Thursday, July 06, 2006

Finally, an Honest and True Review of A Feast For Crows

Been meaning to do this for awhile. I just hate typing...

I actually don't own AFFC. I read it in shifts at the local Barnes and Nobles here in town. What? I bought the first three, why can't I get this one for free? And in the end, I'm very glad I didn't pay anything to read this.

First let me say that I was not disappointed by what seems to be the main complaint I have read of the book. Namely, that Martin spilt the fourth book in half, making AFFC focus only on about half of the main characters, and omitting the rest (who will be covered in the next book, which will of course omit those covered in AFFC....ugh, I could have phrased that all better.) I knew about this well in advance and while it's a bit of a letdown I understand why he did it. So no real complaints from me there. As for every single other aspect of the book, I have complaints. Lets break it down by Point Of View (POV) characters, starting with those I enjoyed most and continuing downwards. Ok?

NOTE: If you haven't read AFFC but intend to, I may, ahem, spoil some things for you, so be warned.

-Jaime. I can at least say that I found Jaimes chapters to be weel written. There is some nice character development etc etc. Of course throught his entire storyline nothing happens. I mean, nothing. There was like, an entire chapter devoted to Jaime finding out that his cousin Lancel is going to....ummmm....actually I don't remember what he was going to do, which probably means something. The very end of Jaimes storyline here was rather good, but I can't believe it took so much inaction to get to that point.
Oh, and I guess the Blackfish is still alive but knowing GRRM he'l turn up dead soon enough.

-Cersei. Holy crap, are we already down to Cersei? Man, I did not like this book at all I guess. Anyway, if you like to read about a deluded stupid bitch trying to scheme her way to the top Cerseis chapter are the ones you should skip to. I pride myself on being able to keep track of complex plots and character casts but the queens chapters just left me saying "Who? What? Why?" over and over again. Oh and about that lesbian sex scene, yeah we all knew it was coming at least its out of the way.

-Brienne. If you like to read about someone wandering the country side asking the same question over and over again, these are the chapters you should skip to. Brienne had, I looked this up, 8 chapter in the book. Really. And for what? How many pages were spent on Brienne killing a couple of very minor characters from the previous book? Like, 300? I appreciate the justice and all but I think this is were editors should come into play. Nice to see GRRM continuing his proud tradition of inflicting massive head wounds on all his characters though.

-Samwell. Wow. Sam now? Saying I enjoyed Sams chapter wouldn't just be a lie, it would begin to degrade the meaning of the word 'enjoyed'. Nonetheless, if you enjoy reading about a fat kid puking in a boat while a baby poops, Sams are the chapters you should skip to. Sam also loses his virginity at some point, which is good as we won't have to read about it ever again now.
I will give him a bonus point for that scene where he finally flips out and pounds the crap out of Daeron. That was pretty cool.

-Sansa. Sam opened up the 'agonizing to read' level so from here on out you can safely assume each subsequent POV was a chore to slog through. I maybe should have listed Sansa/Alayne above Sam because if nothing else, (and there is nothing else, trust me) she only had like, three chapters. So her crap was a little more bearable. Although perhaps the most boring parts of the entire book. But if you like reading about a kid having seizures and throwing poop at old men, these are the chapters to skip to.

-Arya. I first got an inkling that AFFC might suck when I read a preview of Aryas first chapter. The shit with her trying to eat the worm? Dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Hey, remember when Arya snuck up behind the Tickler and stabbed him to death while screaming "Is there any gold in this village?" over and over? Remember how that was like the coolest scene in literary history? Remember how I almost fell out of my chair the first time I read that? Ok, maybe not that one. Suffice to say, nothing approaching that level of awesomeness happens here. She does push a seafood cart around alot though, so maybe you'd like that.

-The various Dornishmen. The NAMES. Oh God, the NAMES. I used to really like that GRRM didn't feel the need to dumb down his stories and challenged me to remember lots of different characters. But for the love of God I do not care about the princes daughters uncles captain of the guards nephews friends adopted cousin. He just keeps throwing these endless waves of names at you and after awhile I just stopped paying attention. Don't ask me what went on in these chapters I started skimming them before too long.
Oh, and thank you for including 10 year old Myrcella in the Massive Head Injury Club. I felt the one thing this series was really lacking was more violence towards small children.

-The Iron Islanders. If you like.....hmmm. I can't even think of something crappy to mock from these chapters. Seriously, does anyone give a shit about them? Maybe I'm curious abut what happened to Theon but of course he's nowhere in this book. And don't even get me started on questioning where the hell they got enough men to do all the crap they're doing. I don't need to out myself as a bigger dork than I already have.

In conclusion. If you have not read this book, you probably now know everything relevant that happened it. Well, Loras Tyrell may or may not be dead. Like everything else remotely interesting it happened 'off camera'. Also theres a scene or two with Randall Tarly so you might want to buy it just for that. I wouldn't though. Reccomandation to avoid.

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