Friday, March 22, 2013

Review Me Twice - Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

We're reviewing Game of Thrones!  Which, everyone should have expected considering we're giving the book away. (You have until 11:59 pm tomorrow to enter!  There's still plenty of time for you to win.)

Hey, aren't we giving that away??

Martin's writing in this book is wonderful.  Mainly, his character development.  Just so you know this before you read, a LOT of people die.  I mean, a lot (though, let's face it, you probably already knew that.)  And what's worse, you care about so many of the characters.  When they die, you're heartbroken.  And if that were enough, you're then deathly afraid to LIKE characters, because there is a relatively good chance they'll end up dead.

The action scenes are great, though not as frequent in this book as in the later books.  However, there is a scene with Arya and her "Dance instructor" that just breaks my heart but I love all the same.  Pretty much I just love Arya and I'm crossing my fingers that she makes it through the series.

You're also torn on who to root for!  Daeneyrs wants to take over and control the Seven Kingdoms, the place where all the rest of our characters live.  In theory, I should hate her.  I should want the Starks to win everything.  But I don't.  There's a part of me that wants her to do it because I love her story!  You do choose a side in this book, but it has nothing to do with Daeneyrs.

Now, I will concede that there are a LOT of point of view changes.  Every chapter is a different person's point of view.  And it can be hard to keep track of the characters and whose eyes it is that you're seeing the world through.  The first time I read this book, I couldn't figure out who "Eddard" was, until half way through the book, I figured out it was Ned Stark's full name.  However, no one calls him that, so when the chapter headers have that name, I get confused.

And, the first time I read it, it was incredibly lost.  Even though the chapters are headed up with the people, you still have the thousands of side characters (some of whom become incredibly important in book two.  Robb Stark becomes incredibly important, and Stannis, the king's brother, doesn't even appear in book one.  But in book two, we see everything about him from one of his men (who has POV chapters, though we've never heard of him.)

Despite all the characters, and the confusion of having them, the story is still seamless, it's interesting, and it's utterly and completely nerve-wracking.

Full disclosure: I didn't finish the book. But that's not because I was like, "Ugh, this is terrible, forget this." It's because this is a really long book and I work seven days a week. I will be finishing it, but I didn't want to rush through it for today, because I wanted to enjoy it.

I usually get really distracted and/or confused with point of view changes, but Martin must have done a very good job, because I liked this one. (It probably helps that it's all still third-person, instead of switching from one character's first-person to another.)

There isn't a character I genuinely dislike. Oh sure, there are bad people that I would dislike if I had to interact with them in any way as humans, but they're all written so well, I enjoy reading about them.

Typically, if I cry at a book, it means I really love it (because I care enough about the characters to have a real emotional reaction when something wonderful or devastating happens to them). Like I said, I haven't finished the book, but I've already cried once. So that's a good sign. (To retain some dignity, I would like to point out that it was a solitary solemn tear, but it was quite real.)


  1. Aw, you guys haven't gotten to book 3 yet...that is the real gut-wrencher. I never really get emotionally invested, but that one I had to put it down and walk away sometimes because it was just kind of like an emotional wringer.

    Fear not for Syrio, there is a theory floating around out there (which interestingly enough came from the TV people not the book readers.) that Syrio is Jaqen. I like it because I like both characters and I like the role models that come into Arya's life. So I'm going to subscribe to the Syrio = Jaqen theory.

    Only like 1-2 weeks left until the show comes back. <3

    Who knows how long till the next book. =(

    1. I love that you leave a bajillion spoilers on here. XD

      SOME PEOPLE HAVEN'T READ PAST BOOK TWO (Or book one, in Alex's case.)

      Isn't Jaqen that guy Arya meets at the castle in book 2? You would think if it was Syrio, she would recognize him.

      (Also, we never SAW what happened to Syrio, so I still have hope. The same way I have hope for Benjen. I feel like if Martin was going to kill someone, he'll just do it. He won't leave them shrouded in mystery.)

    2. I actually didn't include any spoilers at all, save for Jaqen's name. Saying "beware of book 3" isn't a spoiler...I even left out the colloquial name of Signature Book 3 Event cause it's kind of spoiler-y. Trust me, there weren't any spoilers beyond what's included in the review...I've been around TV fans, I know what I'm doin'. ;)

      This, however, is mildly spoiler-y:

      You never see what happens to Syrio, hence the Syrio = Jaqen theory. As to why she wouldn't recognize him, I'll leave you unspoiled. I've finished them all, and I still have no idea what happened to Benjen (only theories, one of which is really obvious and is the theory du jour: Coldhands.), so be prepared to wait on that count. Agreed about the killing.


      I feel like that's just completely unacceptable.

  2. I'm sort of sliding down so I don't ruin this but gosh I totally want to read this!

  3. Lol the disclaimer paragraph at the beginning of this is the most accurate thing ever. GRRM will kill everyone/everything you love. (There was one scene, which I won't mention here because spoilers, that made me absolutely bawl and it didn't even involve a human.)

    I definitely don't blame you for not finishing the book, Alex. Each one of these took me several weeks to read (except for Storm of Swords, which I stopped reading for three weeks after throwing it at the wall). XD Plus it's not the kind of thing you want to rush, since it's so freaking detailed.

    Sidenote: I've never heard that theory before, but I like it! (I really wanted to comment on Cassy's comment about it but I'm trying to refrain from spoilers, lmao. Suffice it to say that no, she wouldn't necessarily!)

    1. If the scene you're referring to is fairly early in the first book, then YES, it made me bawl too. So sad. I do appreciate that everyone warned me well in advance that there is no lack of death. It's the kind of thing I like to know before I start getting attached to characters.

    2. OMG that part that you're referring to (about the non-human) made me SO SAD. Especially because we kind of lost two of those non-humans (I'm secretly hoping the Arya's will be back, though.)