Tagged: the winds of winter

Lazy Sundays: Game of Thrones Withdrawal

Right now I’m between series and there’s nothing to watch on TV because there’s normally nothing to watch on TV but in summer it’s especially bad.  Game of Thrones is done and after talking about it at least once a week for ten weeks the withdrawal feelings are bad.  In addition to that The Walking Dead isn’t back for season six until two days before my birthday (it releases October 11).  And I can’t even content myself with watching re-runs from both series’ season fives because they’re not out on DVD yet.  Normally I’m not overly disappointed with television shows but since I’ve been cooped up in the house for a week I’m getting a little TV-obsessed.  No, it’s not healthy and yes, I need to get out a little more.

In regards to the severe Game of Thrones withdrawal symptoms, I’m also very worried about book 6, The Winds of Winter because I know it isn’t coming out this year.  (I believe Martin’s publisher announced something to that effect.)  I really, really hope that Martin does get to finish the series eventually because although the TV show is great, I definitely prefer the books in a lot of ways.

Well, I’m just going to have to deal with my extremely first world problems until February 2016 when the Season 5 DVD comes out.  In the meantime I’m going to work on trying to get outside now that I’m somewhat healed up and maybe start gently working out again.  Maybe I can start the House of Cards TV series, which comes highly recommended from my equally geeky coworker.

How was your Sunday?

Discussion: Book Releases You’re Looking Forward To

Every avid reader has a series they just love and cannot wait to finish.  The waiting, even though it’s usually only a couple of years, seems like forever.  You obsessively check Goodreads to check and re-check the expected publication date, you talk to your fellow fans, you stalk the author’s blog just to see if they’ve made any announcement pertaining to their next book.  Yes folks, that’s the level of obsession I’m talking about.

I’m really only that way with a few books.  Most notably, The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin (which is not going to be released this year, argh!), Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen, Prophecy of the Betrayed Heir by Diantha Jones (hurry up, you crazy busy lady!) and whatever book comes after Shadow Dragon in the Shapeshifter Dragon series by Marc Secchia.  I actually have rapport with the last two authors so I can playfully bug them once in a while but being able to do that makes the wait for traditionally published books even harder now.  I can’t exactly email George R. R. Martin and ask when he’s finally going to write his next book!

So what books are you super looking forward to?  Why?  How long have you waited?

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance — beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone — a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

After loving the first four books, I’ll admit that I really wanted to love A Dance with Dragons.  I really, really tried.  But it was such slow-going.  It took me over a month to finish this book which should be a warning sign right there.

The problem, I think, at this point in the series is a little something called character bloat.  There are too many characters.  There are so many different houses and players entering into the war for Westeros that it’s simply become ridiculous.  I can hardly keep track of them all and I’m not bragging when I say I have a good memory when it comes to books.  Some points of view could have been cut from the book entirely.  Did Quentyn Martell really have to have his say?  Arya’s story barely went anywhere.

If it was just a slow plot I could handle it but it feels like the characters are going in totally different directions.  Daenerys is an indecisive, idealistic moron compared to the strong, sure young woman she was in previous books.  Jon Snow keeps swinging between rigidly sticking to his oath as a man of the Night’s Watch and totally violating it by siding with a king.  Tyrion…well I don’t know what to think of him anymore.  It’s okay that characters change and explore themselves.  That’s what makes a story good!  But it’s not okay that they randomly go in a whole different direction with pretty much zero explanation.

Despite all this, when I actually sat down to read A Dance with Dragons I didn’t mind it all that much.  Some parts were pretty darn good.  Although George R. R. Martin lost some of the things that made his series great in the beginning (his ability to kill off main characters ruthlessly, for one) he still has that amazing world-building.  We learn so much about Westeros and the rest of Martin’s world that it almost makes up for everything else.  The history of all Seven Kingdoms and the impact on people and other places was fascinating.  I loved learning more about the world’s history!  It added more depth to Martin’s world.

Yes, I will read The Winds of Winter when it finally does get published.  Will I be looking forward to it as much as I did this book?  Probably not.  I’m just hoping that the next book will be better and that we’ll go back to that magical spark George R. R. Martin had in A Game of Thrones.

I give this book 3/5 stars.

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