I can't believe it took me so long to read this book. It's actually a little embarrassing. I deliberately waited until after the first season ended to...moreI can't believe it took me so long to read this book. It's actually a little embarrassing. I deliberately waited until after the first season ended to read the book, and one of the things that I love about books like this (and Lord of the Rings) is the world building that you just don't get on screen. AGoT does a wonderful job of balancing a huge (and I mean HUGE) cast of characters and still managing to make it clear where most people's (not counting sneaky weasels like Varys or Littlefinger) loyalties lie.
However, having watched the show, I think it took away some of the suspense for me. I knew how things were going to turn out and because of that I skimmed through sections. And the many little tricks and turns and betrayals didn't affect me as much (view spoiler)[Ned's death wasn't as shocking. It's like going into Final Fantasy VII already knowing that (view spoiler)[Aeris is killed by Sephiroth (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)].["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It would have been easy to make Eon: Dragoneye Reborn a simple story about a girl pretending to be a boy because she wants to prove herself. In realit...moreIt would have been easy to make Eon: Dragoneye Reborn a simple story about a girl pretending to be a boy because she wants to prove herself. In reality, there's so much more going on here. In this story, there are so many others relying on who they think is Eon to help prevent a plot to overthrow the emperor.
I was surprised at the gender themes going on in this book, especially since it was YA. Eona differs from Alanna in The Song of the Lioness Quartet. In private, Alanna doesn't hesitate to act as a girl or talk about the fact that she's actually female to those who know. In comparison, Eona is fully immersed in acting and behaving as a boy. She has even separated herself into Eon, the person she is everyday, and Eona, the part she keeps hidden as often as possible and the side of her she is trying to stamp out entirely.
Eona doesn't believe that she can have power as a woman, whereas Alanna wants to prove that she is strong regardless of her gender. The first person POV actually serves to cement the idea that Eona is gender identity issues. Because gender pronouns are never used during the narrative I found myself forgetting she is a female character unless something specific was mentioned to remind me.
The other interesting issues brought up are the many eunuchs and even Lady Dela, who is not only a cross-dresser, but everyone knows that she is actually a man.
I had two issues with the book, one of which was small and I quickly got over and the other that sort of soured the ending for me. Eona is one of those "super special" characters (like Bella Swan). She's not only a girl trying to keep up with boys and men, she's also a cripple, she's a former slave and she can see all of the dragons if she concentrates (whereas the other Dragoneyes can only see their own). Since it's far too easy to compare this book to the Song of the Lioness books, I found it even more unnecessary that Eona be so special. Alanna was a strong character on her own. She was touched by the gods but that wasn't so uncommon and she had strong magic, but her own brother was more powerful. She was a strong fighter, but that all came from ruthless drills and continuously pushing herself.
The other issue I had, which was much more difficult for me to get over, was how Ido is dealt with at the end. Although the war has yet to be fought, the smaller battle is wrapped up a little too neatly and I didn't think it was handled realistically.
That all said, the book was interesting from the get-go for me and once I got about 100 pages into it, it became and incredibly fast read.(less)
I read this whole series a long time ago, but I still think back fondly on it every once in a while. Admittedly, Angel Sanctuary isn't for everyone. T...moreI read this whole series a long time ago, but I still think back fondly on it every once in a while. Admittedly, Angel Sanctuary isn't for everyone. There's incest, there's concepts that religious people will find offensive, there are angels who are very bad, there are demons who are very sympathetic (there are also good angels and bad demons, though) and there's drama, drama, drama!
Overall it's a strong series, although there were times when I thought maybe I could do with a little less craziness and a little more getting back to the main point.(less)
In the second book of A Song of Ice and Fire we get to see some of our characters flourish, while others begin to sink into despair. It's a nice contr...moreIn the second book of A Song of Ice and Fire we get to see some of our characters flourish, while others begin to sink into despair. It's a nice contrast, especially since we have POVs from all sides of the fighting.
One of the interesting things about this book is that because so many of the characters are no where near one another, sometimes we have to rely on the chapter we're currently reading to find out new information. And sometimes that information isn't entirely reliable because it's based on rumors or just flat out lies. So it's interesting to actually get the characters POV without knowing the truth until a chapter or two later.
As a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings books, I went into George R.R. Martin's series with incredibly high hopes. Thankfully, I have yet to be disappointed. These books have everything I loved about LotR - the huge cast, the various points of view, characters whose trustworthiness is unknown, the journey and the character development - but Martin's books have a gritty realism to them that LotR sort of avoided for the most part. Sometimes the grittiness is a little much for me (I get it, everyone wants to rape every woman they ever come across and usually they want to rape each woman multiple times in a humiliating ways).
But to sort of, kind of, not entirely counter the overwhelmingly horrible acts done to women, we have some pretty kickass women (which LotR was sorely lacking with the lone exception of Eowyn), such as Arya, Brienne, Meera, even creeper Theon's sister Asha. Even, loathe as I am to compliment her, Cersei.(less)
I just ... this book killed me. Martin has this way of crushing all hope. And I say that with all praise. He doesn't pull any punches and horrible, ho...moreI just ... this book killed me. Martin has this way of crushing all hope. And I say that with all praise. He doesn't pull any punches and horrible, horrible things happen in this book. But that being said, it's not all doom and gloom. There are certain characters that give you hope, especially at the Wall. Those guys are the best. And I love that the characters constantly evolve and change. We see how war makes for strange bedfellows, how people's morals are tested and best of all we see who rises above and who falters.
I'm so glad I have the next book handy. I'm sure I'll devour A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, but I don't know how I'm going to wait once I finish them.
(view spoiler)[I hated Catelyn, so there's no sadness from me there. But I was devastated to see what happened to Robb. And then to hear what they did to his body afterward? That was one of the most horrifying things I read and I both dread and look forward to seeing if they actually show his body with Grey Wind's crowned head sewn on in the show. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Let me preface my review by saying that this book, when not comparing it to the previous books in ASoIaF, is a good book. That being said, in comparis...moreLet me preface my review by saying that this book, when not comparing it to the previous books in ASoIaF, is a good book. That being said, in comparison to the previous installments of this series, A Feast for Crows is disappointing in places and overall very frustrating. That is why I gave it a 3 stars (and am contemplating dropping it to 2 stars actually).
This book has a fairly large flaw, which is that it reads more like a really long, annoying interlude to the story that you actually want to read. Remember all those characters you loved in the first three books? Well you'll be lucky to see them even three times in over 900 pages. Instead, you get a plethora of chapters from new POVs. Of course, at the beginning of the book I wasn't happy to see so many Jaime or Cersei chapters, but as the story went on I did enjoy them more. But there is way to much of the Greyjoys. I think that is a plotline Martin never should have allowed to grow so large. And that right there is really the main problem of this book, to be honest. Martin allowed his story to get out of hand.
Martin has created a fantastically detailed world and a complex struggle with many players. I love that about these books. It's also his downfall in AFfC. He created too much and this book is the result. We are being pulled away from the characters we care most about so he can further expand upon the smaller sideline stories. There was far too much with the Iron Islands, which I would have liked to see entirely cut from the books.
This book was a miscalculation, but it was still an interesting read and I enjoyed watching the characters grow in this book. Right now, this is easily the weakest of all the ASoIaF book. And if that is still true at the end of the series, then there isn't whole lot to complain about. (less)
It's still safe to say that this book is better than most, but it doesn't stand up to the first three books for me even, though it's better than AFfC....moreIt's still safe to say that this book is better than most, but it doesn't stand up to the first three books for me even, though it's better than AFfC. My biggest issue with this book is that GRRM has continued to expand the story by adding more POVs. He's added even more facets to this already chaotic story (view spoiler)[as cool as the reveal was that Aegon, one of Rhaegar's children, is actually alive, it meant that there's another ball for GRRM to juggle (hide spoiler)] and I really don't see, based on his writing over the five novels, how GRRM can tie this all up in two novels.
And although he said at the end of AFfC that he split that novel and this one the way he did because he wanted to tell the whole story for some of the characters rather than just part of the story for all of the characters, I felt like a lot of characters were most definitely only partial stories or left so open ended at the end of novel so as to be unsatisfying (view spoiler)[I'm looking at you, Arya. And where was Sansa? And WHAT HAPPENED WITH JON SNOW? Is he dead? If yes, then that was the most unsatisfactory end for a main character and I'm really pissed. And what's up with Jaime and Brienne? He follows her off in the middle of the book and that's all we get. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>(less)