For a while I have been feeling like I’d lost my ability to read lengthy novels. Now, I’ve realized I haven’t lost that ability. I just needed materia...moreFor a while I have been feeling like I’d lost my ability to read lengthy novels. Now, I’ve realized I haven’t lost that ability. I just needed material I wanted to keep reading. And thus, another edition of the A Song of Ice and Fire saga, finished!
A Feast for Crows narrowed the scope of the series to only a portion of the characters found in previous books. Notably absent were some of the characters I love most (Tyrion, where for art thou?!). This has been lamented ad nauseum in a majority of reviews I read for this book. I refrained from reading reviews, mostly to avoid spoilers, until after finishing this. Wow. The anger! The sheer distress and hatred! I had to pause before writing this to think “Did I miss something? Was this book really so bad?” And to myself I answer . . . Nope. In an attempt to relate to my fellow reviewers I should say, I can see the anger when you’ve had to wait ages for this book, or had to wait ages for the next one. I have been spoiled when reading this series because so many of the books were available at the time I started. For a portion of reading AFFC I had moments of wanting to skip through certain point of views (Samwell, why can’t I like you? Stop the simpering and man up already!!). My reading experience fell in line with previous installments of this series where I found that the last quarter or so of the book really picked up. I had no issues plowing through to the end and then immediately purchased A Dance with Dragons. I didn’t want to leave the world for very long. Sorry 634 other books I’ve picked up and haven’t finished yet!
Part of the real gravity of this book didn’t hit me until I was reflecting on it now to write this. A lot of the story felt like characters were just shuffling around for most of the book. Upon further reflection it wasn’t just shuffling. Martin set up so much conflict to explode (hopefully) for the next book. Some people are going to get theirs (they better or I will HUNT YOU DOWN MARTIN - I think I’m required to say something like that, in all caps, in this review . . .). There were some events near the end that had me wanting to run to friends who have read the books and say “OH EM GEE!!” I can only give AFFC 3 stars though. I liked the book. But I didn't love it. There were enough times I found myself rolling my eyes at yet another repeat of phrasing or descriptions that I just cannot give this book a higher rating.
I typically don’t read fantasy. I have had a hard time making it through long novels lately. But Martin has kept me connected and interested for four books now, and onto the fifth. (less)
This installment of the series was everything I was promised it would be, and more. Halfway through I was getting anxious and angry at the goings on....moreThis installment of the series was everything I was promised it would be, and more. Halfway through I was getting anxious and angry at the goings on. But the second half of Martin's massive story was amazing. Jaw dropping. I gasped. I squeed. I kept telling my husband how much I wanted to talk to him about it, but didn't want to spoil it for him (as he has only been watching the T.V. show, and doesn't want next season's shockers spoiled). I've honestly never been so desperate to find a friend to talk to about a book. Although most of the conversation would probably have gone "Can you believe . . . I KNOW! . . . And then . . . WOW!! . . . I never imagined . . . HA! Oh em gee! WOO! Argh!! Okay I need the next book now." Thank you Amazon and Kindle, for I was able to pick up A Feast for Crows immediately after finishing this. And I definitely wanted to. No doubt in my mind I needed to keep reading the next book, which is a huge endorsement for a series.
Where I found prior installments of this series a bit slow, and mostly character shuffling, A Storm of Swords does shuffle characters, but quickly and interestingly and in a way you have to know what happens next. The cliff hanger endings of a lot of the chapters were great. Made it hard to put down at night! Reflecting on the book now, I'm not sure I got as much of an emotional feeling about certain narrators in this book. I've found myself either really liking or disliking narrators in previous books of this series. Maybe my emotions are already tied to people enough that I just didn't switch around much. Martin also has new and different narrators in both this and the next book. This definitely adds to the enjoyment and desire to keep going.
If you're having trouble slogging through the previous book(s), get to this one. Get through it. You'll definitely be hooked in!(less)
I didn't have the boredom issues with this book that others report. However, I also had Season 3 of the TV...moreHurray! Book two is done - onto book three!
I didn't have the boredom issues with this book that others report. However, I also had Season 3 of the TV show to let me know "better things are coming". I found most of A Clash of Kings to be character development. I only got a bit bored during Dany (GASP!) and Davos chapters. The other characters I enjoyed getting to their chapters and seeing what would unfold. I do think the knowledge from the TV show helped augment my enjoyment of this book. Some of the more potentially boring chapters became "Oohhh, so THAT is how this got started/what is going on" background building. It helps too that I got hints from a few people that A Storm of Swords is amazing in comparision.
The combination of this book and the TV show has definitely spurred me on to continuing my A Song of Ice and Fire series reading. Usually I get bored of series and like to just read one book at a time and come back to them, but this one has definitely captured my attention and I don't want to stop.(less)
For me, re-reading Harry Potter is like that first night after coming home from a long vacation and getting to sleep on freshly cleaned sheets in your...moreFor me, re-reading Harry Potter is like that first night after coming home from a long vacation and getting to sleep on freshly cleaned sheets in your own bed. Goblet of Fire has long been my favorite of the series. I've always felt like this book began *real* character development, and having finished the series now I can see where Rowling dropped hints about what was to come, which added new depth to the book.
It's hard to resist continuing on with the re-reads, but I need to finish other books I started ages ago first. Once those are done I'm sure the next HP will sneak into my currently reading list!(less)
Having had a large gap between reads of this book, I was a bit surprised to find that I enjoyed the way the movie version of this handled some of the...moreHaving had a large gap between reads of this book, I was a bit surprised to find that I enjoyed the way the movie version of this handled some of the scenes near the end. Still, I adore all things HP and am quite happy to have spent time re-reading this. Jumping right into Goblet of Fire re-read next!(less)
My intro to Discworld was The Color of Magic. I became absolutely smitten with the characters and could not wait to read more of the series.
Of course...moreMy intro to Discworld was The Color of Magic. I became absolutely smitten with the characters and could not wait to read more of the series.
Of course I got distracted by other books, so it had been quite a while when I finally picked up The Light Fantastic. I think this book would have been better had I read it immediately following Color of Magic. While still dripping with Discworld magic and charm I found myself not quite as immersed in The Light Fantastic. It felt more like a transition novel than a stand alone piece. By the end I was still quite sad to be parting ways once again with Rincewind, Twoflower, and of course, the Luggage. The Light Fantastic is definitely worth reading, though I don't see myself wanting to come back to this one to re-read anytime soon. I will be picking up the next Discworld book I plan to read much sooner this time!(less)
One for the Money is a bit of a divergence from my typical book picks. Finding myself reading a lot of heavy "literature" type novels lately, I decide...moreOne for the Money is a bit of a divergence from my typical book picks. Finding myself reading a lot of heavy "literature" type novels lately, I decided it was a good time to throw a lighthearted fast read into the mix. One for the Money did not disappoint!
I found myself rolling my eyes a bunch during the first few chapters. After getting more involved with the characters and story I really began to enjoy this book. Sure, there are some cheesy, 1980's homage type aspects to this book, but that doesn't diminish its quirky, light, fun, mystery elements. I found it easy to relate to Stephanie (though maybe not her wardrobe choices!) and enjoyable to watch her embark on a new career path and the crazy antics that ensued. I'm definitely putting the next book in this series on my to-read list!(less)
I began this book unawares that it was the final of the series. I once again must curse you, Ms. Carriger, for writing such an addictive book that lea...moreI began this book unawares that it was the final of the series. I once again must curse you, Ms. Carriger, for writing such an addictive book that leaves me wanting more. And now, instead of knowing the next in the series shall arrive at some point, I am left utterly devoid of solace!
Timeless picks up several years after the adventures of Heartless. We are quickly brought up to speed and sent off on the next adventure. This time, secrets are revealed! Relationships torn apart and put back together again! New loves found! Death and destruction occur! There were some moments I was quite upset, thinking I had guessed where the book was going, only to be proven quite wrong later on.
Timeless is a fitting ending to a wonderful series. At some point, when my to-read list isn't quite so long (HA *snort*), I fully intend to read through the whole series again, back to back. I greatly enjoyed the characters, plot, the mesh of multiple genres, and the style of writing in each and every book. I tell friends to read these all the time - and even here at the end, I still think they all should!(less)
HBO's TV series for these books is what drew me in and made me want to read them. Fantasy novels aren't usually my favorite genre. A Game of Thrones w...moreHBO's TV series for these books is what drew me in and made me want to read them. Fantasy novels aren't usually my favorite genre. A Game of Thrones was more enjoyable because it blended a medieval setting with the fantasy. I found a lot of the plot changes, even subtle ones, that HBO made with the TV series to be quite odd. The book was definitely superior for character building. Some of the characters got on my nerves, some I couldn't wait for their chapter to pop up again. I've read complaints about how Martin treats women in this and his other books, but honestly was not offended or horrified by the female characters. For a medieval setting the women seem appropriate, and it also seems to me that this book set up a lot of potential for growth for all characters.
Of course Martin might just kill them all off in the next book who knows!
I was going to attempt to finish other books I've started before picking up the next in this series, but I find myself already missing Tryion and Dany, and yes, even Sansa! So I may be starting up A Clash of Kings before too long. I will, for sure, be continuing on with this series though.(less)
Updated Review: This is probably the 5th or 6th time I've read this opening volume of the Harry Potter se...moreRe-reading: July 4th, 2012 to July 18th, 2012
Updated Review: This is probably the 5th or 6th time I've read this opening volume of the Harry Potter series. I'm still just as in love with it as ever! This book is a total HP gateway drug. You are introduced to Harry and his magical world. The book does a great job of character set up and building to lead into the next. We get to see Harry in action in the wizarding world, but the book is still light hearted and fun. This is a quick read because you're dying to know what will happen to Harry next or what nifty new part of the wizarding world, or Hogwarts, Harry is going to discover.
I can keep reading this one over and over. The excitement Harry feels and the discoveries he makes translate perfectly to those who are kids at heart and wish they too would be told one day they're a wizard or witch and get to join others at Hogwarts for magical training!
Read: August 13, 2010
I'm not even sure how many times I've re-read this book now. Still adore it! (less)
Attempting to summarize this book hardly does it justice. However, justice be damned! I kept having the thought "Medieval Soap Opera" pop into my head...moreAttempting to summarize this book hardly does it justice. However, justice be damned! I kept having the thought "Medieval Soap Opera" pop into my head as I read this book. I wish I'd kept up with reading it at a decent pace from beginning to end, instead of my read half then get distracted with other books issue that I fall prey to far too often. Don't let my lengthy time reading this or distraction from it appear to diminish my enjoyment though. Pillars of the Earth is a highly enjoyable read. But you've got to be *into* this kind of book. Dripping with overly descriptive descriptions of churches is one of the reasons I had to take a star off my rating. Maybe my complete lack of ability to visualize the architectural elements Follett was describing was part of the reason those passages bored me. Or maybe it was just because the characters and plot line of people was so much more interesting I wanted him to get back to it. So the book centers around building a church. Bleh! Give me intrigue! Give me romance! Give me back-stabbing and secret babies and long lost evil twin brothers! Okay some of that isn't in this book, but it could have been, that was the kind of book it was.
I also am finding I love historical fiction. Being motivated to research parts of history because of their mention in a semi-fictional work is highly enjoyable. But if you don't want to have to jump to Wikipedia to find out who Cardinal So-and-So was or where the Dover Horse Races are, this book might not be for you. Me? I gave a little giggle of glee when I identified real life names and people in this book and then spent some time reading up on their actual lives.
The other reason I didn't give this 5 stars is that I don't see myself re-reading this book. For a 5 star review, you better be so dang good I can see myself wanting to swim in your pages again. Sorry Pillars, that just isn't you. But, I immediately said "Give me the next book!" upon flipping the last page of Pillars on my Kindle. I look forward to reading more of Follett's work in the future.(less)
January 15, 2009 Review I adore the entire HP series. I've read, and reread, the books a bunch of times, usually to prep for a new movie or the next bo...moreJanuary 15, 2009 Review I adore the entire HP series. I've read, and reread, the books a bunch of times, usually to prep for a new movie or the next book to come out. Now that all 7 are finally out I decided to read them all again, and this is my first re-read of Order of the Phoenix in quite some time.
Order of the Phoenix really begins to show the dark side of what awaits Harry, and we begin to see him truly growing up. Harry has lived his entire life with the weight of missing his parents, and in the previous book he faced the death of a classmate, but it isn't until OotP that he truly begins to see not only the evil He Who Must Not Be Named unleashes on the world, but the heartbreak and agony that those who follow in Voldemort's path also bring.
This is a much darker, must heavier HP than any of the others. It's an important transition point in the series. The dynamic of many of Harry's relationships with his peers and adults begins to truly change, and for the first time Harry is faced with the truth about his connection to, and eventual fate with, Voldemort.
I adore all these books. I'm sure I could find technical literary things wrong with them, that the language maybe isn't as challenging, the imagery not as deep as other classics - but I just don't care! This series is just a fun and immersing read, and I see myself re-reading them for years to come.
January 28, 2014 Review Apparently I like to read this book in January! I still agree with all the above review. This read through of the book is finding me changing my rating though, from 5 stars down to 3. Yes! SHOCK! I'm rating an HP book as a 3 star book!! Here is why . . .
As I read through this time I kept rolling my eyes at numerous things. I mean Grawp? Really? What is the point of this? That entire sub-plot just made no sense this time to me. The ultimate conclusion of that story was that Hagrid is a soppy idiot. I'm not sure that was necessary. At all. Why make Hagrid into that? Grawp's other interactions with other characters were unnecessary too. The actions he took could easily have been explained with other already established characters. Since his appearance and inclusion in the book therefore has no purpose, it really only influences the character development of others. So, yep. Let's make Hagrid look naive and stupid. I really could have done without that. The chapters dealing with the entire Grawp situation were tedious for this reason. I just wanted to skip over anything to do with Hagrid and Grawp in this book.
The other big issue I had was Harry. My review from a few years ago kind of reads as a defense of Harry becoming a huge jerk in this book. Even as I read through the book this time I found myself going back and forth on whether Harry was just acting like a teenager, thrown into a horrible situation he cannot handle, or if he was written way over the top angrier than need be. I settled on the latter by the end. Harry has some serious issues in this book. Which are understandable considering his age and extraordinary circumstances. However, there was little to no relatable material this read through. There was just angry teenager gets angrier and angrier and knows better than all around him and then is angry that he doesn’t listen to those around him and then gets totally even more angry. It would have been nice to have something, anything!, make him even remotely happy in this book. Especially the last sections of the book. There came a point where I just wanted to smack him and tell him to calm down. Maybe I’m projecting. Maybe my own issues with trying to be more at peace are sneaking into my reread of this book? That I cannot say for sure . . . until I read this again a few years down the road. Probably in January!(less)