michelle mcdonald's Reviews > Eragon

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
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's review
Aug 07, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy
Read in August, 2007

A friend lent me this book after he finished, and I knew nothing about the novel going into it, short of what I had read on the teaser. And so I began...

It took me a while to get into the story. From the get-go I felt that author was trying too hard, being overly dramatic with descriptions and using words like "raven-hair" and "smote". Plus, there was something lacking in the character development; there was a beginning to it, yet the typical layers that exist in human begins didn't seem to be there in Paolini's characters. Never-the-less I kept reading, as the story does have an interesting beginning (the action starts right away), and while YES many of the characters *are* clichéd, they are involved in a nice little adventure story, and despite the clichés I did feel like I wanted to know what would happen to the characters.

I was reading the last couple of chapters when I found out that Paolini was 15 and home-schooled when he wrote Eragon (I have a habit of reading the "about the author" info *after* I read a book, not before). I actually breathed a sigh of relief, as that explained so much, particularly about the lack of character development and the incongruities in the characters personalities (ie. frequently I felt that the characters made decisions that went against their personalities, given what we know of them. It was almost as if the author made a decision to have the character do or say something rather than letting the character make the decision).

All in all, it wasn't the best book I've read in the genre, but certainly not the worst! I might read the next one in the series just to see where Paolini goes with it all.
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James Jacobs Sure, he was fifteen when he wrote, but all the same. I'm fifteen and I'm currently working my arse off trying to create authentic characters. I am continuously editing and rewriting, trying to become even sub-par with the masters (no, Tolkien is not thanked here, he is not in my pantheon of literary gods). Paolini gives a bad name to the young writers who are striving to write well, who trying to tell stories that are as good as any adult's. There. I've finally said what I was trying to say about this author.

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