Ah...what to say about this book? I can't feel that great about it. In essence, as I have not been a big fantasy reader until recent years, the narrative was done well enough. Paolini has a decent writing style, and I did not find reading this book painful.
However, I do have to say that I agree with many of the statements that he lacks a lot of the originality. I mean, it's pretty obvious that Eragon is hardly more than a Luke Skywalker and that Darth Sauron - I mean Galbatorix is a rip of other things...
I don't know. I think it's commendable that a fifteen year old wrote this piece, buuut his immaturity really does show. When you hear people talking about this book, you don't hear how bright, fresh and amazing it is. You hear "oh he was fifteen!" Well that's great and groovy, but I think it's a pity that his claim to fame is his age and not the content of his story.
I feel this story should have been shelfed and allowed to be editted and rewritten. Paolini seems to have skipped a lot of the stages that other authors experience. With one foot in the printing business through his parents, he didn't have to go through the grueling process of scrutiny, self-doubt, editing that many others may go through. Paolini has not had to prove himself. A grand marketing scheme has pumped him up and inflated him above what he really is.
There are so many blatant 'mistakes' throughout the book that I just can't let slide. Translations into made up languages are word-for-word. The dragon - a predatory animal - has to turn its head to the side to look at someone, versus having eyes set forward like any other predatory animal. There are painfully obvious corollaries between modern political and religious opinions, and Paolini comes off as downright preachy in his delivery rather than judicious. In the telling of his own opinions I found his reasoning faulty and inconsistent.
I kept reading for the sake of knowing what happens - and I read Eldest as well which I felt brought forth even more flaws with Paolini's writing, philosophy and youth. I will probably read the upcoming Brisingr as well - and I hope that there is something fresh added to that mix.
Overall, if you keep your expectations low, this may be a reasonable read that you can sit down and manage to enjoy. My approach to this book was one that I take to action movies. I can enjoy them as long as I've made up my mind to believe some unbelievable, and accept that i will be seeing nothing new. Then you might find it at least entertaining.