Been reading the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin. I really, really liked the first book. I really, really liked the HBO series of the first book. After that? It all went downhill.
If you liked the series, we’re gonna have to disagree on this one.
I hated the way it was arranged. One chapter per person meant that when I hit a chapter with a character I didn’t like it was worse knowing that I was going to have an entire chapter about the same character before I got to move on. That is, until about the third book. After slogging through all of the war and the rapes in every other chapter of the second book I was about ready to give up. Then I realized that since the story sure didn’t seem like it was fitting together, I could probably skim or outright skip the chapters about the characters I didn’t like.
The problem came in about halfway through book three when I came to the conclusion that I didn’t really like any of the characters. There is nothing likeable about hardly any of them. There aren’t bad guys thinking they are winning only to be snookered at the end by the good guys. If that is eventually going to happen I don’t have the interest or patience to get through the rest of the series to find out. By that time, all the characters I have any interest in will be dead, likely in horrific and senseless ways because the bad guys (98.5% of the characters) are going to get whatever they want. I’m rooting for the monster things beyond the Wall to come kill everyone.
These books seem like they were written by someone with no hope left in his life. Someone who’s every dream has been crushed by an uncaring world. Someone who once had a puppy until a bully made him drown it with his own two hands.
There is no light in this world Mr. Martin has made. Not even at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel just spirals ever down into black oblivion and the only thing you can hope for is the release of death – which won’t happen quickly. Every character with any redeeming qualities is relentlessly fucked over and ultimately (with the exception of the 1.5% so far) killed after having everything they love ripped from them. Believe in love, light and chivalry? No such thing and let me pound that into your skull every single hour of your now miserable and dream bereft life, young lady. Believe in honor and justice? Well, you probably have no other facets to your character and you’ll follow that justice and honor past the point of sense.
If you aren’t chaotic-evil, neutral-evil or lawful-evil, you have no place in these books. There is no neutral and the good 1.5% only exist to show just how evil the evil is.
They are exhausting books. I’ve been through four of them this past weekend. Any last vestiges of curiosity about the outcome for the 1.5% has been completely burned out of me in the fire of pure filth, despair and lack of any redeeming qualities.
If you want to read more “reality based” or gritty fantasy, go with the First Law series, not this one.