I purchased this book when it was released last summer and I just finished it now. This is not because I am a slow reader (granted slower than I was in my heyday), but because most of it was just plain boring.
Did this volume move the story any closer to resolution? No way on God's green earth it did. The only reason for this drawn out mess was to reposition the characters for when the story does pick up again.
As amusing as some of the little side stories were, they had nothing to do with the main plot and were all about moving important characters from point A to point B. Meanwhile the leading characters were sitting around and twiddling their thumbs (Jon and Daenarys).
This is why, at my late age, I really hate series books. Because ultimately the main story arcs are strong in the first 1 to 2 books then lag on interminably until the last book. There is no reason to stretch it out. This is sacrilege to admit this, but I think even Lord of the Rings is bogged down in needlessness. Is anyone really concerned about the other characters apart from Frodo, Sam and Gollum? That is why The Hobbit is more enjoyable. We never leave Bilbo's side for a minute.
I feel if a writer must write a whole crap load of books on one story, he/she must have at least the first 3 books written before the first is even published. Because inevitably the whole mess is drawn out for years and years, the writer gets older, fans start to worry that the writer won't live to finish the business. Really. I can't take reading this stuff anymore.
Can't anyone write good fantasy anymore without it requiring 20 books of nonsense?
A Dance With Dragons? Only if you must, read it. Otherwise skip it and wait for the cheat notes. Hopefully Martin with publish something with more story meat. Oh say, within the next 10 to 20 years. If he is still among us.
Labels: books, reviews