Finally, I'm feeling like my old self again, which means lots of reading, and with final exams for the summer students this week, I'll get a mini-break before I start teaching again in the Fall.
Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin.
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to.
This is book 1 of The Song of Ice & Fire series, which I first read last summer, but I just re-read. In A Game of Thrones, there is a whole lot going on - a lot of characters and drama - and I LOVED it! At first though, it wasn't easy to read and keep everything straight, as each chapter is told from the point of view of one of nine characters, and it takes a while to get comfortable & remember who all the characters are. But once I got the hang of things, this intriguing masterpiece wouldn't let me out of it's vice grip. The writing is brilliant, the story engaging with layers upon layers of shifting strategical alliances, political maneuvering, betrayal & endless scheming. And what's more, I loved how the characters were ever developing and changing. Some I started out hating, but grew to have grudging respect for.
And I've finally watched the tv series too - it's brilliant! EXACTLY liked I imagined things in my head, and they follow the book pretty closely. So my advice - read the book, give it some time for the details to get fuzzy in your mind, and then watch the entire tv series, one episode after the other - get coffee, snacks & eye drops. (Amazon| Goodreads)
From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night.
Book 2 of The Song of Ice & Fire series, is another epic tale, but it didn't grab me and hold me as much as book 1 (A Game of Thrones) did, as it felt like a lot of the book was spent setting up the scene for things that happened towards the end. I grew bored at times with the excessive details about everything - Mr. Martin seems obsessively detail oriented, which is how he manages to make this World so vivid in our minds, but there's no doubt he could have left some stuff out of this brick of a novel.
While the last third of the book brought things together and returned me to the same level of excitement as book 1, I felt like I had to wade through a sluggish 2/3rds of the book to get there - and that's 600 pages! Now don't get me wrong, there are high points sprinkled throughout and we really get to know the characters much better ... who would have thought I would end up liking Tyrion! But the end result is that I was not left eager to read book 3 (A Storm of Swords) ... and as I'm currently reading it now - let me tell you - I would have missed the BEST book in the series if I had stopped.
In this case, I have to say that if it's a choice between watching the tv series (season 2) and reading A Clash of Kings - go with the tv series, and then move on to book 3 - that you HAVE to read. (Amazon| Goodreads)
Both these books qualify for The 2012 Big Book Summer Challenge hosted by Book by Book ... meaning they are chunksters!
Reading NextI've got a few books left on my Summer 2012 Reading List that I would like to get to - like, A Million Suns, Beth Revis and A Rogue By Any Other Name, Sarah MacLean.
- Linked to It's Monday, What Are You Reading @ Book Journey.
See more -> Weekly Reads