Work in Progress (No, really)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


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I finished up the "final" book of the cycle. Prior to reading it, I went back and read Brisingr one more time in order to remember the story. (I thought about reading the other two as well, but for starters I wanted to read the fourth one and secondly, my brother has left these books in such a crappy state that it's hard  to even find the other two because the covers have "fallen off.") If the first book came out today, I don't know if I'd read it, but I'm tempted to say I would.

I went to Toronto from a little before Christmas until New Year's Day and took this along for the trip. My other brother asked if it was a good book, and I really didn't know how to reply. On the one hand, having read the other three, I felt like I had invested too much not to read the "final" one; on the other hand, the story is interesting. I read the first book a week or two before my SAT and remember going through the second one right after my SAT. Then, I had to wait for the third "final" book, and it was a good read as well. The fourth story by no means is horrible, but it does leave a bitter taste. However, it appears like more stories will be set in the world and some of them will use the main characters. Also, it may just be that another book is added on.

The author was in his teens when he wrote the first book and now is around 28. The difference shows as this book has more personality that the first. Yet, at times it seemed like personality was given too much attention, and the plot suffered as a result. The references to Dr. Who and some other shows/books are cool and all, but if this book is going to end the story then you need to develop the story and plot to an adequate point and then do a damn good job wrapping it up (all the while leaving some things unresolved). While, the plot was developed, I can't say I'm too fond of how it wrapped up.

Spoiler Alert. Be forewarned, lest ye desire a story devoid of any suspense. 

I won't say I disliked the ending; but it was too LOTR for my taste. The climax of the story, the way the  fight with Galbatorix ended was different and something I liked. I figured that it wouldn't be a traditional fight, given how Galbatorix never made an appearance (directly) in any of the books prior, and how we hadn't even seen him until right before the fight. From that point on though, it feels like things got rushed, despite the fact that there's about a hundred or so pages from the fight until the end of story. I can understand why Eragon has to go away (in terms of finding a location), but still, don't turn him into Frodo. And that whole "I'll never return because it was foretold as such" was a little over the top.

The way it ended, it doesn't feel like it's the last we'll see of these characters. However, with that said, hopefully the next book (if there is one, new series or whatever carries on the story) will have a better mesh between plot development and character development. Some people felt like they're were too many characters, but I disagree. If you're trying to create an actual world, then lots of characters are needed to fill that world. How many characters are developed though, is a different matter. The argument can be made that too many characters were developed, and then some were just done away with for seemingly no reason at all (for example, Carn).

In conclusion, I did like the book, but it was probably the weakest of the four books. The expectations coming in we're pretty high. Ending a story can always be tough because you tend to have a left that you want to put in to the story, but there comes a time when you have to deal with the breadth versus depth issue  with regards to the actual plot versus the extra details.


I think I'll add a few more thoughts to this, after the story sinks in a bit more. I just finished it as last night, and then bounced around some forums and have a couple of more things I want to discuss and/or give my unneeded opinion about. 

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