A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin Eh, it was good enough that I'll probably read the other ones? It was awfully predictable though, and I feel the world-building was somewhat lacking, in that the setting is pretty generic apart from all of the snow ever in the North. In terms of characterisation only a few of the characters truly worked for me (Jon and Tyrion stand out). A few I grew fondish of, such as Arya, and I felt a bit sorry for Ned. But generally I didn't feel convinced. GRRM seems to find it impossible to voice a younger character anywhere close to their age, for one thing. Secondly, he never explains why so many of the characters act in ways that are truly utterly stupid (Sansa, Daenerys, Robert, Lysa... the list goes on). I know that some of those things MIGHT go on to be explained later on, but I honestly don't feel like that's good enough in a novel of this supposed scope. It feels so lacking in breadth and depth compared to other things I've read in the same genre. I'm not sure WHY I'm supposed to care what happens to these characters.

I don't know if I'm just still to invested in MBotF to give this a "fair" reading. However, I think the most disappointing thing is that all the hype surrounding this is so much more deserved by books that feel like they've had more time and care spent on them. This is just bland as fuck, to be perfectly honest. The pacing is terrible, the chapters are badly arranged (any particular reason why Robb never gets a chapter?), the ending is just pathetic. When what you've written is essentially a soap opera set in a land not unlike Medieval England, you really should bring something new to the table instead of "AND THEN A BAD MAN DID A BAD THING AND A LITTLE GIRL WAS UPSET".

HOWEVER, I found it compelling enough to actually finish, so it must have had something about it. It's definitely very readable; the prose is simple and not at all dense. Although the ice/Winter metaphors were goddamn awful and generally the prose did LACK a lot, but at least it wasn't overly flowery because I hate that. And like I said, some of the characters were pretty cool and. To be honest, the most interesting story to me is the one related to the Wall and what's on the other side. I'd much rather have had a whole book about that than heard another fucking word about Daenerys, Sansa, Joffrey, or any of the other characterless cardboard-cut-outs. Honestly, the only believeable dialogue in the whole book takes place between Jon and anyone he speaks to.

I think I'm just disappointed because I enjoyed the first few chapters a lot. After about 100 pages it was an easy four stars. After 300 I was between a high three and a low four. After finishing today, it's lucky it got a three, and that was really only because I enjoyed the first couple of hundred pages so much.

Blah blah blah, I have no coherent thoughts on this except disappointment.