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review 2016-07-19 02:00
The Wit And Wisdom Of Tyrion Lannister
The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister - George R.R. Martin

Tyrion is my favorite character in A Song of Ice and Fire, and after watching the sixth season of Game of Thrones I was looking for something to fill the gap that I was left in. What I didn't realize was that the complete book would consist of Tyrion's quotes. Only quotes (and some little drawings).

 

And while Tyrion is awesome and his quotes are great. But a complete book with it, and that for a series that isn't completed yet, I'm not sure. I mostly didn't really see what the meaning of this book is (except for making more money).

 

Nevertheless the quotes are good, but the book is unnecessary.

 

 

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review 2016-06-16 05:21
Review: A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

I feel like any review that I could possibly write wouldn't do justice to the mammoth and epic read that "A Game of Thrones" turned out to be. This is just my review for the first book and no major spoilers or plot details here, just a general overview of my experience. That might be a format I do for the reviews of the remaining books in this series - just depends on what details I want to expand upon as I move forward with it.

I'm no stranger to reading books that are upwards of 600 pages, many of which land squarely in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. (I can read a 250 page book in an hour and a half if no one interrupts me and if I'm particularly motivated to finish it rather than savor the experience, the latter of which I certainly did for this book.) Even still, it took me a while to muscle through, and I knew that I'd have to be in the right mindset to tackle it. I took about a week to read this continuously despite starting and stopping the book in 2011 and 2013 because I had to keep returning it to the library - so I ended up buying it as well as the other books in the series. I'd actually read a good portion of this book before then, just never had the chance to read to review it until now. My introduction to A Song of Ice and Fire actually was back in 2004 when I was in undergrad uni and reading the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Jordan - probably because I was on a fantasy reading kick around that time. I wish I'd had the chance to read more back then, but I'm glad to have the chance to return to it.

This year and particular time (2016), I was on a epic bookhopping trip and my mind couldn't focus on one read. Somehow, I ended up getting all of my reading time sucked up in the world and characterizations within this book after I found my flow with it.

This book is full of complex and complicated characters, with their own histories, priorities, ambitions, flaws, among other qualities within their respective houses and the events that end up coming to a head towards the end of the novel. Martin weaves a personal narrative with eight POV characters that shift viewpoints at several turns in a battle heavy, politically askew world on the brink of war, especially in the mix of a king's unexpected death and the forthcoming shift of power. Perspective jumping and making sure that each character has their own distinct identity and vetted voice is hard to do in and of itself - so how Martin managed to seamlessly present these different characters (with some degrees of overlap for events) in such a streamline in just one book is really impressive, especially for the scope of the story. The attention to detail - the clothing, the food, the battle scenes, the emotions of the characters, the losses - all of these really hit home with me through the read. I'm in awe, for the most part, of Martin's writing and skill at bringing these images to my mind, while also giving me things to think about through the read and more than a few potent quotables to bring a smile to my face (I'm looking at you, Tyrion).

I'm trying to dance around spoilers for this book and it's hard to reflect upon it when you feel like so much happens within it that you can only talk so much about it without making your own review uber long (Uhh...never mind, I plead the fifth on my reviews for their respective lengths at times). I usually say that my favorite books are the ones that completely immerse me in the world that it builds, invests me in the plight of the characters within (even if I may not like them or the things that they do), make me feel a range of emotions, and leave me with much to think about in the mix of my reading experience. I did all that and then some with my experience reading this. It's a read that I know I'll remember for a long time to come.

Now I'm sitting here thinking that I want to read more for what happens to these respective characters - i.e. I'm going through serious book withdrawal and it's likely I'm going to pick up the next book right after this one. My biggest issue with "A Game of Thrones" in retrospect (technically) was that it was hard not to feel like the narrative sagged in some spells because the conflicts weren't always as clear or to the forefront as they could've been. It's a trade-off, because Martin describes details well and paints the realm and experiences of his characters with a colorful brush, but at the same time, I could tell certain POV points (Deny's POV in particular at times) felt like they didn't tie in as well with the primary storyline and it took quite a while to get to some of the places where the book hit the ground running. It still held my curiosity and intrigue, but it still affected me enough to where moving through it was a challenge. Thus, I'd give it 4 stars instead of 4.5 or even putting it at a 5 star read. But for the overarching experience? I really enjoyed what it had to offer, and I can't wait to continue reading to see how it all pans out down the line.

If you can check out the audio narration by Roy Doltrice, please do so - he does the voices of the characters very, very well. Though be warned that the audiobook is over 30 hours long (and yeah, I listened to parts of it on audio - courtesy of my library when I was on the go in commutes to work, then picking up the physical narrative I'd bought when I came home in the evenings.)

Overall score: 4/5 stars.

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review 2016-05-10 14:22
Another re-read
Fevre Dream - George R.R. Martin

This is a book I read when I was young and had never heard of George R.R. Martin, long before Game of Thrones. The funny thing is that although I could remember really liking it, I couldn't actually remember much about it except that it was about vampires on a Mississippi steamboat.

 

So, a second reading was in order and I'm glad I did!

 

Martin can really do suspense. I wonder how many of his earlier books are treasures still waiting to be rediscovered? His characters flow with their own individuality and the plotting is well paced.

 

There are two main storylines in this which come together around halfway through the book. One is about a bloodmaster, a leader vampire, and the situation on his plantation where the slaves are noticing things to an extent that it's becoming dangerous. The other is about, well, someone who seems a little mysterious, odd and reclusive and the reader will immediately suspect of being a vampire, but it's a little more complicated than that. It gets fully explained in context of the story.

 

Naturally there has to be a clash between these two strong characters, and the real hero of the book, the steamboat captain, is right in the middle of it all. The story is multi-layered and full of surprises and as anyone who reads Martin will know, there is no guarantee of a happy ending. One of the great things about this author is that you never know quite what to expect.

 

The story holds attention all through and is hard to put down. I highly recommend it.

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text 2015-11-16 12:35
So, this is happening
Rogues - Patrick Rothfuss,Gillian Flynn,Gardner R. Dozois,George R.R. Martin,Neil Gaiman

Why did I buy this collection after already buying and reading one of the stories contained therein?

 

Well, it was put together by George R.R. Martin and a story related to his Ice and Fire series was also included. I don't mind that Neil Gaiman got an extra buck off me. His story led me to the collection. It was also on sale at the time, or maybe it's kept permanently cheap. http://www.amazon.com/Rogues-George-R-Martin/dp/0345537262/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1447676983&sr=8-1&keywords=rogues+martin

 

In any case, there are stories from several other authors, some I've heard of and some I haven't. I don't often buy anthologies, but this one has already paid for itself with the Martin story. It was more of a chronicle of ruling families of Westeros, especially the Targaryens, but it was worth every penny.

 

I will read the other stories, but when the mood strikes me. Don't look for a review of the book as a whole because this is as close as I plan to do one. There are some authors I've wanted to try included so I'll look at it as a sampler to dip into when I want a short read.

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text 2015-10-16 13:36
Price drop, has anyone read this?
Windhaven - George R.R. Martin,Lisa Tuttle

Ereader IQ told me this is £1.99 today, but I'm undecided. It's one of Martin's earlier books. Has anyone read it? Is it any good?

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