Lament no longer, dearest readers, I am back! My absence from this blog was largely unintentional. The steam power I ran on for NaNoWriMo disappeared once the holidays started hitting. I have been meaning to post some sort of update for a few weeks and just haven’t found the time to squeeze it in. Not writing flash fiction has been a huge hole in me lately too. I may have an update on that front coming soon too. Stay tuned!
For now, I bring you my review of A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin. This is my first book finished for 2014! I’ve set a goal on GoodReads of reading 25 books this year. Previous years I’ve set the goal at 50 and haven’t even come close. Which is demoralizing. 25 should be more than doable if I don’t let myself get distracted by . . . hey what is that shiny thing?!
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 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.