored with it rather a lot, but it doesn't jump out to me and scream 'terrible book.'

However, there are some problems with it that should lead the discerning reader to pick something better. The story follows the exact same recipe we've seen everywhere before - backwoods ordinary kid discovers that he's actually a special hero so then he has to save the world. Throw in a dragon, a wise old mentor, an evil baddie, add some elves for good measure, stir thoroughly, bake at 350 degrees and voila! One fantasy novel.

That's not to say following a formula is bad - many good books do follow a typical fantasy formula. However, the key to doing that and still having a good book at the end of it is to have excellent writing and some original twists.

The writing in Eragon is not bad, but it's not great either. The style is relatively simplistic with a few obscure adjectives thrown in here or there - on the whole, it could have been much worse. What really got me, though, was the dialogue. It will feel quite familiar to anyone who's ever played an RPG video game - I was half-expecting someone to say, 'Press A to attack.'

The story stuck to the standard recipe with no departure from the formula, and was thoroughly predictable. Paolini is clearly trying to emulate some of the great fantasy authors with his work, but unfortunately his level of writing is nowhere near theirs yet, and he hasn't yet learned to add his own orignial take to a well-known storyline.

If you've got time to kill (perhaps in an airport, or on a car trip) this book wouldn't be so bad. If you're someone who's just getting started on fantasy books and don't quite feel up to tackling Tolkien yet, there are many books to start out with that are a lot worse than this one, so it couldn't hurt to pick it up. If you've got some relatively older kids and want to give them something to read it's not really a baaad choice.

If you're looking for the Next Great Fantasy Novel, however, you should probably give this one a pass.

Submitted by Derekeen4 
(Feb 06, 2006)

A plotline that's almost identical to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Material that's been ripped off from Tolkien and McCaffrey. And basically the most immature writing I've ever seen in the twenty years that I've been literate. What we have here is someone's attempt to make a superhero Mary Sue like character based on himself. Kid finds a egg and gets his own pet dragon, goes off adventuring, rescues and falls for an elf maiden, joins the resistance against an evil empire, and saves the day. Can anyone name a fantasy setting where none of these things ever happened? So not only is it a total hackjob, but it's also a very boring version of what we've seen before all slapped together and published by the parents of someone who likes to boast that he's "the next J.R.R. Tolkien." Um, sorry kid, but you're not even on the same level as Tolkien's toenail fungus, even today.

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