I don’t remember now why I decided to read Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. I guess it was because I regarded this as an essential basic for dragon literature. I made it about a quarter of the way through before deciding it wasn’t worth the effort.
I’m not sure I can articulate exactly what’s wrong with it. The writing is very direct and linear. Too direct and too linear. It suffers from too much telling and not enough showing. The events are all very predictable, the actions of the characters aren’t really in line with their motives, the protagonist barely has any motives, and even the important characters seem cliché and two-dimensional. The bottom line is that I was finding it all very boring.
I probably would have given up on it sooner, but it had been a gift from my nephew. However, I set it aside for a couple of days to read something else for my book club (which of course was much more enjoyable). When I got back to it, I looked it up online to see why I had intended to read it. That’s when I discovered it had been written by a fifteen-year-old, which explained a lot.
Not only did I abandon it, but I also scratched To Sleep in a Sea of Stars off my reading list. He’s not fifteen anymore, and he’s probably a better writer, but when I look at the blurb for that book now, I can see how an intriguing concept can be made into an unpleasant read. I just can’t rally the enthusiasm to risk my time on it. Anyway, my reading list is already too long.