Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review of last Eragon book

Synopsis in a Sentence: In the last book of the Inheritance cycle, dragon Rider, Eragon finally faces the evil king, Galbatorix and his destiny.

My Thoughts:
Wow, finally! Chris Paolini finally has wrapped up his Inheritance cycle, which began with the book, Eragon. I have to admit that while I loved Eragon, the rest of the series has been slowly a little bit of a downhill trek for me. Paolini definitely took us all on a journey through Alagaesia (the world in which this series takes place) and I came to love all of the characters, but this book leaves us wanting a little more, I think. It's a great book, don't get me wrong, and I will always love this series and think fondly of it, but I agree with many of the reviews on Amazon...there was just something missing.

This book still does deliver in many ways, however. The characters grow, learn and continue to be fleshed out by the author. Many of the action scenes are pretty exciting and intense- they reminded me of the epic battle scenes in Lord of the Rings. There is also a satisfying conclusion between Eragon and Galbatorix at the end of the novel.

But...there are some questions left unanswered that I personally feel Paolini should have addressed. We have been on this journey with him for years, and I feel he owed it to his readers to have everything wrapped up and concluded. I also feel as if Paolini was trying too hard to make this book an "epic fantasy." Some of the events feel forced and at a whopping 860 pages, there are things that could and should have been edited out, such as a random child birthing scene with minor characters, and a corny "battle" episode with Roran, Eragon's cousin.

*Spoiler alert*

There are many reviews on Amazon by fans who absolutely hated the fact that Eragon and Arya did not end up together. Surprisingly, I disagree with them, although I can definitely understand why they are upset. For some reason, the unrequited love thing works for me. From the very beginning of the series, I just had this feeling that they wouldn't end up together. For one thing, Arya is a lot older than Eragon, and she had like a fifty year romance with another elf, Faolin. To go from that to being with essentially, a boy, was a stretch for her, and I always got that. I think Paolini avoided cliches and added a deeper element to his book by ending things the way he did with these two characters.

However, before you get too mad at me, I have read books before where it drove me absolutely insane when characters didn't get their happy ending, and so, I can definitely sympathize with those who are disappointed. For example, I am still dying and hoping to see King Zachary and Karigan get together in the Green Rider series, which isn't looking very promising per the latest book in the series #4 (wiping tears!). Therefore, I do understand!

Overall, I am still giving this book 4 keys because I have really liked reading this series from the beginning, even though there's been some tedious aspects to everything. If you are looking for a quasi- epic fantasy series geared toward young adults with romance, dragons, magic, and the whole good vs. evil thing, check out this series. I would definitely recommend it. Congratulations to Paolini for finally finishing his Cycle! It's been a great adventure, I think, for him and for us.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Review of Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball

Synopsis in a Sentence: Cora isn't sure she's in the holiday spirit this year as she's tired of family drama, but she finds festivity (and love) when she's invited to a Christmas ball.

My Thoughts:

This was such a fun, fast, and sweet read for Christmas. I love reading holiday themed books around Christmas and this was a good one. I actually noticed this book last year, but was too busy reading a lot of other books, and didn't pick it up. But I'm glad I remembered it for this year (thank you GoodReads to-read lists)!

Anyways, the plot is pretty simple. Cora is a vulnerable business woman who starts to fall for her boss, who is pretty stoic and doesn't have a lot of personal interaction with his employees. They bump into one another at a quaint bookstore, and begin a friendship. It turns out that Simon (her boss) is actually a really nice guy who helps take care of his mother, aunt, and sister after his dad dies. They both receive mysterious invitations to attend a Christmas ball, hosted by the owners of the bookshop where they first began talking.The rest of the story leads up to the ball, which is the conclusion of the story.

Pretty cliche of course, as we know they are being set up in a "fairy godmother" type way, and that they will eventually fall in love. However, it's still a pretty charming and cozy little story. It's a Christian Cinderella Christmas story!

The author, Donita K. Paul, has also written a Christian fantasy series about dragons, of which I've read the first book. I didn't realize she had branched out into regular fiction until I saw this. It's cool when authors write Christmas's similar to when your favorite music artist records a Christmas album!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will have an amazing New Year :)!