Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Feast for Crows, Post #3

I've been reading this book since November, and have posted twice about it. I'm finally finished, and am sad to report that it never got any better. This morning I went to Amazon and read their collection of readers' reviews, and most people expressed the same opinions that I have: this book is a complete disappointment, a volume in dire need of an editor, written by an author so immersed in his fantasy world that he's lost touch with everything else (such as pacing, plot advancement, and the need for sympathetic characters). It meanders along, going nowhere, and is packed with filler. Some Amazon readers mention something called the "Robert Jordan effect" wherein an author develops a successful series (in Jordan's case, The Wheel of Time) and with each book adds so many characters and situations that the action slows down to a glacial pace. This has certainly happened to this book. It's filled with backstories and superfluous characters. The basic plot moves forward only in the tiniest increments. I hesitate to ascribe a motive to Martin (though some Amazon posters are quick to do so), yet I can't help but think he was just trying to squeeze another $20 out of everyone before he gave them what they were really waiting for, the next volume. I will read that, when it's released, but if he doesn't move the action forward in that one at a much faster rate, I will abandon the series in disgust.

You can read more about it here or at George R. R. Martin's web site.
(Book 3, 2006)

Here are my earlier posts about this book:
Part 1
Part 2

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Becky - It's Jeannie.

I hear you about FFC. I've been waiting years for this book, and I was so frustrated when I realized that some of my favorites wouldn't be onstage. I miss "The Imp"!

I'm obviously suffering from the "Robert Jordan Reader Effect" because I did enjoy this book. Once I buy into a fantasy world, I just hang in there! You didn't read Otherworld, did you? That was three volumes of nothing more than a group of people moving between various alternate realities (trust me, this made sense in the contest of the book) and I read all three volumes. Marta inadvertently skipped a volume and didn't even know it!

I'd be happier about FFC if I knew the next volume was coming down the pike, but I'm not counting on it. That's quite a cliff-hanger with Circe, though, isn't it? I'm not sure I'm happy that she turned totally evil. And she gained weight. I wonder if those two things are connected in the author's mind?

Becky said...

I feel like Cercei getting her comeupance was just about the only satisfying thing in this book. That, and the revelation of Littlefinger's plan to reveal Sansa/Alaine's identity at her wedding. Those were the only two times in the book when I went "whoa!" Other than that, it was a giant sleeper for me. I'll put Otherworld on my list of books to be read -- it sounds good.

Anonymous said...

I'm seeing this book everywhere, and I wonder if the whole world is a GRRM fan and I'm missing it somehow. Can you imagine the disappointment of someone who picks up this book without reading the other three and thinks he or she can just jump right in? A huge number of the characters are already dead or die. How odd that would seem. Jeannie B

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