Ah, this won’t be a quality review, but let me just say that having devoured Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, I am pleasantly surprised.

Let me lay the scene for you. We were on our way home from N’Orlins and the wonderful Easter trip with family we don’t see nearly enough (is there ever an enough with family that lives far, far away?), and lo and behold, I had not printed out all the pages of the book I was reading for a friend of mine (which is excellent, but which I’m not allowed to review here yet – but when it is published, you will be hearing all about it, believe me!). That left me with no fiction in my reading selections and plenty of hours yet in the car with a backseat companion who was happily occupied with markers and DVDs and books and non-Mommy pursuits. You know what I mean: time to read as though you are sitting down with an entire bag of robin eggs and just eating them all, no stomachache in sight; time to devour a book as though you have the appetite to eat two helpings of your favorite dinner and dessert; time to enjoy prose without interruption, as though you are, for a moment, granted a day in that corner of heaven especially for bookworms. The only book I had with me was Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, and though I did try to get into it, it just isn’t the “sit down and read 500 pages at a time” kind of book. It’s great and I’m loving it, but what I was yearning for was a novel, preferably a nice thick juicy one.

Things got desperate after the first 12 hours. My MIL, ever thoughtful, offered me a book on angels. I offered to pay for a steak dinner if we could stop at a bookstore. Alas, no bookstores in sight! I even went so far, at one potty break, to go through the truck stop, looking for something that I hadn’t read or that I could at least bear to spend money on. It was not to be.

Not until we were two hours from home. The potty break was at a section that included a Kmart. The rejoicing from my side of the backseat caused Small Fry to screech with delight. I knew the selection might not be pretty (it was actually far better than I thought it would be), but it would certainly yield something. After a scare in the store – I thought for a moment they didn’t sell books (oh, the fear and trembling and the suspicion that maybe God didn’t want me reading a novel!) – I found Eragon on the shelf and, given the choices, decided to give it a try. Why not? I reasoned. I had borrowed it and returned it to someone a while back, and kept putting off actually reading it, though I’ve heard good things.

I’m not usually a sci-fi fantasy reader, though this summer may be my sci-fi summer (and there will be a plea for help following, because I am surfing into unknown territory there!), but I have loved Lord of the Rings since it was pushed into my book-hungry sixth grade hands, and have really enjoyed quite a few others. I expected Eragon to be immature, or maybe not fully developed, or maybe lacking somehow, and it might well be. I can’t say that I read it critically, though I intended to. Nope, I got sucked in right at the beginning, and I polished it off at a rate that reminded me that my love for reading has a lot to do with my love for a good story (and the realization that I need to maybe focus a little less on the stacks of nonfiction, huh?, to fully realize my joy in reading again).

It’s a charming, and perhaps a bit predictable, story, and the writing’s not so bad. I liked the map in the front, and I enjoyed the descriptions of the places. Maybe the people were a bit flat, but there’s a sequel. Maybe there’s that whole races-other-than-human thing that always gets me a little…nervous…but even that, not done so badly. All in all, I enjoyed it. I have the sequel in my hot little hands (audio), and plan to spend my laundry folding and household chore time with it firmly in my ears. I’m glad I bought a copy, which is perhaps as high a praise as I can give a book.

(Guess this post was more a story about how I got the book, and not so much about the book itself…there you go.)