Back to Reviews

Reviews Comments: Eragon: not as bad as they make it sound, but still sucks. Inheritance Cycle issue/book review by Eddie Valiant, Jr.

I groaned and snarked about Eragon, the first book in the series, before I even read it. Part of it came from my overall dislike of the High Fantasy genre (although I'm just fine with other types of fantasy), but most of it came from the fact that I was still kind of bitter because I hadn't been able to write anything coherent yet, despite my wildest efforts, and this punk gets a wild hair up his ass one day and shits out a New York Times bestseller. I ignored it and talked smack about it for a while, until one day I decided to put my money where my mouth is and read the darn thing, if only so my whining would be justified.

And, you know what? I was totally right. The book is crap. Pretentious, derivative crap. However, it's not nearly, nearly as bad as most of the haters would like you to believe. The flow of the storyline is competently assembled, albeit lifted almost wholesale from Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, and the interaction between several characters (most notably between Brom and whatever incidental two-bit player happens to waddle onto the scene at the time, but rarely between him and anyone actually important) is pretty darned good. However, that marks the end of the good things I can say about Eragon. Let's talk about the main character himself, for instance; he's pretty much the Middle Earth equivalent of an Ali G, a snippy, well-to-do white kid who hangs out at the mall thinking he's gangsta. I guarantee that if you knew this guy in real life, you'd be smacking him upside the head at least three times a day. The villains are non-entities, even the ones that do show up, and the other heroes are bland when they aren't being obnoxious (looking at you, here, Arya).

Oh, and another thing. This book reeks of immature, teenage sexuality. And not ordinary, run-of-the-mill sexuality, either. We're talking Internet sexuality here. The scene wherein Eragon lusts after the badly battered body of a freshly rescued Arya cannot pass without mention, nor can a scene where Eragon ask the dragon Saphira, "Can I ride you?" This may be one of the book's clumsiest aspects. It tries very, very hard not ot be a kid's book, and on this count at least, it fails.

All in all, pretty bad, but hopefully So Bad Its Good.


  • Nolan Burke
  • 15th Nov 09
I wholly agree; indeed, Eragon, while hugely sucky as a book, does not quite reach So Bad Its Horrible levels. Thank you for reminding me of that.

So Bad Its Good is probably the safest label, yeah; once you've looked past their immense weakness as novels, you can find some shreds of comedy gold in the series' piles of Narm.

Overall, that high-nose Paolini really needs to have his ego taken down a notch.

The Ali G comparison was Made Of Win, incidentally. Nice job.

(And I believe that would be "Accidental Innuendo" rather than "Unfortunate Implications".)
  • Pufferfish101
  • 13th Dec 10
"Can I ride you?"

I'm pretty sure the Unfortunate Implications you found there are symptoms of your own inner pervert. What else is he supposed to say? "Can I get on top?" "Will you let me climb on your back?" "May I mount you like a horse, dear dragon?" I mean, the guy rides dragons; there's no other way to put it.

Otherwise, good review.
  • Scow2
  • 10th Feb 11
Actually... it's neither So Bad Its Good nor So Bad Its Horrible. It's So Okay Its Average.
  • 10th Feb 11
No, actually, it's just plain bad.
  • callsignecho
  • 16th Feb 11
I agree. So Okay Its Average sums it up. This is a fair-minded review of a utterly mediocre novel.
  • 16th Feb 11
Except the average tends to contain vast amounts of sucking.
  • snowburnt
  • 3rd Jun 11
I agree, the books aren't very good. It felt like the kid (maybe editor meddling) sat around with a thesaurus looking for sesquipedalian words where ever he could to try to add sophistication to the plot.

The dialogues are contrived and he puts a lot of effort into force recaps. Taking into account that this was a teen writing the books only gets you so far, especially if they're marketing a finished product.
  • Kiiyu
  • 2nd Nov 11
Actually I like Eragon, I'm not saying it's a masterpeice or anything, but I enjoy it well enough. Also about it "reeking of immature sexuality", it should! It's being told about an immature boy and this is hinted at that it is his first time really taking interst in a real girl.
  • Wryte
  • 3rd Nov 11
I'll stick with So Bad It's Bad, myself.

(Wait, that's not a trope anymore? Or was I just imagining that it ever was?)
  • eveil
  • 3rd Nov 11
The trope is "so bad it's horrible".
  • PulpoOscuro
  • 4th Dec 11
Dead on. It's badly written and Eragon's a borderline God Mode Sue, but it can occasionally be fun to read.

In order to post comments, you need to

Get Known