Inheritance

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by Christopher Paolini

Published: 2011

So, here we have the final book in Paolini’s series.  In Book #4, Eragon and Saphria finally meet their nemesis, after much gory battling across the countryside, plus a little side journey to an island, and lots of gossip with the ancient dragons.

As I mentioned in my review of Brisingrthis series just really began to drag for me.  It was so serious and intense.  Four 800-page books, and not a SINGLE line that made me smile.  Nothing.  That is an awful lot of time spent without a spark of fun.  Throughout, and especially in the last two books, they read more like non-fiction than fiction, just non-fiction of a fictional place, if that makes sense.  I really did not enjoy this book at all; I just wanted to see how everything ended.  I’ll rant about that in the spoiler-filled ‘read more’ section.  Suffice to say for now, this series wasn’t worth the effort for me.  I would never read them again, and I wouldn’t ever recommend them to someone else.  I experienced basically no emotion from them.  I never particularly bonded with the characters, never really cared about their fate or was inspired to any kind of passion for their goals.  For me, the story was incredibly neutral.  If they’d gotten to the end and lost, I really wouldn’t have been that upset.

This book, and the series as a whole: 2/5.

Below: spoiler-filled rant about the way this book ended…

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Murder in Retrospect

by Agatha Christie

Published: 1942

Sorry, I don’t have a pic of this one.  The copy I own is in a small collection of Christie mysteries entitled Murder Preferred.  I think that this title is hilarious, because who actually prefers murder?  Ah well.

This mystery is exactly what the title says.  Poirot is asked to reexamine a murder that occurred sixteen years previously.  I actually really enjoy this mystery because you have access to all the same information as Poirot, making it (theoretically) possible for you to solve the mystery as well.  This story lacks the feeling of urgency; one never feels that the killer is going to strike again as he so often does in other mysteries.  Still, I found it to be a very good read.

4/5.

Tiger’s Curse

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by Colleen Houck

Published: 2011

So this was on some list on GoodReads so I thought that I would give it a whirl.  About halfway through I realized that it was the first book in a series (whoops) and was momentarily afraid that the sequel(s) would not yet be published, since this is copyrighted 2011, but lo! Houck managed to write three more books in less than two years after this book was published.  So.  All four are available.  Lucky me.

Anyway.  I enjoyed most of this book.  It started well.  I liked the narrator/heroine just fine, and who doesn’t wish that they could fall in love with a magical tiger?  At the age of 18, it was delightful to have a heroine who was actually the right age to be falling in love and wandering all over the world and making important life-altering decisions.

However, I fear for the rest of the series.  At this point, our heroine has fallen in love with her original tiger.  However, it turns out that this enchanted tiger has a brother who is also an enchanted tiger!  So I’m afraid that this whole thing is just going to devolve into an incredibly dull love triangle (WHICH I HATE), and that’s a shame,  because there is a lot of potential with these characters and their story.

Most of the story takes place in India, and the characters are attempting to appease an Indian goddess so she will lift their curse.  That also gets a bit confusing because there are loads of gods and goddesses in ruinous temples.  I also personally prefer my fantasy to be firmly separate from real life, e.g. I would rather have these characters working with magical entities instead of religious beings.

Still, this was a strong 3-almost-4/5, and I have the other three books on reserve at the library.

Brisingr

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by Christopher Paolini

Published: 2008

This is Book #3 in Paolini’s Inheritance series, and in many ways it is a ramp-up to the big conclusion in Book #4 (Inheritance).

I have to admit that by about a third of the way through this book, my interest in the entire series was beginning to wane.  Eragon and Saphria spend so much time wandering from place to place, trying to figure out what is going on, trying to understand what is happening.  The magic gets progressively more complicated and convoluted, and there is TOO MUCH description of battle scenes.  I just don’t need to hear for the umpteenth time that so-and-so’s sword is capable of slicing through a man’s armor, flesh, and bone like a hot knife through butter.  I get the idea.

I’ve already finished the final book, and will be writing that review shortly, so let me suffice to say here that at this point, the series seems to drag a bit, and by Book #4 it was more of a grueling marathon than anything resembling enjoyable fictional reading for me.  Brisingr is a 2/5.