Monday, October 5, 2015

A Stop-gap Fantasy

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I know "winter is coming," but this book honestly felt more like a Spring clean.

A story of such lengths as the epic A Song of Ice and Fire has to have down time and much of A Feast for Crows is down time. George R.R. Martin ties up loose ends, sets up new story lines and essentially does administrative style organization in an attempt to keep his mammoth machine rolling. He does it admirably, and yet it can't help but lack the pep, surprise and all around thrill of his previous three books.

In his defense, this book is only half a book. The one after it should have been its second half. The first half of books usually include a lot of house keeping. This definitely feels like a first half. It's a little dull.*

HOWEVER, if you're already a Game of Thrones fan, I don't see how you could not enjoy this book. It's got most of your favorite characters. Cersei is still the same old lovable bat-crazy bitch. Arya and Brienne have never wandered more aimlessly. Jaime is still phantom masturbating. Granted, Jon Snow has little to do or say (then again, it's best to keep your mouth shut when you know nothing) and Daenerys seems to have sprouted dragon wings and flown off. Even so, new characters are introduced who should add a whole other layer of intrigue to the festivities.

The aforementioned house keeping does drag on in the form of long council meetings and generally boring exposition. There are a lot of scenes written just to keep the story moving forward. The action and excitement come in short spurts, and the one big reveal had unfortunately already been revealed to me. Even so, I marched through this book with a will, happily following along even through the slow parts.

As regards my rating, those 3 stars are a very strong three stars. For my overall enjoyment level, it should be four. However, I gave the previous three books in the series four stars each and since I didn't like this one quite as much as them, I had to show it somehow. And yet, I did enjoy this more than many other three star books I've read.

* In an aside that I found humorous, at the end of A Feast for Crows Martin explains how this was meant to be the first half of a much larger book, but that the book became soooo unwieldy it had to be broken up into two books. And now here's the part I found funny...Martin said he hoped for the next book after this one to be published in about a year. Hahahahah! It turned out to be more like six years before A Dance with Dragons would appear. A year indeed. I guffaw in your general direction, sir!

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