Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Review: Inheritance

Title: Inheritance
Author: Christopher Paolini
Stars: 3.5
Less-Than-500-Word Review in Short: After three books of set-up, the story of Eragon continues in this fantasy book full of occasional brilliance to come to a sloppy, unsatisfying end.
Back-of-the-Book: “It began with ‘Eragon’… It ends with ‘Inheritance.’

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chance.

The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone else dared to imagine. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaesia? And if so, at what cost?”

I Say:
I read “Eragon” and “Eldest” after seeing the movie in 2006 and LOVED them. I bought “Brisingr” the day it came out. It was monumentally disappointing: full of filler, conceited word usage and a poor plot construction. I thought Paolini was going downhill, so I didn’t expect much from “Inheritance.”

Initially, the book lived up to my low expectations. The plot moved unnecessarily slowly and was chockfull of straight-up filler. I hoped the bunny trails would come back to mean something in the end, but they didn’t.

About page 300, things started happening. I got excited. The characters developed tremendously; I found myself genuinely interested in people I had hated or not cared about before. Pages 300-700 are GOLD. I read “Inheritance” for 6 hours straight Thanksgiving night.

But then came the ending. Bountiful loose ends, disappointing climax, unsatisfying resolution. I sat in my chair blinking as I read the last hundred pages thinking WTF.

Firstly, it was about the longest “ending” I’ve ever read. Secondly, if you’re going to make it so effing long, have some damn pay-off! Paolini alludes to so many mysteries during the series, and keeps it up through “Inheritance.” But does he explain himself? NO.

Then there are loose ends he NEEDLESSLY CREATES in “Inheritance,” then doesn’t address. And most of them are EASY FIXES, GUYS. Like legitimately ONE SENTENCE could have addressed them effectively; Paolini just didn’t bother. I can think of 7 ends that remain a shoddy mystery.
Then Paolini fixes stupid ends that no one cares about or remembers. Remember in “Brisingr” when Quimby gets killed because of Roran and Quimby’s wife vows revenge? Yeah, I didn’t either. But Paolini wastes 3 pages taking care of that one, by golly.

Ultimately, it was a book I am glad to have, and will probably read again because I love Eragon and a few other characters now. But really, it was poor writing and an needlessly unsatisfying end. This might be a good first draft, but Paolini’s editor needs to be shot.

I Liked:
- The middle: great character-development, gripping story, action, romance.

I Didn’t Like:
- Almost complete failed resolution.

Audience: “Inheritance” is PG or PG-13, just for the violence and a ridiculous implied scene towards the end, but no one too young for those aspects would ever wade through the story anyway.

This book is definitely worth the read, but be prepared to have unanswered questions.


1 comment:

  1. I find it pretty amazing that we were doing the same thing on Thanksgiving night: reading a useless book. :D
    I haven't finished it yet, mostly because I haven't had enough time to sit down and finish it, and because my friend told me that the ending is very epic and drawn out and I should have time to finish it in one feel swoop.
    I really hate the parts where he uses the phrase "so many". For example, "Saphira knocked over the tent, crushing the poles like so many twigs." it's not a bad phrase, but more than once in a single chapter is way too much. Also, as this book is annoying me to no end to the point of getting stuck in my locker when I pulled my bag out the other day, I'm wondering if it does me more harm than good :D.