Friday, 25 October 2019

Audiobook Review - Eragon

  • Title And Author: Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • Publisher: Random House (Corgi)
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 528 Pages or 16 Hours 22 Minutes

At the beginning of the year, I said I was going to try and read the whole Inheritance Cycle and His Fair Assassin series. I failed. I fully accept that I sucked that sticking to my reading plans (hence why I NEVER do “This is my TBR for the month” list). But I did want to try and read this series all the way through. I have read Eragon years ago and I did enjoy myself hugely with it. So, when I was on my library audiobook app and I saw this, I requested it. 

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone, he thinks it’ll be worth something. Maybe he could sell it for meat. But he can’t and, almost overnight, his simple farm boy life is shattered as the stone isn’t a stone but a dragon’s egg. Soon, the egg hatches and, as Eragon and the dragon (who he needs Saphira) bond, both are thrown into a dark world beyond the farm…
Yes, I know, my write-up to this sucks, but I’m not 100% certain how far I should go with them…

So, my first reading of this was about 12 or so years ago. It was very much in my late teens and early twenties and I read this on the way to and from work via train. And, I must say that seeing as it’s been over twelve years since I read this and I have read more widely and grown up, my opinions on this has changed. 

Ok, I did like it. Just. I can happily carry on with the series (though Eldest, the second book in the series, is my “Make It Or Break It” book as the books in the series get longer - the last book in series is over 900 pages long and I’m not sure I have the patience to read that long a book!), but I might have to change how I read/listen to Eldest as listening to the audiobook was my downfall. 

One of my main reasons I didn’t like the audiobook was the narrator. Like I have said multiply times on the Pewter Wolf, a narrator of an audiobook can make or break an audiobook. Some are fantastic from the get-go, some you have to warm to as the story goes on and others… well… you don’t. And this was my problem. It took me quite some time to realise that I really dislike how he chose to read Eragon and the choices he made with characters, descriptions. Some voices were too similar, others were weird and some came really left-field. While I am now use to his choice of Saphira’s voice, I remember the first time I heard it and me going “Nope” over it. I’ve decided that if I do decide to audiobook Eldest, something has to change - I’m thinking of putting the speed up to 1.25 or 1.5, if I feel brave!

There is something that 30-something year old me spotted that 20-something me didn’t. How Tolkien this feels. Ok, this is a good and bad thing, depending on where you sit with Tolkien. On the one hand, this world is vast and complex with the language, the descriptions and details. But, it feels like previous fantasy books - very white, very straight, very “farm boy gets powers and overthrows the evil king/ruler/Big Bad” - and while that’s ok in some fantasy books, I want variety. I want characters of colour, characters of different sexualities and identities, characters with disabilities or struggling with mental health. 

Plus, when you say Tolkien, you have details. And this series is a long series. Like I said earlier, the fourth and final book (so far) is over 900 pages long, and this tells me that there are going to be scenes and details that we go into some depth over but will serve no purpose. I seen it within Eragon and I have already seen it when I skimmed the first few chapters of Eldest and, while some of you readers will thrive on these details, I need to story. I want the writing and descriptions to be good, but the story is important. I need the substance.

I think I got on the wrong foot with the audiobook. Like I said, I might do Eldest on audiobook but fasten the speed and, hopefully, will get on better. If not, I am not going to continue with the series, which will be a shame as I think this series could be a gripping read and something I can thoroughly enjoy…

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, not sure you should continue. I adored the first book and devoured the second. I threw the third across the room (literally, page 80 was torn and I’m still scarred). It had all those overly detailed sections and more. The fourth was just as bad. The outline is great but definitely needs an editor.