I am going on the record as saying that no writer, especially male writers, should write about menstruation. Except for Judy Blume which I think goes...moreI am going on the record as saying that no writer, especially male writers, should write about menstruation. Except for Judy Blume which I think goes without saying. GRRM--never. Women are not flowering maids. Bouquets are not springing from vaginas. It's a menstrual period. Period. <--pun intended.
Warning: Martin spoiled many things for me so I'm likely to express my displeasure in spoilers.
Books 1-3 I was vested in the Game of Thrones. I wanted to see who won and who died. Character and world building galore. Creepy possibilities beyond the wall. Armies gathering, war imminent, power up for grabs. Evil characters developed a heart. Strong characters met terrible fates. Tyrion was witty. Daneryas was growing in strength. Dragons were born. My enquiring mind WANTED TO KNOW!
Politics Reading the threads of the different possibilities and the reintroduction of more Targearyan claims to the throne was interesting.
The women: loads of women who start out strong and end up mediocre, stereotypes. Evil Cersei is evil. Oooohh. Evil. Look how she plots with her vagina for her CHILDREN and to win her father's approval. Catelyn, holds Ned's vision until she dies. She is resurrected long enough to order the execution of Brienne and then disappears again. And what about Brienne? Could she succeed at SOMETHING? Asha waiting to die. Melissandre wanders about looking into fire and burning peeps. Daneryas has dragons but she whines about feeding her children and fucking her sellsword.
Jon Snow: Possibly the ONLY character in whom I was still vested? Slain. Or at least appears to be slain. DISLIKE.
The Endless Quest: I realize that part of what makes an epic EPIC is the hero's quest. I teach this to my freshmen every time we read The Odyssey. However, 900 pages of endless journeys to nowhere or to failure is hard to endure. Arya has wandered. Tyrion has wandered. Jaime has wandered. Brienne has wandered. Bran has wandered. Armies march and march and march and march. Very few get anywhere.
The Ultimate Disappointment
The Supernatural: So much possibility is being wasted. What is the purpose of the Tree King at the end of Bran's Journey? Are the wights and the Others going to do anything more than lurk menacingly outside the wall? What about the dragons? How will their power be harnessed? What about R'hollor? What is THAT going to do for anyone? Arya and the kindly man in the world of the mystical Braavosi? Where is that going?
The supernatural mysteries were the SINGLE MOST INTERESTING part of these novels and they sit there like half formed thoughts. Promises never delivered. Disappointment.
The WORST Part?
DESPITE the fact that I am seriously irritated and could not sleep for two hours after finishing this novel at 2:30 in the morning, I will STILL have to read the next fucking novel just to find out what in the fuck happens to Jon Snow.
I know a lot of folks didn't like this book because of the body count or the parts that lagged or the rushed feeling. I get that. I definitely skimmed...moreI know a lot of folks didn't like this book because of the body count or the parts that lagged or the rushed feeling. I get that. I definitely skimmed parts.
What I did and continue to like about Katniss and these novels is the fact that the writer doesn't condescend to young adults. I mean, there's not a lot of graphic sex, but Katniss is not magically shielded from death, grief, and loss. She has to make difficult decisions and since it's a primarily dystopian novel, the fact that there isn't a true "happily ever after, wow wasn't it all worth it?" isn't so unbelievable nor should it be unexpected. Perhaps that isn't what one wants from a young adult novel, but there you go.
I did get tired of her waking up in the hospital.
I loved Boggs and Finnick and especially bitter, scruffy, battered old Haymitch and his animal counterpart, Buttercup.