I finished reading, Game of Thrones: A Dance With Dragons, by George R.R. Martin in February of this year. However in honor of the fourth season premier of Game of Thrones this week, I thought I would post to my blog my goodreads review of the book.
I gave this book three out of five stars. Please Note: I do discuss some aspects of the plot and there may be a spoiler or two contained.
If the authors intent is for the reader to end his work feeling depressed then he succeeded with me. Really I spent the last 200 pages depressed and just hoping it would end. Of course anyone who has suffered the last three books knows that is not what Martin plans to do. There is no end, and like he told us over and over in book 2-“There are no happy endings”, and there is no happy ending here as well. I swear I love Tyrion Lanister and Jon Snow (they are my favorites), but if I had to read Tyrion contemplate one more time about shooting Tywin with a crossbow, or Jon hear, “You know nothing Jon Snow” I was going to scream and wake my entire house up or break my iPad. Come on Martin we suffered a whole book of new people in book 4, can you come up with some new rumination for these people please?
As I trudged through Martin’s fifth book I contemplated what I love and what I hate about his works. What I love:
1) The characters-Amazing character building, but you can tell the characters from his first two books are and remain stronger than those forced on us in his more recent works.
2) His ability to build amazing worlds. He’s a world builder, and just when you think he’s dragged you all over this place-you are taken to another if you want to see it or not.
3) I love the dragons-and I’m still pissed about no dragons in book 4.
What I hate:
1) The tragedy is to close to real life, and there is no “real life” happiness anywhere in sight. He revels in the bad-and when you think there is a moment of good he sets you up for something really bad. I’m tired of reading about serial killers and idiots. And then when you actually want a character to die (stupid squid princess) she doesn’t get killed!
2) He’s obviously been places where its been cold, but he has no clue what real cold will do to people, and how fast it kills. None of these characters should have made it as long as they had in this “autumn”. The whole Stanis marching the northmen to Whinterfell should have been suicide for everyone. Definitely someone from a warm climate writing this book. Irritating when the writer likes to indulge in making us read about so many other intricate details of death and suffering.
3) I am tired of the exposition monologues in his characters heads. Every damn chapter is becoming the same. Dropped into one of his 30 odd characters and then for the next five pages you are caught up to the “action” by the rumination of the character in some random scene that only mildly takes the action forward. By the end of the chapter nothing is resolved and you might get to read about another death or rape. Oh come on! Drop us into at least one battle please? Nope…people dying while they march in snow. People dying holed up in castles. People dying holed up in pyramids. People watching other people dye from diseases. Sailing on a river boat-and dead people flinging themselves off bridges. Sailing on boats and vomiting or dying in a crazy storm. The biggest nail bitter was watching the frog prince be a dummy and go try and tame a dragon. People dying being eaten by dragons. People dying being burned to death. And don’t let me forget the last battle-or should I say the start of the battle in Mareen where not rocks but cadavers are launched over the walls.
And now I just want to rant about the plot-or lack of plot movement, because it’s all taking so freaking long!
*Thank you for FINALLY confirming Jon Snows parents. It’s been hinted at-and we all scratched our heads and wondered about Ed Starks memories of his sister begging from her death bed. And then Marmots memories, Cersi’s pissed off memories, and now we know from Seleny for sure that’s what was up. I was laughing when Marmots Raven said “Snow, Jon Snow King.” And The red priestess kept seeing Jon Snow in her fires when she asked to see the King. “Hint-hint-kick in the face hint.” So I kinda don’t think you really killed him Martin, just like I didn’t believe you killed off Brianne.
*Big let down for Braun to be dragged all the way past the wall only to start a life living in the dark becoming part of a tree. Why? Hmm…I predict he will in some way learn history from the trees that impart some knowledge to help defeat the others. That’s all I could come up with after making him such a big character all this time, and because he vanishes in the last 350 pages of book 5.
*Arya…I don’t think even Martin knows where her plot is going. For real, if she’s still holding onto that stupid prayer of hers I really don’t believe she is prepared to become “No One”.
*And was anybody else reading book 5 going-“where the hell is Sam?” And where the hell is Brianne-and what’s up with Lady Stark (Maybe Martin doesn’t know what to do with her either?) And Sansa…and is Little Lord Aryn going to die of an epileptic fit yet?
*Boy did he let Cersi off the hook or what? Why kill her though, we all love to hate her.
*I basically hate all of the Squid people. I hate reading about them and I continue to hate them in this book. I kept hoping Victarion was going to get eaten by a dragon himself. I’ll never feel sorry for Theon, and his sister-why is she still alive!
*I’m not convinced Marmot is Dany’s real “love betrayal”.
*Dario, ugh! You can tell a man wrote their romance. Way to drop her IQ level by having her lust and fall into bed with a guy who openly fondles the naked woman sword handle in front of her. “Maybe he can fuck me one more time before he goes.” -sorry that’s a man thought-not a “young girls”. Every other book Dany said “taking pleasures”-when did she start asking guys to fuck her? The description of him-the guys sounds like he’s a circus clown. I respected her more when she knew she wanted to sleep with him but knew it was a bad idea. Way to cut her down.
*Why didn’t the angry northmen get a clue and kill off the Bolton’s &Frey’s when they were holed up in Winterfell? I thought it was on when Lady Dustin even chimed in telling Roose the North Remembers-but then that’s right they’re all dying. Who knows-might be in the next tomb Martin puts out.