The First Game of Thronesday

So as you may have noticed I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday list in a while.  Mainly, because the past few memes posted haven’t exactly been something I can do a top ten list WITH but also because I will be honest and say I forgot a few times. On top of that (get it? top?) my reading has slowed down considerably due to a variety of factors including reading the Game of Thrones series.  And, since I want to be able to blog more than just once every week or so, I decided it might be interesting to spend one or two days a week talking about the Song of Ice and Fire series.

Welcome to A Game of Thronesday.  For starters, I am calling it that because I plan to do it on Tuesday and/or Thursday each week and it is shorter than going for “A Song of Ice and Firesday” (Friday).  It will be, as I said, a look into the series from my perspective every Tuesday (if I don’t do a Top Ten Tuesday list) and Thursday (since I want to do it at SOME point).  I thought about reviewing the series like books I have in the past, but there is just SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT with this series and because of its length it definitely takes me MUCH longer to get through just one book.  Not to mention despite liking these books tremendously, they do seem to have the unusual habit of putting me to sleep when I read them.  Four or five pages in and then I’m out like a light.  So, you can probably see my problem in reading these at any decent speed.  Anyway, since I don’t want to review these in a normal capacity I will probably hop around when it comes to talking about the books.  I might spend one session talking about Eddard Stark and then maybe spend the next session just talking about what crazy thing happened in the part of the series I’m currently in.

However, I think for today I will just spend some time talking about my feelings for the series overall.  I have my aunt to thank for getting me into this series.  She came down recently from the D.C. area and had a copy of A Game of Thrones with her and the challenge to read it in two weeks before she had to return (because she hadn’t read it yet and planned to do so eventually).  Understand, that this was a ~1000 page book and while I like to think I’m a fast reader, A Game of Thrones is no walk in the park.  Reading A Game of Thrones and its sequels has proven to be more like trying to trek through the North towards the Wall: long, dangerous, and tiring.  However, it was a challenge I was willing to accept since my aunt and I share many of the same interests in books.

So, I read it in about a week.  I’m not sure how I made it through the first one so quickly and haven’t had that sort of success with the others.  They’re exciting, don’t get me wrong, but the language is very dense and a LOT happens in each chapter.  It really bogs you down in reading.  I finished the first book though and quickly ran out to buy a copy of it and the sequels for myself.  I tried to also get my mom into the series, but she got even more bogged down than I did.

As of right now, I am on book three: A Storm of Swords and not even half way done.  Still, I like where some of the plot threads are going and find myself really invested in some characters.  I’ll get into who my favorites are and who can go throw themselves to the Others in future installments, but let’s just say that if they have Stark in their blood and a direwolf by their side I tend to be a fan.

Despite its ability to put me right to sleep I do enjoy the series.  True, some parts are more enjoyable than others and there are some character perspectives I could care less about, but I am a fan of the series as a whole.  I haven’t had the chance to check out the television series based on it, but I’ve heard that it, too, is pretty decent.  Sometimes I wish it didn’t jump around as much from character to character but I have to say I am impressed the author can juggle so many fleshed out and distinct characters without tripping over everyone.

I would say if you plan to check out this series be prepared to have a long read ahead of you and don’t be afraid to read other books on the side (which is what I’ve been doing).  Also, it is likely that if you get attached to a character they will die or get injured or SOMETHING before the day is done.  George R. R. Martin is a cruel author that way.  I don’t think it’s just for fantasy fans either.  While there ARE fantasy elements they aren’t as abundant as you would think (or hope for).  There are some mystic creatures involved, especially later with dragons, but it isn’t like elves traipsing everywhere and dwarves being surly in a mine somewhere (though it certainly leans more towards the epic fantasy world of Lord of the Rings than anything else).  I typically don’t go for the high fantasy stuff anyway but something about A Game of Thrones just called to me and here we are three books in.

One thing I should probably ask and say before finishing this introduction up.  Please do not spoil the books for me or others.  I don’t want to know what’s going to happen to characters before I get there (as a note I am on page 336 of book 3).  However, also keep in mind that this is MY blog so I might talk about spoilers for parts of the series I’m in.  I’ll try to remember to warn about such things though.

Until next Game of Thronesday remember: Winter is Coming.

Chapter 6: Voices of Dragons

Haven’t posted in awhile and I apologize for that.  I’ve been busy with job hunting and interviews and the like.  I’m also thinking about tweaking my review style since this is still a kind of learning process.  But, we’ll see how it goes.  For now it’s time for a review!

And yet I see a bland chick featured on the cover more so than a dragon, disappointing.

Title: Voices of Dragons

Author: Carrie Vaughn

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Warnings: Death and teenagers

Time it Took to Read:  A few days

Times I’ve Read it Before: 0

Why I Picked This Book?

Many times when I go to my local library I will grab books that jump out at me.  My section at the library is mainly the YA section just because there’s a lot there that I’m not necessarily interested in BUYING but have decided it would be interesting to check out (this is how I wound up with I am Number Four as a side note).  This book I grabbed for a few reasons.  One, the author’s name was familiar to me (though at the time I couldn’t remember where from, turned out I had marked one of her books as “To Read” on goodreads.com).  Two, dragons.  I’m not sure I really need to elaborate on number two but suffice to say I LOVE dragons.  I love the concept of dragons and I especially love books about dragons where they talk and help out the protagonist and are generally awesome.  The premise seemed interesting too, but I’ll get to that in the next section.  Anyway, I picked this book mainly for the dragons and this is my first book by Carrie Vaughn so it’s not like I had that to go on aside from recognizing the name which I guess is something (especially if you know how bad I am with names).

What’s the Book About?

DRAGONS!  Okay, probably more about the teenager DEALING with a dragon than the dragons, but that is where this book is a bit misleading.  Anyway, the setup is that it’s a world like ours but with dragons.  Dragons are not mythological and in fact we sort of woke them up when we did all that bombing in World War II.  The dragons were kind of pissed off at the humans and things were not pretty for awhile, but then they made this treaty and everything sort of shifted into a Cold War deal.  Fast forward to “present day” and we meet our main character Kay.  Kay is a teenager and likes the outdoors much to the disappointment of her bff who is all about fashion and such (because that’s how all friendships work, there is always the outdoor girl and her disappointed ‘why don’t you wear a dress just ONCE’ friend).  Kay accidentally stumbles into Dragon Territory while climbing one day and meets a dragon.

The dragon and girl, as you can imagine, bond.  They learn about each other’s races and also figure out that they can fly together which was pretty cool (kinda like How To Train Your Dragon, but without the difficulty of lack of communication).  Actually, now that I think about it, this book plays out a lot like that movie (can’t speak for the book series How To Train Your Dragon, but you get my point).  Kay tries to keep her meetings with the dragon a secret but, of course, it eventually gets out and causes all  sorts of problems with the military and government of BOTH races.  Eventually, Kay decides the only way to bring peace to both is to offer herself up as a “sacrifice” and fly off with her dragon to a mysterious location that is supposed to be a safe haven for human/dragon friendships.

What did I think?

I’ll be honest, How To Train Your Dragon did this better.  True, HTTYD is set in viking times and the dragons can’t talk, but I honestly cared more about Hiccup than I did about Kay in this story.  Kay is just…Kay.  She’s not a very compelling character in my opinion and honestly I feel like she was…TOO teenagery (yes, red squiggle underline, I know that is not a word).  I just couldn’t relate to her and she just seemed like something pulled out of a typical teen movie (this wasn’t helped by her best friend and their “typical high school problems”).  I get that I’m not a teenager and that this character was not meant for me to relate to 100% but I feel like the author could have done a better job of conveying a HUMAN and not just a TEENAGER.  I just really could have cared less about Kay and her problems.

Our dragon on the other hand.  I wanted to learn MORE about him.  I think this story would have been 10 times more interesting if it had been more from his perspective and dealing with these strange humans.  In a book about dragons I want to hear more about the DRAGON issues than the human issues and we just don’t get that a lot here.  I think partly that was done to set up the mystery of the location and make the dragons seem like a threat, but the book is supposed to be about both parties coming to terms with each other and the only thing we get is the human POV.

Otherwise, it was an okay read.  I found it dragging at points and the real fun stuff doesn’t start until well into the book.  However, I think if you are in this for the dragons you might be better off finding another series because I just did not get much of a dragon fix out of this book.  I believe there is supposed to be a sequel though so hopefully that aspect improves in the next book.

Rating: 2 out of 5 dragons in the air.

Tuesday Top Ten: Part I

Top Ten Books You’d Like To See Made Into A Movie/TV Series

I saw this linked in another blog and thought I could start doing it as well. It will give me something to do between reading and also help me focus on ideas I would like to share about these books that I might never get around to reviewing! (See: The Broke and the Bookish for details about this meme).

Now, I know it says “movies” on the main list, but some of these would probably work better on television than others, at least in my eyes. Heck, some of these might work better as animated cartoons. However, all of these I would LOVE to see adapted in one form or another and I had to resist the urge to put books on here that are already green lit for movies (*cough*The Hunger Games*cough*)

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Chapter 3: Deadline

I finished Deadline this weekend and BOY was it a ride.  Fair warning it is impossible to avoid spoilers in this review, especially in regards to Newsflesh #1: Feed.  If you want to avoid spoilers (and I REALLY recommend that you do) please read no further until you’ve read the first book!

Because who doesn't love journalism-zombie puns?

Title: Newsflesh #2: Deadline

Author: Mira Grant

Genre: Post-Apocalypse w/ Zombies

Warnings: Zombies (so violence), Language (becaues, let’s face it, no one is going to be saying “GOSH DARN ZOMBIES”), and Adult Situations (bow chica bow wow)

Time it Took to Read:  A couple of days

Times I’ve Read it Before: 0

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Chapter 2: Feed

So, I’ve started reading the sequel to the book that originally got me thinking about blogging (see: “Prologue: The Start of Blogging“) Deadline by Mira Grant, part of the Newsflesh Trilogy.  I have not finished reading book two yet, but it only seemed appropriate to review the first book before I talked about the second.  Also, there’s a hope that people will read the books before reading the reviews, since this book can be a bit difficult to talk about without getting into some spoilers (especially where the sequels are concerned).

Bear with me though, I’ve read a few things since I read Feed and so this might go a bit differently than normal.

No Zombie book is complete without blood splatters on the cover

Title: Newsflesh Trilogy #1: Feed

Author: Mira Grant

Genre: Post-Apocalypse w/ Zombies

Warnings: Zombies (so violence) and Language (becaues, let’s face it, no one is going to be saying “GOSH DARN ZOMBIES”)

Time it Took to Read:  A couple of days

Times I’ve Read it Before: 0

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