I was reading this book over my period of SWOTVAC and exams, and gosh it was a good escape from study. I’m just constantly impressed by this series. I basically have no complaints about it. Except of course the fact that this is half a book! Martin points this out at the end, that it was either half of the story or follow half the characters, and he chose the latter. Which I think is a very interesting decision. I’m quite used to a story being cut into chunks known as books, but I don’t recall of a book following one set of characters and then another (though I guess you could argue the first two books of Heroes of Olympus do that, actually yes you could argue that – but not quite the same scale).
But that was quite frustrating, because we have no idea what Jon and Stannis were doing at the wall, what Bran was doing over the wall (like seriously what’s going on there), what Tyrion is doing, what happened to the Onion Knight (apart from he could be dead), how Daenerys is doing trying to rule that town, and whether or not damn Theon is even alive (we heard he was dead, but I don’t believe that). And then what’s worse, is that if we follow them in the next book, then we have to wait until Martin finishes the next book to find out what happens next with all that has happened in this one, and there were some very shocking things going on. But the fact that I am annoyed just goes to show how good a series it is because, it means I am desperate (like everyone else) to find out what is happening next. Let’s just get on and talk about this book. Many a spoiler below.
This was a big book with so much going on and yet I remained captivated and it was a breeze to read. I got my hands on the full book three instead of 3.1 and 3.2 which seems to be what Australian publishers opted for (the book is intimidating, and two books mean twice the profit). Before I go too much further a massive warning for spoilers here I’m discussing it all so look away if you don’t want to know. In addition I have yet to see the third and fourth seasons of the TV show, so I’d prefer those left unmentioned in the comments for now. There are just so many twists and turns, and shocks, and deaths (which were so much more powerful and shocking this time around) and everything. Just so good.
I want to discuss today the sense of entitlement some fans have over their favourite author, especially when it comes to a series which is yet to be completed. I discussed the fact previously that Books Belong to their Readers, and while that might be true, their authors most certainly do not belong to readers. As Neil Gaiman elegantly put it “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.” When he was replying to someone asking whether or not it was unrealistic that readers should feel let down by Martin not yet publishing the next novel in his series. I do suggest you read his full response which you can find here.
This is the second of four ‘Shadow’ novels, Orson Scott Card’s spin off series to Ender’s Game (well it’s one of his spin offs, he’s got about 3 others…) and we continue to follow Bean, but also the other graduates of the Battle School as they return home for the first time in years. Not only that, but we learn how Peter became the Hegemon. And things are really exciting, we get political drama, kidnapping, war, espionage, secret online messages and more. So I enjoyed this book, and honestly I don’t mind that Card decided to create this spin off series because (so far) the books have been interesting, provided a whole new perspective, and have been enjoyable.
This was a very easy read, I finished it off in two days, in a few hours total. Of course the diminutive size of about 180 pages helps (it looks tiny compared to the copy of A Storm of Swords I have waiting beside it), but it also flowed quite well. I wasn’t expecting what I got, though I should have been considering this is Gaiman. It’s almost subtle fantasy, wrapped up in childhood reminiscence. I did really like the story, and came away feeling good, almost warm and fuzzy.
The story starts by us being introduced to a man who has left a funeral in his old home town (presumably his last surviving parent), and is supposed to be going to his sister’s for the wake. Instead he ends up heading to his old home, and then down the lane to the Hempstock Farm, where he finds Mrs Hempstock, and sits in front of their pond, and recalls a story from his childhood.
I was inspired today to check in and see how many books I have actually read of the ones I said I would read at the end of last year in this post. What was I inspired by? Well, I was having an update of the site (as you can see by our wonderful new theme), and came across the list, and thought, what better time to review the year than nearly 3/4 the way through! I also thought I should perhaps get a proper list up, so that will be done shortly. Overall I have read 34 books (which Goodreads believes is 2 behind schedule to reach 50 by the end of the year).
Magic. This is a book about magic, and much more than magic. As I mentioned yesterday (with a giveaway and an interview with the author here) this is a debut novel by Australian Marta Salek. I was quite excited about the book because full disclosure I know the author, and read a snippet of it over a year ago I think while it was still being written, and I really liked it at the time. (I’ll say now that I received this book as an ebook ARC (advance review copy) in exchange for promoting/reviewing this book as part of the blog tour. My review is still my own opinion and honest, and I have not been asked or paid to say nice things about it.) Apart from that snippet I didn’t know too much more about the book, so I think it’s understandable I was excited to see the completed product.