Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review: Inheritance

Inheritance (Inheritance, #4)Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

*Sigh* I start this review off with a sigh because that is how I felt each time I picked up the book to read it. I have anxiously awaited the release of this book for the sheer fact that I wanted to see how the series ended. I had really enjoyed Eragon, and then Eldest, and when Brisingr came out was ready to see how the series concluded. However, when Christopher Paolini changed the game and made it a 4 book cycle instead of 3, I believe it embittered me toward the fourth book from the get go. I was annoyed that I had to wait another three years to see how the story would end. And I really did not want to wade through another Brisingr, which would have been much better with sharper editing and fewer pages. So imagine my dismay when my pre-order book arrived and I discovered that it was 850 PAGES!!!

Really? 850 pages? The story couldn't be wrapped up in fewer than 850 pages?

But I was determined to see how it all ended (though I had forgotten much of how it all began because of the delay in between books). It took 250 pages for the story to really pick up and only then, halfway through the book did the story become compelling.

I don't want to take away too much from Paolini's creation - for he did create it, and I have a lot of admiration and respect for those who create stories. But, I believe that there is as much power in EDITING your story as there is in creating it. And here is the rub for me. There was WAY too much detail and superfluous sentences in the midst of long-winded descriptions for me. If the description does not move the story along, why include it? Why include an encounter with giant snails? Why draw out the ending of the tale (and make it eerily similar to the end of LOTR?)? Why all the chapters about Nasuada's torture and giving us hope for her escape - yet never realizing that hope? Why a whole chapter on Eragon healing a baby born with a cleft lip? It is instances like these that I did not understand, but muddled through, in order to continue on with the larger story.

I also was annoyed that Paolini spent the last three books fleshing out the character of Angela, and yet still (in 850 pages!) still did not provide her origin story or who she was. I also was mildly annoyed that King Orrin didn't prove to be a spy of Galbatorix's, because the story seemed to be going in that direction - and I'm pretty good at guessing the direction of stories.

It is a good story - I wont' deny that. But I will remain perturbed that I had to suffer another 850 pages to get to the end of the story. I guess now I can go tackle War and Peace.

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