Long commutes have turned me into a dedicated Audible fan. Looking at my stats I can't believe I have 825 titles in my Library.
Being a middle aged man who likes hard SF, detective and action stories I was pleasantly surprised to find myself liking this novel. Although the main character Eragon is a little hard to take as a whiny demanding adolescent the story develops slowly into a good coming of age yarn. Many similarities to Lord of the Rings and other sword and sorcery epics this one will stand on it's own as a great story.
I really enjoyed book 1 (this one) - narrator does an excellent job too. Good mix of story, intrigue, destiny, magic, dragons, etc.
I found this story engaging and was keen to get to book 2. Book 2 was good but not of the same level - kind the filler between book 1 and 3. book 3 is not available on this site yet, but i look forward to it as a conclusion to a great story.
The inevitable subject when reviewing this book is the age of Paolini when he wrote it. Let's get this elephant out of the room by saying it is an impressive feat, to say the least.
Moving on, Eragon is a solid read for any fan of fantasy. My complaints are that it is a bit predictable at points and it is very derivative of several classic fantasy authors. Yes, I know that borrowing ideas is tradition in good writing, but some of the references (e.g. place names and such) are such obvious homages that they proved distracting for me. The escapist fantasy bubble in which I like to read was burst. Also, there are a few sloppy chains of thought in the book that I was disappointed to encounter. I would love to give examples of these criticisms, but they include plot spoilers.
Lest you think this review is entirely too negative. I will point to the 4-star rating I set for Eragon, and simply say that I DID enjoy listening to the story quite a bit. I will likely pick up Eldest as well, also available on this site.
I would simply warn any hard core fantasy readers that this book has almost no chance of living up to the "hype." If you walk into this with expectations that it will be the best fantasy novel you ever read or will read, you will be disappointed.
This is a standard Sci-Fi fantasy story. It has a tragic beginning, epic cross country escape, a damsel in distress and of course an obligatory big battle at the end. There are moments were the characters and story line are quite good and engaging. Unfortunately there are also moments where the hero is so blindingly stupid you want to shake him by the scruff of the neck. It's a good listen, but it is no Harry Potter.
I did catch myself a few times saying, "Come on Eragon, you should know what you must do," before he did them. Despite the story being predictable in these scenes, I enjoyed making the journey with Eragon. The descriptions of places and events were well done. The interplay of characters were also done well. The language was clean wtih no cursing or embarrassing scenes. I enjoyed the subtle humor and the characters' mannerisms.
The narrator did an awsume job reading the book and made the characters come alive. But, I wish the dragon's voice could have been a little higher pitched.
I highly recommend this book for the whole family. I purchased the second book (both volumes) in this trilogy before finishing the first.
This book's flaws are too many to count, but for me Eragon's hollow characters, hackneyed storyline, and forgettable settings were particularly disappointing. To me the listening experience felt like confinement to the shallow, lukewarm end of a pool. I am mystified by the glowing reviews; I assume the novelty of the author's youth explains this book's apparent success. Don't waste your book credits.