shannon_a: (Default)
This is the place where I was going to write a synopsis of A Dance with Dragon, so I'd know where all the characters were, so that it'd be easier when I pick up the next book, in 2017. But, I find myself just not giving a flying fig, because George R.R. Martin offered up such a disresepectful novel that though I'm sure I will read book 6, it'll only be with a heavy chip on my shoulder.

You know, unless HBO actually manages to keep producing seasons and gets there first, in which case I may decide their version of Westeros is the real one, and screw George R.R. Martin.

Here's what I wrote about A Dance with Dragons over on GoodReads and Xenagia:
A damned waste of a book. Maybe I'll appreciate it more on a second read (if I ever read it a second time), but for now I'm just annoyed. Nothing happens for 600 hundred pages. It took me 5 weeks to plow through this book, mainly due to the fact that nothing compelled me to read on until near the end. 

Even then, half of the events just feel like the status quo being returned after pretending to move away from it, so that *something* could happen in the book. Worse, and this is the point that really irritates me, after wasting all those pages and all that time, Martin drops cliffhangers on us that are sometimes very nearly the same cliffhangers from book 4 or even 3 (written 11 years previous!!). I was the most pissed by Martin revisiting Brienne's cliffhanger from book 4 (which I found the most compelling) with one single page of text that tells us nothing. You wasted 600 pages and you still couldn't finish even this part of the story!?
I think you could have fit everything important in this novel into a hundred pages or so. Making me waste 950 pages of reading time on that causes me to feel very disrespected by the author.
Note to self: Here's a great synopsis-ish. Full of spoilers.
shannon_a: (Default)

I finished my reread of A Clash of Kings today. 

I was pretty shocked by how poorly it compared to A Game of Thrones. It's still a great book, mind you, thanks mainly to the depth of its characters and the scope of its plot ... but the writing isn't nearly as good. A Game of Thrones was extremely tight writing, mostly in neat little 10 page chapters. Every chapter clearly had a point, and there's wasn't a wasted page.

Conversely, A Clash of Kings meanders a lot. Chapters flop all over, extending to 20 or even 30 pages with some regularity. Often it feels like not a lot goes on in the chapters and you don't have the same sense of something changing every 10 pages as you did in A Game of Thrones. In short, it read like a book that wasn't rewritten and polished ten ways to Tuesday, as I expect A Game of Thrones was.

After the first 200 pages or so, though, in which very little happens, it still kept me enthralled.

So with that said, I'm going to write-up my cheat sheet for this book, so that I can go back and look over it when book 6 is released, some 5-10 years from now. There will be spoilers, of course, so stop now if you haven't read book 2 or seen season 2.

spoilers )
shannon_a: (Default)
When I finished the third and fourth books of A Song of Ice & Fire (in 2004 and 2006!) I wrote up synopses to help me when I read later books in years to come. Having just finished a (third?) read of the first book, A Game of Thrones, I've decided to do the same. Suffice to say, this entry has extensive spoilers for the first Song book / the first season of A Game of Thrones, so don't read it if you still have those in front of you. spoilers ) I'm going to reread A Clash of Kings when we finish watching season 1 of A Game of Thrones on DVD, then I'll write it up here and have all four books in summary.
shannon_a: (Default)
Had the Wiedlins up here on Sunday for a typical birth day get together. We had dinner at La Med, then cake at home. There was much enjoyable talk with all the relatives. Kind birthday checks were also offered. As usual, I took the birth day gifting as a chance to get stuff I wanted but which might have been a bit more expensive than I'd usually put for. So, I got About Time 1 (so I can read about the early Dalek stories, which I'm currently reading novelizations of) and Songs of the Dying Earth and Moorcock's non-fiction collection London Peculiar and a few other things. I've still got about half the money to spend and am going to see if anything strikes me 'specially in the next week or so.

Since then, it's been back to work, except with much cake, as we had the remaining half of the delicious chocolate cake that the Wiedlins brought, plus the remaining super-rich cakes Kimberly and I had gotten at Berkeley Bowl. Whew.

Among the stuff I've been reading lately is A Game of Throne by George R.R. Martin. It's my third read, I think. I'm amazed how damned good the book is. Martin writes each chapter like a little short story with a beginning, middle, and end. Each chapter also gives us a strong moment of revelation or change, usually encoded right at the end of the chapter. The craft is just superb. I dunno how the same person who has written OK Wild Cards stories and nothing else that I know of super note is also writing some of the best-crafted fantasy out there.

Tomorrow: the birthday celebrations continue, as it's Kimberly's actual birthday. Delicious food is planned. At one of my top 3 restaurants. Stay tuned.
shannon_a: (Default)
Well, I've now finished reading A Feast of Crows, book four of A Song of Fire and Ice. I figure it'll be at least a year before I see another book in the series (again), so I'm following up on my previous synopsis of book 3 with a synopsis of book 4, to review when book 5 is finally out.

spoilers )
shannon_a: (Default)
I've just finished reading A Storm of Swords. In fact, as it happens, I've just finished reading all three books in A Song of Fire and Ice through, a task which took many weeks, and which I don't expect to repeat, no matter how good they were.

Unfortunately, it'll probably be a year before book 4 is out, and I'd guess 5-10 years before the serious is complete. I'm unlikely to remember what was going on by the time I pick up the next book. Thus, I've decided to write myself a synopsis of where everyone was at the end of Book III as a memory aide. As you'd expect, this post will entirely be spoilers, with a bit of analysis.

Spoiler Summary for A Storm of Swords )

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