Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle)
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Perfect for fans of Lord of the Rings, the New York Times bestselling Inheritance Cycle about the dragon rider Eragon has sold over 35 million copies and is an international fantasy sensation.
Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.
The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?
This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #25116 in Books
- Brand: Knopf Books for Young Readers
- Published on: 2011-11-08
- Released on: 2011-11-08
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 9.26" h x 2.11" w x 6.40" l, 2.55 pounds
- Binding: Hardcover
- 860 pages
"If you're not already a Paolini fan, now is the time to rush out and buy the three previous books, as this is the final instalment of the epic story which began with Eragon." Book Time "Inheritance is the final book of the wildly popular "Inheritance Cycle" by wunderkind Christopher Paolini. In this thrilling conclusion, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, take the fate of their world into their own hands. The evil king, Galbatorix, must be defeated and justice returned to the realm, but can the young dragonrider handle the pressure? That remains to be seen." The Christian Science Monitor "Featuring spectacular artwork by John Jude Palencar, this book brings the bestselling Inheritance cycle to a breathtaking conclusion." Middlesbrough Evening Gazette "It is an extremely compelling and well written book, set in the magical land of Alagaesia, and is one of the best fantasy books I have read. Christopher Paolini is a great author who has been able to conjure up a fantastical yet believable world.This is just as brilliant as all the other books in the series and ends spectacularly, but not in the way I expected..." Guardian "The Dragon has landed! Paolini's conclusion to his popular saga for young adults has been eagerly anticipated and at 880 pages, it's a whopper! Can Eragon the Dragon Rider restore peace to Alagaesia?" -- Kate Lazenby Western Morning News
About the Author
Christopher Paolini is the author of three other bestselling novels about Alagaësia: Inheritance is the fourth and final volume in the cycle. Christopher lives in Montana, where the natural landscape has been a major inspiration in the creation of his stories. You can find out more about Christopher and the Inheritance cycle at alagaesia.com.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The sound was stabbing, slicing, shivering, like metal scraping against stone. Eragon's teeth vibrated in sympathy, and he covered his ears with his hands, grimacing as he twisted around, trying to locate the source of the noise. Saphira tossed her head, and even through the din, he heard her whine in distress.
Eragon swept his gaze over the courtyard twice before he noticed a faint puff of dust rising up the wall of the keep from a foot-wide crack that had appeared beneath the blackened, partially destroyed window where Blödhgarm had killed the magician. As the squeal increased in intensity, Eragon risked lifting a hand off one ear to point at the crack.
"Look!" he shouted to Arya, who nodded in acknowledgment. He replaced his hand over his ear.
Without warning or preamble, the sound stopped.
Eragon waited for a moment, then slowly lowered his hands, for once wishing that his hearing was not quite so sensitive.
Just as he did, the crack jerked open wider--spreading until it was several feet across--and raced down the wall of the keep. Like a bolt of lightning, the crack struck and shattered the keystone above the door to the building, showering the floor below with pebble-sized rocks. The whole castle groaned, and from the damaged window to the broken keystone, the front of the keep began to lean outward.
"Run!" Eragon shouted at the Varden, though the men were already scattering to either side of the courtyard, desperate to get out from under the precarious wall. Eragon took a single step forward, every muscle in his body tense as he searched for a glimpse of Roran somewhere in the throng of warriors.
At last Eragon spotted him, trapped behind the last group of men by the doorway, bellowing madly at them, his words lost in the commotion. Then the wall shifted and dropped several inches, leaning even farther away from the rest of the building, pelting Roran with rocks, knocking him off balance and forcing him to stumble backward under the overhang of the doorway.
As Roran straightened from a crouch, his eyes met Eragon's, and in his gaze, Eragon saw a flash of fear and helplessness, quickly followed by resignation, as if Roran knew that, no matter how fast he ran, he could not possibly reach safety in time.
A wry smile touched Roran's lips.
And the wall fell.
Text © 2011 by Christopher Paolini.
Most helpful customer reviews
673 of 722 people found the following review helpful.
Inheritance- For Those Who Haven't Read The Book
Important: I recommend that all potential buyers only read reviews that clearly state there are no spoilers in the review title (or the title clearly intends the review for said audience). There are one too many reviews that give away critical information within the first couple of lines.
It is difficult to review a book such as this; a person's liking of the book is obviously subjective (as you'll notice with any novel). I am surprised that the current highest-rated review contains many spoilers, and one can only assume that most of those reading the reviews have already read the book -- or perhaps they are too lethargic to actually read the book for themselves.
As it is, I would do my best to give an honest review, without spoilers, for those who have not read the book.
Firstly, I must admit that I did enjoy the book, though it did have many flaws. Perhaps I am alone in this, but Paolini's writing skills seem to have lessened since the second novel; in Inheritance, many smaller plots and potential side-stories remain unexplained or simply not pursued. A few extremely engaging characters seem to have underlying motives and/or secret histories that also remain woefully unexplained. Furthermore, the chapters seem somewhat rushed, and one cannot help but feel that the story does not flow as smooth as previously -- it feels somewhat distorted. And yet, perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the story was its ending (I would not elaborate, for fear of giving something away).
And yet, even so, I still enjoyed the book immensely; as one who has read the previous books and has become slowly captivated by the story, it would prove quite difficult not to enjoy 849 pages more -- whatever flaws it may contain. With that being said, I would highly recommend any prospective readers to get the book, and enjoy it in its finality.
Note: I was also just recently informed that Paolini may return to the series. In my negligence, I apparently missed the author's "acknowledgements." He writes, "When I do return to it, I hope to address a few of the mysteries that I left unresolved in this series." So perhaps Paolini's failure to explain these "mysteries" was, in fact, just him waiting for a better time to reveal them. That being said, one cannot help but hope that he writes an entire novel on Angela, who seems to become more interesting by the page throughout Inheritance.
504 of 566 people found the following review helpful.
Like a delicate soufflé, rises to an epic climax before collapsing into a tasteless pile of goop
By Lin S
It is hard to say what I thought of this book. I liked it, yet I detested it. It was epic, yet depressing. If I had to abbreviate this entire review to one sentence, it would be: "It was meh."
ERAGON was (and is) one of my favorite books. It is timeless and fantastic. It follows the classic `hero's journey', yet adds enough twists to remain fresh. It is long, but never boring. And, like Sabriel and Northern Lights, I feel children will still be reading and enjoying it decades from now.
ELDEST was a bit of a disappointment. Over-long, talky, and boring for most of its length. The Battle of Burning Plains was a fitting end, though, and gave me hope that the remainder of the series would be worth the wait.
BRISINGR was everything that Eldest was not. Things happened. Eragon grew stronger, and for the first time it appeared as if Galby might be defeated. There were boring parts, yes (ie, the dwarves choosing their new King). Yet the book as a whole brought everything together and setup the epic finale.
So, you ask, what of INHERITANCE?
Well... It was Meh.
It is sad that an 850 page book can be abbreviated thus. But I don't know how else to put it without rambling. However, I shall try to consolidate my ideas.
The first 740 pages of this book were excellent. I could debate some points, such as the birth of Elain's baby or Roran leading the siege of Aroughs. Neither of those storylines added much of anything. They could have been cut, or perhaps turned into the "exclusive content" at the end of the Deluxe Edition (which is certain to be released). I could also express disappointment at the climax of the book, which had a great setup, but was remarkably anticlimactic. Yet, none of these things bothered me. This was not my story to tell, and I knew from the start that I would not agree with every word that was written.
In fact, if those things above were all that I could complain about, I would gladly give this book 5 stars and declare it a brilliant work of fantastic fiction.
The problem is with the last 110 pages of the book. Everything from the chapter "Heir to the Empire" and forward sucks. I hate to say that, but it does. If this 110 pages was abbreviated to 40 pages and actually ANSWERED SOME QUESTIONS, this book would get 5 stars.
To explain what I mean, I will go into some (lengthy) spoilers. If you don't want the end of the book ruined, please skip to the end.
1. Let's talk about grammar. Normally, I am not one to complain about poor grammar and grade a book down for it, but there is one point within this book that bothered me regardless. That point is the plural of Eldunari, which has been definitively established as "Eldunarya". Yet the plural is not used once in this book. Every time the characters speak, regardless of whether they are referring to one Eldunari or one thousand, the singular is used. Every time this happened, I rolled my eyes and muttered, "Come on, Paolini. Don't you remember your own language?" Again, this is not a big thing. And if it were the only thing I could complain about in the whole book, I would shrug it off and give the book 5 stars.
2. The Dauthdaert. This supposedly legendary weapon comes straight from Deus Ex Machina Land and provides a heretofore unrecognized possibility to kill Galby and his evil dragon. This was a touch too ridiculous for me, and was not believable at all. I would have been able to accept it if, for example, it was a rider's sword they found (even an `extra special' riders sword), or if Arya explained that there was one legendary rider who used a spear instead of a sword, or if the idea of Dauthdaerts had been mentioned in any of the previous books... But to just throw it out there and say it is now the only hope to kill Galby... I'm sorry. I'm not buying it. And again, if this was the only problem with this book, I would be willing to overlook it and look at the book as a whole... rather than the sum of its flawed parts.
3. The Belt of Beloth the Wise. This thing was lost on page, what, 285? And after that it is mentioned a couple times, but never found. Seriously, what is with that? I would have understood if they found Galby or Murtagh wearing it at the climax. Or I would have no problem if they went back after the climax and found it buried deep under Helgrind. And I would have no problem if there was a rumor that some mysterious magician had stolen it and it could not be found. But to simply have it disappear, and to have no one care that a super-powerful artifact is on the loose... Seriously, now. What is the purpose of that? It just seems lazy.
4. That One Nameless Character, You Know Which. Do you remember that character in Brisingr with massive scars on her wrists, who got a prophecy from Angela and a blessing from Saphira, even though such things are rarely given to anyone? Saphira called her "Wild One" if I recall correctly. Well, after being utterly mysterious for years between books, she appears here in Inheritance--now with two apprentices (children?) in tow. She saves Roran, says a grand total of 4 words, then walks off into the mist. Seriously now. What was the point of that? We are given nothing on this character. No history, no reason for her to exist, not even a name. It would have been better if she had not existed in this book.
5. Tenga. That mysterious magician who appeared in Brisingr for a few pages, and who was Angela's teacher for a while. Well, the mysteries surrounding him are not answered or even mentioned once. Someone says his name, but only in passing. We learn nothing about him.
6. Angela. The most mysterious and intriguing character in the whole series gets even more mysterious as she faces down the priests of Helgrind and singlehandedly defeats them. She proves herself able to fight with her mind... and apparently she's better at it than Eragon or Arya, who are two of the greatest magicians in the world. Urgals, werecats and elves all respect and fear her, yet she admits she cannot face Galby because he is so powerful. Yet she controls weapons and spells that no one else even understands. Seriously, WHO IS SHE? We get a couple hints, and those imply that she is thousands of years old. Is she one of the Grey Folk, or perhaps the Soothsayer? This mystery bothers me A LOT because she is a strong, compelling, mysterious character that is given absolutely no history whatsoever.
7. The Faceless Monks on Vroengard. Eragon sees these guys momentarily, which indicates that humans (elves?) live in the rider's fallen city, which is one of the most hostile environments in the world. Although the setting on Vroengard (and its strange beasts) was excellent, the mysterious presence of these figures was utterly forgotten about within a page and never mentioned or considered ever again. Seriously, what was the point of that?
8. The Menoa Tree. What was her price? Eragon asks, and the tree sort of laughs... and then ignores him. It's ridiculous. Was her price the death of Galby? Or was it nothing? And if it was either of those, why didn't she just say so? When Eragon asks, she could merely say "the price is already paid", or something like that. But no. She says nothing. Another question unanswered.
9. Orrin. He acted like a drunk jerk the whole book, and even tried to kill Roran! And why? Some of the characters said it was "stress" or something like that. Well, if it was a temporary thing, then he should have recovered, and this recovery should have been made obvious to the reader. Honestly, though, I was expecting him to be the source of all the information Glaby was receiving. I was expecting him to reveal that he had been bespelled, or given an offer he couldn't refuse. I could see Galby telling him in a dream, "if the rebellion fails, I will give you half of my kingdom." That might be enough reason for him to take up drinking and act like a stressed out soulless monster. Seriously, this was just random and pointless. Another question unanswered.
10. Murtagh. For a time, he seemed to have closure. He escapes Galby and rides Thorn off into the sunset, but speaks to Eragon and redeems himself first. I was glad that he and Thorn were finally happy and could go on with their lives. Yet, they leave with 110 pages remaining in the book... And never show up again. No one even mentions them. They simply fly away and disappear.
11. Murtagh+Nasuada. For a while, this was my favorite storyline. Nasuada, kidnapped and tortured. Murtagh offering her comfort and trying to save her. The romance and comradeship between these two was true, organic, and did not feel false or contrived at all. I was eager to see how this romance played out, with Nasuada the likely heir to the empire and Murtagh untrusted and likely to be exiled. Murtagh even admits that it was his care for Nasuada that allowed him to break Galby's spell and fight him. So much could have been made of this relationship, but what happens? Nothing. Yep, nothing. Murtagh flies into the sunset and Nasuada never mentions him again. Talk about disappointing! We are given hope for a unique storyline, only to have it forgotten and ignored.
12. Queen Arya. Yeah, Queen Arya. This struck me as incredibly unlikely. Arya had stated (multiple times, IIRC) that she did not want to rule, and would rather ferry dragon eggs back and forth until the end of time. A noble decision, but one which never happens. Why? Well, apparently all the other elves really want her to be queen. Like, really, really, REALLY want her to be Queen. The reasons for their choice are not explored. But they badger her until she agrees. Really? I didn't know elves could be so adamant about giving a position of leadership to one who refuses to take it. Further, I am amazed that Arya accepts and then feels duty-bound to rule to the best of her ability. So, why didn't she just accept the crown temporarily or something? You know, "I'll be queen, but only until our realms are safe once again" or something like that. Further, she could abdicate the throne any time she wants. I mean, no one can MAKE her be Queen, can they?
13. Arya+Eragon. The epic romance is reduced to a bunch of epic angsting and, ultimately, nothing. I did not find this as disappointing as some, as I predicted from the start that they would never get together. But still, that does not make it better. Arya should have, without question, joined Eragon in his trip to the East and she should have helped him in re-establishing the riders. They could have been King and Queen of the new riders. I never expected them to get in bed together, but for Arya to just ABANDON him like that is ridiculous. Why did she leave him? Does she want to remain Queen of the elves? I find that hard to believe.
14. Firnen. Firnen was, without a doubt, the most pointless character in the whole book. His face may be on the cover, but he served no purpose whatsoever. First off, he should have hatched BEFORE the climax. It doesn't matter if he was as big as a puppy when Galby died, at least he could have served some purpose. As it is, he added absolutely nothing to the story because he only appeared after the story was over. Secondly, he was the greatest source of contention among fans before the book was published. Now, I'm not saying that the fans should decide how a book is written, but doesn't it make sense that the fan favorite should get a little more screen time than Firnen gets here? After years of guessing and theorizing, he appears with fifty pages left and has, what, one line of dialogue? Disappointing beyond words can say. (Even Snowfire, the horse, advanced the story more than Firnen.)
15. Firnen+Saphira. Ugh. This was the one storyline that I found, in the end, insulting. Saphira finds a male dragon that is not under Galby's control, and the first thing she can think of is boinking him. Nevermind that he is six months old. Nevermind that neither Arya nor Eragon gave their blessing. Nevermind that she met him less than two minutes ago. From then on, Saphira is barely even a part of the story as she and Firnen are far to busy having a bunch of (offscreen) dragon sex. So not only does Firnen barely exist, but he serves no greater purpose to the story than a barnyard stud. Now, I have no problem with Saphira finding a mate and raising a clutch of eggs, but this was absolutely the worst way to do it. She could have raised the eggs they found in the Vault of Souls. Besides, it is well established that she is vain, right? So why would she take the first eligible bachelor she sees? She should have made him work for it. Made him prove his strength and worthiness. As it is, I would have preferred she get knocked up with Glaedr. At least she knew him.
In the end, this book was simply too full of unanswered questions. Really. Go look at the titles of each of the 15 points above. Most of them could have been solved after the climax, or with a short paragraph somewhere within the story. Some could have been resolved with a single sentence. But we are given no resolution. No answers. Yes, Galby is defeated. Yes, peace now reigns. But the questions that REALLY MATTER are unanswered.
So where does that leave us?
I feel, when it is all over, that Inheritance was the conclusion to one storyline, but the beginning of another. It would not surprise me to hear in the next couple months of the upcoming EMPIRE: the first book of the Next Inheritance Trilogy. That is fine with me. I have no business telling Paolini what he can or cannot write. (Look at McCaffrey's Pern. 25 books over the past 50 years.) I fully support more books set in Alegaesia.
However, I feel that in setting up whatever comes next, Paolini has forgotten to give us any closure in THIS book. There are too many riddles remaining. Too many questions unanswered.
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful.
Ultimately unsatisfying...but decent enough. *spoilers*
By The Waking Dreamer
I think an honest evaluation of the last book in Paolini's series would rank (according to Amazon's scale) somewhere between three and four stars. Because I found the book for the most part entertaining and I quite enjoyed the downfall of Galbatorix, I decided to go with a three star review, but just barely. If it were up to me, 3.5 would be most appropriate.
While nowhere near the nightmarish bomb of Stephanie Meyer's fiasco of a concluding novel (Breaking Dawn) it is definitely not as satisfyingly warm as Rowling's ender (Deathly Hallows). Always the Lord of The Rings is a masterpiece of literature few attain to and none rival (in my humble opinion) so comparisons there are unfair. Lewis's novels I always enjoyed, but for more metaphysical reasons rather than pure fantasy escape. This is most like the ending of the Mistborn series: Some good and some bad but definitely not what I expected.
I agree with some reviews that Paolini came daringly close to a failure...some of his plot lines we wearing thin and while he brushed up against "what was he thinking?!" a few times, I don't think he went overboard and managed to keep the "ship" afloat; meaning that the novel was for the most part consistent and believable unlike Breaking Dawn which often left me literally pondering "What the hell was she thinking?!" For that at least I am grateful. To be fair, this is not nearly as massive as a bomb as some have made it out to be.
Paolini is skilled at telling a good story and utilizing archetpyes. However I feel that his characterizations are a bit flat and he does not accomplish in this book what a writer such as Rowling accomplishes: really making you care and invest in the characters, feel, understand, know them and relate to them. For example, I felt little to no lasting care when Izlanzadi died. I was surprised and somewhat saddened but we know so little of her that it wasn't that distraught.
The story goes pace by pace and there are some surprises. Paolini takes a different turn then what I expected. I was greatly disappointed when Nasuada was captured (as this one of his more succesful characters) but I think he used the capture in a unique way as a way of introducing us to Galbatorix and what I thought was ultimately a plot-line I was going to hate, kind of worked. But I do agree that more needed to be done to further demonstrate Galbatorix's insanity and evil. He seemed more brooding, mysterious and power-hungry not truly evil. Again, what Rowling captured with Voldemort was more along the lines of what I anticipated. Galbatorix is evil...but not evil incarnate. When your placating to archetypes as Paolini does, he should deliver them.
During the last battle I was hoping that the races would somehow find more to honor, respect and dare I say care for in each other. They all enter the final battle on rather shaky grounds and a feeling of unity bonding is lacking to some extent. It does not feel genuine or make you care much for them as the Varden as a whole, because there are no real personal friendships or lessons shared between the races.
I found the ultimate undoing of Galbatorix actuall quite satisfying, it was a surprise that I was not expecting and I thought it was gratifying that Galbatorix's own guilt contributed to his ultimate downfall and he became so detestable to himself that he undid himself. I found it unique. I'm glad that Paolini used the idea of immolating one's body prior because I had intially suspected he just utlizied it to explain a necessary plot device and it was rather shallow, but I liked that he returned to it.
A few last things:
1. I would have liked to know more about Angela, at least a little bit. It would have been nice to know why so many respected her and some (like the high priest of helgrind) feared her. Paolini should have given us a little more to chew on. I too suspected she may have been the Soothsayer, but with no confirmation on Paolini's part...who knows.
2. The significance of Brom's last words. This is just shoddy writing to put in someone's mysterious last dying words, LAST WORDS, only to never pick up the plot again. He should have just had Brom die if he wasn't going to extrapolate upon these mysterious last words...or did he just forget he wrote this? Thats what editors are for!
3. Who the hell are these people that save Roran?! If you're going to inject some mysterious characters for effect you need to at least give us a little more to chew on then: "they vaguely looked like this, did this, and left." Ummm...OK?! Honestly it just seems like Paolini forgot he wrote this part and never finished the plot line he started. I didn't get it.
4. The Menoa Tree deciding not to need anything after all seemed more like an afterthought. It was kind of like Paolini finished the story and then remembered: "oh yeah that damn tree..."
5. I too GREATLY dislike how Paolini built up the romance between Eragon and Arya but did not deliver on it. The romantic tension between these two characters is what was intriguing and interesting about their relationship. Their relationship is hardly ever even discussed and when it is, it is vague and dismissive. I don't find it entirely believable that Eragon will go through all of this growth and self-exploration only to blunder upon deep seeded feelings he has held for years. He can defeat the most powerful magician in history but can't tell Arya how he feels? This is not maturity. It does not bode well to invest four novels worth of building this plot line up to have it simply dismantle at the end and instead interject a "quickie" for a character (Saphira) whom we were never anticipating having a "relationship" or whatever it is dragons have. This little *switcharoo* was unfair. I hope Paolini will perhaps address this in a future novel as well as the potential relationship between Murtagh and Nasuada...after everything these characters have been through he needed to end the series with some kind of gratification for his characters. Instead all we have is talk of duty, duty, duty to the point where these characters seem to be fighting their deepest emotions or simply not caring. This is not a good ending, nor effective literature. Arya seems even more cold, robotic and duty-bound then ever...despite their being hints for four novels that she too cared for Eragon. This relationship, above all, I wanted to work itself out into a conclusion and it was part of why I invested my time in the series to begin with. While it may be LOGICALLY consistent with the character of Arya, what made Arya interesting is that she was more "human" than other elves and it almost feels like a jab in the eye to play so much with the romance idea only to finally retreat entirely from it at the end. Also, the first book speaks of an *EPIC* romance...in my mind an epic romance is not a boyhood crush that never gets off the ground. Eragon and Arya never even get a passionate kiss...COME ON PAOLINI!!!
In conclusion, I understand what Paolini was doing and why Eragon had to leave. I also like how the two the races were added to the riders, but I agree that this does not ultimately satisfy the reason for his leaving (which was to prevent dragons from feeding on...game, which is a LAME reason to leave) because the new riders would have the same issues. The decision to leave seems more a cop-out than anything else, but it wouldn't have been so bad had Eragon at least promised to return now and then. I do not think he needed to make Eragon so duty bound so as to insinuate the characters would NEVER see each other again. Relationships in stories are what make them special. Friendship, love...these are the things that make the characters and their journey's interesting. It does not do well to have divulge themselves ENTIRELY of these relationships...at the least Paolini could have left the door open for an occasional visit or potential romance option. To flat out cut-ties with everything Eragon loved and worked so hard to protect is simply heartbreaking and unsatisfying! I'm not sure if Paolini intended this ending to avoid convention, but I don't think many would say Rowling was a "bad" writer because she gave her characters a heart-warming conclusion. She left surprises in her writing come about through other plot lines and wrapped up the plot lines she was always heading for in a satisfying way. Paolini could have achieved this but to take a sudden 180 does not make much sense even if it was to avoid convention.
If you are a fan of the series I think its necessary to read this book to finally get some answers, but be forewarned that what you find here is going to be a mixture of bitter (too much bitter) and sweet. Because of this I would recommend the book and overall I think Paolini achieves what he set out to do though there are issues that could have been resolved much better even with some minor tweaking on his part. There was too much smoothing over of some difficulties and not enough attending to others. While for the most part I enjoyed the book, these issues prevented it from achieving the greatness it easily had the potential to achieve.