My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Below is my review of the first book, Eragon, that I am including here because I think is just as applicable to this book.
In this second book of the The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, I still agree that I am enjoying his story. There is a sense though, in which the story moves too slowly. I wouldn’t attribute this to my having an inordinate desire to be dragged by a fast-moving plot though. He really just over-analyzes details in the story for whatever reason. It might be that, by the time I finish the fourth book I will hopefully know, he is trying to develop characters and he takes additional time to do so. It doesn’t feel like that, though, as you are reading (or in my case, listening to) the books.
He continues to mature as a writer by simply having a bigger vocabulary and using it. And he doesn’t always use the bigger words fittingly. It can be very annoying. He also over-describes scenes, as if he doesn’t want you to use your own imagination, but wants you to imagine it exactly as he does. I rather prefer the freedom of my own imagination, part of the reason why I prefer books to movies.
That said, I’m still enjoying the story. And I appreciate his efforts to honor the motifs and archetypes of the great stories that have preceded his.
This is a tough one for me to review. I didn’t actually read it, but listened to it on audiobook with my son–who really likes it. I give it a four star review because I am enjoying the story he tells, and probably because I enjoyed the company with whom I listened to it.
One complaint that I hear often about this series is that it is nothing more than a bunch of ripoffs from other stories, like Star Wars. I reject that criticism, not because there aren’t parallels between the Star Wars Saga (and other literature), but because he isn’t ripping them off. Paolini, just like every other author–ever–is honoring the tradition of those stories and of story-telling in general when he uses certain motifs and storylines. We are foolish who think otherwise.
One complaint I actually hold, though, is that I think Paolini tries to hard to sound like a seasoned writer. He uses big words (this actually gets worse as the novels progress) and awkward descriptions that disrupt the flow. I do wonder, however, if this is more apparent in the audio version than it would have been in text.