The first two-thirds of this book were definitely five-star for me. It broadens many of those legends and historical stories that are referenced withiThe first two-thirds of this book were definitely five-star for me. It broadens many of those legends and historical stories that are referenced within A Song of Ice and Fire, of which we have previously only received tantalizing bits. Seeing the entire Targaryen line of kings and getting all of the stories about them in chronological order really helped me to contextualize things and get a better grasp on the history of the universe. And some of the stories we get about the histories of the other great houses, the Night's Watch, etc.? Amazing. Totally worth reading, for those who lie awake at night thinking about the history of Westeros, at least (No judgment. I'm right there with you).
I really loved the way that Martin's motif surrounding female accession to power, and male resistance to it, was reinforced throughout this work. It's clearly a prevailing theme in the series, and seeing the way it recurs throughout his history of the world was interesting.
Also, the art? Drop dead gorgeous.
However, I feel like the way that this work (view spoiler)[situates the world so firmly within the Cthulhu mythos lessens the awesome world-building that Martin has done. Sure, before this we had the Iron Islanders' religion, but the continual references to the mythos, and particularly including references to some of Lovecraft's most racist work, left a bad taste in my mouth.
And the Dark Continent-esque descriptions of Sothoryos? Surely one of the benefits of writing about a fictional world with analogues to ours rather than actually writing about our historical world is that you have the option to not perpetuate the icky racist language and stereotypes of our past. (hide spoiler)]
So many parts of this book are valuable, fascinating additions to the canon. I just wish there hadn't been the parts that made me so uneasy....more
I love Edward Abbey, and I love the spirit of this book, but it is unfortunately way too bloated. An entertaining beginning and an exciting ending sanI love Edward Abbey, and I love the spirit of this book, but it is unfortunately way too bloated. An entertaining beginning and an exciting ending sandwich a dull, interminable middle. The love triangle is uncompelling and the action is repetitive. The story would have been better served if about half of the book had been cut.
Also, while he tries to mitigate the sexism by making Bonnie an interesting character (which she often is) and laughing off the persistently chauvinist dialogue, it really doesn't play. There is an underlying sexism to the thing that is distasteful.
That said, there are some truly hilarious passages (especially in the beginning), and the current of rage that runs throughout the book is as relevant today as ever. A book I wanted to love wholeheartedly....more
Ivy and Bean are so funny and just delightful. I think the best part about these is they always inspire an interest in wholesome, creative play in myIvy and Bean are so funny and just delightful. I think the best part about these is they always inspire an interest in wholesome, creative play in my 5-year old. After we read this one, he asked if we could invite friends over to dig a giant hole in our backyard so he could make an enormous dirt pile. Maybe not my preferred playdate activity, but I love the impulse. Barrows just really gets kids this age - much of this book centers around Bean's obsession with seeing what is in the "attic" of her house (which her mother insists is just a crawlspace). So random, but very true to form - kids really do love to believe that mystery and adventure could be waiting in the nooks and crannies of their homes. Highly recommended....more
While the first couple of books are pretty abysmal, I have to say the plotting on the Droon books gets more interesting by this one. Eric, at least, iWhile the first couple of books are pretty abysmal, I have to say the plotting on the Droon books gets more interesting by this one. Eric, at least, is becoming a more realized character, and the archnemesis relationship with Lord Sparr is really developing (Julie and Neal continue to have all the personality of a couple of brooms). The writing is still really dull. I feel like the humor is pretty tedious, but it kills with my 5-year old, so I suppose he knows his audience. I am starting to become interested in Keeah's story; I hope that continues to develop. I'm sure we will keep reading the series - they are a good way to satisfy my son's fantasy itch while he waits to become old enough for Harry Potter....more