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Posts Tagged ‘george r r martin’

A Dance With Dragons by George R R Martin

Posted by Caitie F on September 28, 2012

Title: A Dance With Dragons
Author: George R R Martin
Hardcover: 1045 pages
Publisher: Bantam
Pub Date: July 2011
Rating: ++++

This contains SPOILERS for the first FOUR books in this series!

Summary from goodreads:

The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.

In the east, Daenerys, last scion of House Targaryen, her dragons grown to terrifying maturity, rules as queen of a city built on dust and death, beset by enemies.

Now that her whereabouts are known many are seeking Daenerys and her dragons. Among them the dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, who has escaped King’s Landing with a price on his head, wrongfully condemned to death for the murder of his nephew, King Joffrey. But not before killing his hated father, Lord Tywin.

To the north lies the great Wall of ice and stone – a structure only as strong as those guarding it. Eddard Stark’s bastard son Jon Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, but he has enemies both in the Watch and beyond the Wall, where the wildling armies are massing for an assault.

On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all

Review:

Okay. So this book was better than the last one, but I don’t think it could be worse since there were actually characters I like in this book! Also, a LOT happened in this book. There was still some moving around to set up the last two books in the series, but there were lots of breaks in the slower parts with characters that I loved and action.

But I kind of hate George R R Martin. I cannot count the amount of the times that my favorite character have been in mortal danger and/or actually died in these books. It is just cruel. There are two characters in particular that seem like they died 5 or 6 times. I mean, even when you have seen a dead body, they aren’t necessarily dead in this series! It makes for a very stressful and emotional reading experience.

And he did it big time in this book both making me think my favorite character overall is dead and showing that a couple others aren’t. There were separations, reunions, and dragons.

This was such a cool book and I am so glad I am caught up with the series. I can now join discussions and don’t have to worry about being spoiled anymore! Though it also sucks that there is not anything else published. He needs to get writing!

DO you have any series that you are finally catching up to? Let me know in the comments!

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Three Mini Reviews!

Posted by Caitie F on August 9, 2012

I have three books that I have finished in the last month and I never got around to reviewing them because I never felt inspired to write out a full review. I would like to share what I thought, so here are three mini reviews with mini summaries.

Title: The Age of Miracles
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Paperback: 269 pages
Pub Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Random House
Rating: +++

Summary: The Earth is slowing and everything is affected. This book follows one 11-year-old girl as she deals with not only the Earth’s sudden changes but her parents fighting, losing friends, and a first love.

Review: This book just felt so eh. I read it less than a month ago and I can’t even remember it all that much (except for her grandfather, his character really stuck with me and gave me emotional reactions).

I really liked that it looked at a natural disaster from the perspective of a regular person and family, it was much different from what we usually see. I also liked seeing how the government reacted and all of the parts of the story actually about the slowing. Everything with Julia was less interesting and the book got very slow towards the middle and the end.

I did enjoy the writing, I just think the book had a lot of potential that it didn’t meet. It almost felt like the author wanted to write and adult book and a young adult book at the same time, which ends up with having a book that is hard to get into.

Title: A Feast For Crows
Author: George R R Martin
Hardcover: 753 pages
Pub Date: October 17, 2005
Publisher: Bantam
Rating: ++

Summary: The fourth Song of Ice and Fire book. With none of your favorite characters.

Review: This book took me SO long to read. I had to force myself to pick it up. The first ⅘ was slow, boring, and mostly about characters I didn’t really care about all that much. Like the Greyjoys – the Kingsmoot was the biggest letdown.

The end picks up and some characters get what is coming to them, but overall this book sucks. So glad it is over and so glad I didn’t wait a few years for this crap!

Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Paperback: 448 pages
Pub year: 1865
Rating: +++

Summary: It is Dracula. He is a vampire. He terrorizes people in England and turns some into vampires. People want him dead.

Review: So everyone knows that basic story of Dracula. I have never seen a movie or read the book. but thanks to pop culture I knew the basics.

The basics are, for the most part, better than the book. I did really like HOW the story was told – it is through diaries, journals, and letters. I am a sucker for this kind of storytelling, especially when it is done well and on that aspect,  it is done very well.

The book can be split into thirds. The first third is when Jonathan is at Dracula’s castle and writes in his journal about what is going on. Knowing that Dracula was a vampire made this part quite boring. Yet it was well-told, so I kept going.

The second third is before we see Jonathan again and don’t know what happened to him. In that, his fiancee and her friend exchange letters and then it follows Lucy suitors, sickness. and her death, and Van Helsing appears. This was too long and boring. Could have been cut in half. I almost wanted to stop reading, but I knew it had to get better

The final third is when a bunch of men and one really awesome woman go after Dracula. This was slow at times, but I loved reading about them plotting and planning, so it was fine that it was slower. The climax was quite awesome and makes it a book worth reading.

My one big issue is that I had to remember when this was written and not twitch at every mention of women being weak/not as smart/generally inferior to men. I know it was a time period thing, but it still bugged me, I just can’t help it.

Overall, still glad that 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die made me read this.

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A Storm of Swords by George R R Martin

Posted by Caitie F on May 19, 2012

Title: A Storm of Swords
Author: George R R Martin
Trade Paperback: 1008 pages
Pub Date: October 2000
Publisher: Bantam
Rating: +++++

Summary:

The epic saga continues. A lot of stuff happens. Really you don’t want to know!

Review:

WARNING: THIS REVIEW INCLUDES SPOILERS FROM THE FIRST TWO BOOKS. No book three spoilers, just reactions. Any characters mentioned are in the book as of the beginning.

This is the best one so far! It is the first of his books that I gave a five rating! While I know it is just temporary, this didn’t ramble or go off on annoying tangents or drag and drag like the first two tended to do. There were some long descriptions of food, but they were actaully kind of cool.

The book was incredibly exciting! So much happened! I gasped, cheered, or wanted to throw the book more times that I could count. It was one of those books that I kept saying “just one more chapter” before I could stop. I can’t wait ot see so much of it happen on the TV show!

Here is my favorites list for this book

Favorite Character That I loved Before

This is so hard! I am at a toss up between the three I have from the beginning. Arya, Tyrion, and Jon. They are all very very awesome still for different reasons.

Arya is tough and strong, but still shows some vulnerability, even if she hates it when she does.She is bright, quick on her feet, and ready to stand up for what is right.

Tyrion is getting more and more complex with each book. He is the most intelligent character in the book, but getting treated badly has hardened him, so he still uses his brains and sharp wit to hurt, which I really love because he feels like such a real characters.

And Jon is just amazing. He is strong and is the most like Ned. He focuses on what is right and does everything he can to actually help others. Since i love him so much, I know he will be dead eventually.

Favorite Character that I Didn’t Expect

Brienne. She is all kinds of awesome. I don’t have any complex reasons to love her, she is just a great character. George R R Martin really knows how to write awesome women.

Character I Went From Hating to Liking a Lot

Jaime. I don’t want to let you know why, but he becomes a much more complex guy!

Character I Just Don’t Care About Anymore

Daenerys Her character is just boring now. Some cool stuff happenened, but I just don’t care about it very much 😦

Scene I Can’t Wait to See on te Show

The big thing Tyrion does! It is awesome.

I could go on and om being vague about this epic book but i won’t. It is fantastic though!

 

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A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

Posted by Caitie F on February 5, 2012

Title: A Clash of Kings
Author: George R. R. Martin
Mass Market Paperback:  969 pages (actual story)
Publisher: Bamtam Books (Random House)
Year Published: 1996
Rating: ++++

Don’t read past here if you don’t want spoilers from the first book!

Summary from goodreads:

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who hold sway over an age of enforced peace are dead, victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night.

Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

Review:

Well I loved A Game of Thrones and was very excited to read this before season two of the TV show starts. This book did not disappoint at all. In fact, I think it was even better than the first.

My opinions of characters are changing already and I have heard that this will continue. Sansa grew up. She was so much stronger and smarter than before. Her innocence is still there, but she is seeing the world as it is, not as the songs made her believe. She was my least favorite character in the first book. She is no where near my favorite now, but she has moved up quite a bit.

Daenerys was actually a disappointment this book. I looked forward to her chapters in the first, but (except for once chapter) I was bored and didn’t really care when her story was told. It didn’t have the strength and wonder of the first book. I am hoping this will change in the future since she was such a strong character in the first book.

My favorites are still Jon and Arya though. They still rocked and I love how they are developing. Actually, I love how everyone is developing. I never felt like certain characters were getting shortchanged in this book. I odn’t know how Martin does it, but it is brilliant.

There wasn’t quite as much over-describing in this book (though there was still some). Even more, I still had no idea what was happening in the huge battle scenes. I read them a couple times, then just figured I would figure it all out when the battle was over.

This was still fantastic. I am going to take an Ice and Fire break though because I would like to read more than one book not for work this month! I look forward to watching the first season when it comes out on DVD in March then watching Season Two in April.

Scene from Clash of Kings I am most excited to see: How they do the huge battle. It was massively awesome. I worry that they won’t show it because it seems like it would also be massively expensive. Yet I want to see that  chain!

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A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Posted by Caitie F on September 13, 2011

Title: A Game of Thrones
Author: George R. R. Martin
Paperback:  835 pages (story is 807)
Publisher: Bantam Books
Year Published: 1996
Rating: ++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective wall. To the south, the King’s powers are failing, and his enemies are emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the King’s new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but also the kingdom itself. A heroic fantasy of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and evildoers who come together in a time of grim omens.

Review:

I finally read it and really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to watching the show. Since this is not a typical book, this will not be a typical review. I want to talk about my favorite (and least favorite) aspects of the book.

Favorite Character(s)

I can’t choose just one…so I am calling it a tie!

First, Jon Snow. The bastard. And in case you ever forget that he is the bastard, he is constantly called it. I think he is the kindest, strongest, and most caring bastard there is. He is so brave and noble. If there is a character to strive to be like, it is Jon (Well Jon and Ned). I loved every time there was a chapter from his perspective from the very first.

And he is tied with his half-sister Arya. She is bright and strong. She is a tomboy and cannot stand it when they try to make her into a little princess. She is outspoken and headstrong. I love characters like this, especially in a young girl. The book ended with her in some peril, so I want to hurry to the next book to make sure she is okay!

Most Improved Character

At first, I really didn’t care for Daenerys (Dany). I wanted the book to get back to the Starks. They were what I cared about and who I wanted to read about.

But then she got married to Drogo and with that wedding she found her voice and her strength of the dragon. She saw her brother was wrong and that she could take control of things too. After that, I couldn’t wait for another Dany chapter. And her ending shocked me even more than the big death (but I did know about the death before reading). I cannot wait to see her story…and it makes it so there is a whole other team of good guys.

Least Favorite Character

While I loved most of the Starks…Sansa annoyed me to no end. She was too naive. She didn’t care that Joffrey lied and hurt her family and wolf directly, she blamed her sister instead. He was cruel to her and she just let it go because he was “her prince”. I did not enjoy her characters and got so annoyed at her. Hopefully, now that Joffrey has shown his true colors, she will get some sense into her pretty little head.

Character I Wanted to Punch in the Face Every Time He/She Was On Page

Speaking of Joffrey…what a jerk! What a prick! I hated him from the second I saw him on the page. He is a spoiled little brat. I wanted to crawl into the book and punch him in the face. It makes him an interesting character since he…rules the entire kingdom. But I still wouldn’t mind watching him suffer.

Best Aspect of Book as a Whole

I love how Martin has managed to juggle so many characters. They all have amazing stories and so many motivations. It makes it hard to know who to cheer for. I love the Starks, but I love Dany too. I can see being torn in furture books when they are pitted against each other.

The story is so intricate, but I trust that it is meaningful. In the first book, some things seemed random at first, but it matters and it means something…for hte most part.

Worst Aspect of Book as a Whole (why not 5 +)

Martin over-describes like crazy. While I love that the world is so vivid, sometimes he just goes too far. I don’t need to know the descriptions of every piece of food they eat. Or three pages of Dany’s wedding gifts. Just focus on what is important and the book would move much faster. I think there could have been a better balanced of the descriptions.

I also found myself confused during big battles. There were actually a few times when I had to read a paragraph four or five times because there were confusing pronouns…I had no idea who the “he” was referring to, since it could have been two or three people.

Scene I Can’t Wait to See in the Show

There are SO many…but I think watching the consequences of Viserys actions will be awesome. I loved reading it (and grimacing), so it should be very graphic.

I am also excited to seeat least one of Arya’s dance lessons and hope they are included (even though I know they may not be).

Cannot wait for the second book!

Agree with me? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

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