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“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing.

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"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."— J.K. Rowling

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle Series #1)

Eragon - Christopher Paolini Here is a short list of things I find more enjoyable than reading Eragon:Why does this book read like it was written by a fantasy-obsessed 15-year-old? Oh, nevermind... Is THAT why is has EVERY single one moth-eaten fantasy cliché??? It's like Paolini actually, in all seriousness, used Diana Wynne Jones' humorous The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as a real technical manual on how to create the Eragon universe. And the proud parents of a budding "new Tolkien", instead of proudly allowing him to read it out loud at family gatherings, decided to publish it and unleash it upon the world.*LEFT - the ride that this story promises to take you on. RIGHT - what you actually get. The only way to actually enjoy Eragon is if you have never encountered a single fantasy-related story in your life (and that includes "Star Wars", by the way). Let's have a roll call for the clichés, shall we? A mysterious talented orphan/poor farm boy? Check. Dragons? Check. Elves and dwarves? Check. Stew? Check. Ancient sword? Check. The weird apostrophe-ridden names (save the protagonists, of course?) Check. A quest? Check. Hot chick Damsel in distress? Check. And it goes on and on and on... Wait, you say, maybe Paolini was deliberately paying homage to the traditions of the fantasy genre. Fine. I suppose that could explain some of it. But still, blindly and straightforwardly rehashing of the old tropes without adding much originality IS NOT OKAY, okay? I think that the writing is immature and betrays the author's young age and lack of experience. Throughout the novel, Paolini clumsily brings our attention to anything that he considers important to the story with constant reminders and brick-sized hints. Foreshadowing should be subtle, but I don't think he quite grasps that concept. The descriptions are trying too hard to be Tolkien-like, but fail at this miserably. His attempts at creating accents and dialects are pathetic. There were quite a few instances when I had to shake my head muttering, "I don't think this word means what you think it does". The prose is stilted and quite irritating while trying to be overly pretentious. OH, I SEE... The characters are flat and devoid of any believable personality, with shallow and simplistic motivations that only exist to move the plot forward. The interactions between them are far-fetched and forced. The protagonist (Paolini's version of Luke Skywalker), absolutely marvelous at so many cool things with minimal training (every child's dream) is there for the reader to self-insert into the story. The deux-ex-machina bits replace so many actual solutions in this story that no amount of eyerolling would suffice. And the plot holes - the story is so full of those there's barely any plot left at all. As for the worldbuilding - well, he stuffs it with every imaginable fantasy trope, as I mentioned before. Ughhhh. And yet at the end nothing is memorable."Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world."The first sentence alone should have stopped me from reading this book. I should have reorganized my sock drawer instead.Why did I read it if I hated it, you ask? Simple answer - I was bored and this was the only book within reach. I would NOT recommend it to those who are familiar with the fantasy genre. Actually, scratch that - I would not recommend it to anyone. 1 star.