Book Review – Inheritance

Book Blurb: Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

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 chances.

The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?

This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.

Non –spoilery thoughts: What a complete and utter disappointment. I really don’t know what I was expecting from this book, but it surely was not this. I am amazed I finally finished it, because it was really just that bad. I sighed every time I picked it up, and couldn’t bring myself to read more than 50 pages at a stretch.

I noticed that in the acknowledgements, the author thanked no less than FIVE editors. I feel like each and every one of those editors should be fired and never allowed to work in the publishing industry again. Harsh? Perhaps. Unfortunately, this is a book where the run-ons run on and on, the punctuation is atrocious and there are so many misspelled and misused words it will make any lover of the English language want to weep. There were so many extraneous parts of the story – I feel like the book could have been half the size and still managed to tell the same tale. If it had been half the size, it might actually have been enjoyable. Here’s an example of one of the worst sentences in the book: “Of warmth and growth they sang, of muscle and sinew and pulsing blood they sang, and of other, more arcane subjects.” First of all, you can see how it just goes on and on. Secondly, you can also see where he loses interest in what he’s writing about at the end and just…finishes. I feel like he had no idea what else they could possibly be singing about, so he gave up. If any of his (FIVE) editors were remotely competent, they could have fixed that for him. There were moments where he used the same word five times (hey, same as the number of editors he had!) in about 7 lines. Of course…those 7 lines were really only two sentences, so…

On to the plot. Blech. I suppose I should be grateful for the recap of the first three books at the beginning because reading it made me feel like I hadn’t read them at all. I realize it’s been a few years since the last one came out, but c’mon! I know I’m not that forgetful! Many, many pages of battles that could have been more succinctly described. I swear, there was one instance where they were trapped in a storm over the sea for at least 20 pages. TWENTY PAGES! OF FOG! What the…?! [sigh]

Closure for characters? I guess-ish. We revisit most of the important people we met throughout the series, but I have a feeling that Eragon/Arya shippers are going to be sorely disappointed (I say this, assuming that there are such shippers, even though I’ve never visited an Inheritance message board). Just…dissatisfying to the nth degree.

I’m warning you right now, if you have not read this book (or have any intentions of reading this book) you should probably skip the rest of this review. Things are about to get spoileriffic.

Okay, I made five pages of notes on this crap while I was reading it, but I’m gonna ignore those for now and just wing it – I’ll talk about the stuff that bothered me the most.

Nasuada – at the beginning of the book, we spend forever talking about her stupid scars. Yes, I get that she did the whole battle of the knives thingy to prove how badass and worthy of leading the Rebel Allia…er, Varden she was. Seriously, though? Do we really need to lovingly describe the blemishes on the “belly of her forearms” (for realsies, that’s where they are) for two pages? TWO PAGES!

THEN after a bunch of pages where nothing happens, she gets kidnapped by the big baddie of the series. His über-ridiculous name is Galbatorix and he’s kidnapped Princess Leia in order to force her to swear fealty to him in the old language. She refuses. He tortures her. There are many, many pages where nothing much happens. Hot irons are applied. Her jailer/guy who feeds her and takes her to the bathroom has nice fingernails (at least 500 words are spent describing this dude’s fingernails – he’s never given a name, but he has really well manicured hands). More hot irons are applied, still she refuses. You go, girlfriend. Galby brings out a box. Whatever is in the box is making some skree-skree, skree-ska! noise. At this point, I had a feeling I knew what was in the box and if it went in her ear and wrapped itself around her cerebral cortex, I was going to throw a freaking fit. Luckily, it didn’t. Look, Christopher Paolini – you can call it a stupid Burrow Grub all you want, but I freaking know it’s a Ceti Eel!

Ceti Eel

So, while she’s being tortured, Eragon takes off to find the soopersekrit Vault of Souls. This is where we encountered the endless fog I mentioned earlier. BlahblahFOGblahblahWINDblahblahblah. We finally get to the island where the aforementioned vault is, but Eragon can’t get in because he doesn’t know his true name. He spends, like, fifty pages meditating on the subject and WE NEVER GET TO FIND OUT WHAT IT IS! Oh, and the Vault is guarded by GIANT ATTACK SNAILS and some kind of creepy shadow bird…I think there were more Ceti Eels hiding in the forest, too. He gets into the vault to find a ton of hidden dragon eggs and some souls of dragons that are no longer with us. They’re going to lend him their strength so he can take on the evil tyrant king and (maybe) vanquish him. Okay, I will admit it. This part wasn’t so bad. Just the entire book leading up to it…and everything that came after.

Eragon takes off back to the Varden and carries a bunch of the former-dragons in this magic hyperdimensional pocket thingy that follows him around. No one else can see it, no one else knows it’s there. To make sure he doesn’t blab to everyone about the egg clutch, they wipe his memory. He will somehow remember they’re there if/when he defeats Galbatorix, but not before. Eragon returns, the peasants rejoice, and they lay siege to the city in the morning.

There’s a lot of fighting, most of it is just gratuitous violence that I really wanted to skip. I didn’t, though, just on the off chance that something might actually happen that I needed to know. There was this one character that I wanted to know more about – she saved Roran (Eragon’s brother/cousin/whatever) from being killed. She referred to herself as a helpful stranger, but we never found out any more about her. She was in the book for about a paragraph and I liked her more than the majority of the characters we spent hundreds of pages on.

Eragon and friends head deep into the fortress to face off against the big bad evil tyrant king who has held the land with an iron fist for over 100 years, but OH NOES he has learned THE NAME OF THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE, which somehow makes him able to stop other people from using magic with that language. So, he’s trying to get into Eragon’s mind and our hero finds that his only defense is to use all of his force (and the powers of all the dead dragons he’s got hanging out in his pocket) to send back a feeling of all of the death and destruction he’s caused during his rule.
He cries out NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO a few times, realizes he’s a complete tool…and spontaneously combusts. End of big evil baddy. Yes. Really. They hurt his feelings and he exploded.

I wish that was where the book ended, but it went on for another hundred pages. Really, though – nothing else happened.

1.5/5 stars. He finished the series, so he gets a star for that. The half star is for allowing me to take five pages of notes on this crap. I do enjoy note-taking.

Next up: Delirium by Lauren Oliver I really don’t even want to read this book, but I accidentally voted for it in the Goodreads Choice Awards semi-finals, so I feel kind of obligated.

12 thoughts on “Book Review – Inheritance

  1. Never, ever feel obligated to read any book. Your life will be a happier place. And you will feel tormented until the day you die if Delirium is bad. Don’t do that to yourself. Torment is strictly reserved for the times that matter, like when our children have to eat chocolate cake for breakfast or play video games for an entire school vacation with barely a bathroom break.

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  4. Disclaimer: I have not read this book. Saw the movie of the first one and discussed with my wife, who’d read the first book before concluding it was awful and that the sequels were no better.
    But on the point of editing alone: I suspect he was thanking the editors who made him do substantive edits — all the “no, sorry, this part isn’t working, you need to rewrite/cut out/introduce this…” which means he was likely rewriting and revising a lot. Guessing that due to the earlier novels already being out and pushed a lot, there were probably tight deadlines for getting this one to print, probably made all the more difficult by endless rounds of editing and rewriting, which, judging from your review, it badly needed (and needed more of). In that kind of compressed process, you can guess what gets the least amount of time: copy editing and proofreading. I’m being snarky, but I’d bet they were just glad to get the book out with as few typos as possible, on time.
    Thanks for this pointed and hilarious review. I had no intention of reading this book, but now I can enjoy not having read it. That may offend, but so do crappy books.

    • Oh, crappy books absolutely do offend, which is why Trashy Tuesdays became a regular feature shortly after this. :)

      I understand the whole revision/rewriting process, I copy/style edit my friend’s novels and that was probably why I found this whole thing so offensive. It could have been half the size and would have been a much stronger effort.

      I am now replying to your comments on two different posts at the same time. >.<

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