Now, let's be clear. Eragon is not a bad series, in my personal opinion. It's solid and if it is derivative, it least it derives from the best (Star wars, LOTR, etc.) I for one will not say that a fantasy translation of star wars is automatically crap, and Eragon does a decent job of it.
But considering how stupidly successful the series has been, I do not think that it has substance in proportion to the money it has raked in. (Granted many things don't, but that's hardly a compliment.) I read the first two books in 2005 (as a kid) and was absolutely blown away. Inheritance was the epitome of awesomeness, and I obsessed about it for some time, but I moved on. Three years later when Brisingr (did I spell that right?) came out, I had already read numerous other fantasy novels, and novels in general, too many to name. I enthusiastically bought the latest installment, eager for another run on my old stomping grounds.
Let’s just say that with my new perspective, I was not impressed. I did enjoy Brisingr, but part of it was admittedly nostalgia. I realized that many books did exactly what my old idol did, and did it better. And though the book split caused the plot to deviate from star wars, the result was still clichéd and reminiscent of numerous other books I'd read, many of them better detailed and written.
I'm not in the gushing fanclub or the unconditional basher camp. I just honestly don't think that Eragon is worth the controversy. If it weren't for the big bucks, that is, which I don't think it deserves either. It's just sorta...average, and with the occasional exception, it’s mostly forgettable.