January 14, 2013

Review: Inheritance - Christopher Paolini

So is this the ending of the Inheritance Cycle?
I must confess, I'm disapointed. Sure, Christopher has grown, but I believe his story hasn't. His writing style may have, I wouldn't know, this is the first book I read on the native language, so I can't tell how much the translator has helped him before, but I actually thought the story got... thinner? Shallow, I guess. And, at the same time, simply failed to address most of the possible depths in it.

I simply hated that the author has decided to ignore some of the mysteries and subplots. It just seems to me like he put them there in the first place because he wasn't sure how to solve an issue and in the end he just didn't have the answer to it. Like Angela. Or even Sloan. Or that hermit guy from book 1 or 2, who aparently taught Angela.

I don't want to spoil anything, but Angela's last scene, where I was hoping some light would be shred - I even had a few theories to who she was and why she was so, let's say, peculiar - but NOTHING. Just some watered scene, very badly done and really awkward where you could simply see that something was meant to be said but simply wasn't said.

The Vault of Souls was pretty obvious too, predictable. Well, the first half was, anyways, the second half (the one they come back later to get) was... Decently obvious but not that badly predictable. Murtagh was so obvious it hurt, although the reason for the change wasn't, I think. Nasuada's part was pretty good, I thought that was one of the best parts in the book, since everyone else's plot was annoyingly predictable.

I mean, geez, who would've thought (SPOILER ALERT) Murtagh would go against Galbatorix, Nasuada would become Queen, Arya would become Queen, finally show some feelings for Eragon and would also become a rider and that Saphira would also fall for that dragon? Who'd have thought Eragon would find Eldunarí's to guide him on that Vault of Souls and that Roran would become a big man commander and win himself some land/castle/whatever...? Oh yeah ANYONE who read the damn books. No, really. The freaking plot, man!

I did like some things, of course. I liked the battle against Galbatorix. I liked the way the Dwarves and Urgals were solved in the end, I really liked the Snalgí and the grubs that go Skree-Skree XD For the cute noise factor, obviously.

Also, the recovery of knowledge, I loved that the author took some time to mention that not only treasures were recovered but also books and the knowledge that might fade away otherwise.

Something else that frustrated me was the whole control the magic thing. It's very creepy and censorship like. I can SEE that it's like "you do whatever you want unless it hurts others" but it's still kind of creepy. Even if we have laws for that "normally" (as in, not magically), somehow the way it was put on the book was very censorship-like. I don't care if it makes sense, nothing the bad-guy-Galbatorix says can be used after he is gone. Just NO.

Overall, it was very weak book, with some of the best chapters happening on Nasuada's POV, even if the whole nail-description thing was annoyingly useless. Nasuada's voice is different from the others, more reasonable. She IS human, but she is strong and certain, not desperate or bossed around. Roran is an amazing character aswell, but he's not so sure of himself and that gets a bit annoying, he's the sort of guy who will do what has to be done, but doesn't really want that kind of thing, doesn't really believe he can do it. And I like my characters believable but strong.

I'd like to see more of Murtagh, he really is a character with many facets, an interesting one, really. Eragon is too... Goody. Sure, we all love the good guy, but being good all the time is REALLY boring. Learn to deal with stuff, grow some balls, show some nerve! HIT PEOPLE DAMNIT.

I didn't dislike the book, unlike what may seem by now. But I just couldn't get myself to like it, the first 2/3 of the book were boring battles, like no one could stand. Sure, Dras-Leona was fun, while it lasted and I looked forward to Angela's scenes all the time, same as Elva, who was always interesting, but none of the battles had the Bernard Cornwell kind of quality and since I always have a hard time visualizing battle scenes and Cornwell is basically the only author who writes battles in ways I understand, I mostly skimmed through the battles here.

I still want to know what Angela said to the priest in Dras-Leona, where she said he should know her name before dying - I'm betting she's the Soothsayer - and I really wanted to know more about her and the Hermit we saw in previous books - who are they and how do they know so much magic? Everyone respects Angela so bad, but no one really knows her, so what? Who? I hate that it's not going to be mentioned. Also, the belt thingy that Eragon loses... He simply loses it. It disappears. And that's it?! What's the purpose of it disappearing? It doesn't serve any purpose on the plot, so what's the use? I don't GET it, why to add something to the story if it serves nothing?

And, again, Angela. I can't get enough of saying that - What about Angela, Angela, Angela?  Also, there were a woman and a child that Eragon blessed on book 2 or 3... What about them? They felt like they were important, that they would show up later. And then nothing. I keep thinking if the author forgot, if he simply didn't know what to do with them or just had no plans and thought no one would notice. Puhlease!

Overall, it wasn't a bad book. But it was definitely below average and shallow. The plot was barely solved, in the most cliché way possible and with a whole lot of Deus ex Machina (or whatever you spell it) where things simply get solved way too fast and way too easy for the drama of 4 books.

You can buy Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle) at Amazon.