My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
I have a number of quibbles with this book, which may lead some to consider this a negative review. Therefore, let me say right at the start that I love this series and I do not regret one minute of the many hours it has taken to listen to the first 5 books.
Book 5 covers the same time frame as book 4 only focusing on different characters. That puts a solid limit on how much the story can advance. As always in this series, Martin relies on the dialog to move the story forward. He's really good at it, but sometimes I wish he would resort to some old-fashioned exposition and just jump ahead. The problem is that we already know most of the facts the characters are going to consider. If you love the characters and like to hear them talk, then it's no big deal. If you are conscious of the fact that we have a long wait ahead of us before book 6 comes out (and who knows how long till book 7 and possibly book 8), then you'll have to forgive me for being a bit impatient.
Another reason for my impatience is that some of the questionable details of Martin's imaginary world are starting to wear thin: bodyguards appointed for life, an ice wall that lasts 1000s of years without maintenance, multi-year weather patterns that are a big deal in one continent but not in the other, the absence of technological advances in a world that seems to have all the resources ours does, medieval empires of a scope unimaginable in our own world, royal families with almost no members after centuries of unbroken dynasties.
Martin has gotten much better about overusing certain vocabulary since he started this series. Unavoidably, he still gets attached to certain words and phrases. 'Much and more' and 'little and less' are two that stood out in this latest volume. And even though he never strays from the emotional truth of his characters, I couldn't help but feel he made some missteps in this book as far as certain dialogs between characters of different ranks or classes.
Yet for all that, this series is still an amazing exploration into human nature. It is fascinating to watch the main characters discover the perils of leadership and agonizing over the right decision. Just as it is fascinating to watch other characters discover the result of their own hubris. It is hard to think of a single character in this series, whose future we are not interested in discovering, regardless of how we may feel about them. Just the fact that Martin has us rooting for multiple characters, even knowing that they will eventually be in conflict with each other, puts this series in a class by itself.
Last book and this book have been a disappointing time vampire. After book 3, I had looked forward to more plot twists and reasonable story movement. Instead, separation of characters so completely from each other that I felt the momentum was completely lost. Who edits these books and where were they?
This story is fantastic. I've read the book before listening to the audiobook and have caught a lot of new details. This is probably my favorite book so far in the Song of Ice and Fire series. If you have liked the other books, you will love this one.
Ser Davos Seaworth. How can you not love this guy? He is humble, talented, loyal, kind, and wants what is best for everyone around him. Even though I'm not sure I'm a Stannis fan, it's impossible not to love his Hand, Davos.
Roy's voices are incredible! He is the best audiobook narrator I've ever heard. Little bonus - he actually plays the role of the pyromancer in Season 2 of Game of Thrones on HBO.
It drives me insane that the chapter breaks are incorrect. You can't just skip through chapters because all the breaks at at random points in the text. I am especially annoyed by this because I'd like to relisten to A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons in chronological order (mixing chapters of those two books together) and it's impossible due to the screwed up nature of the chapter breaks in this audiobook. PLEASE fix this.
Yes, if I had an extra 49 hours!
The dragons. I don't want to give spoilers.
He is a wonderful narrator, although his female voices can be laughable.
I am a Physics and Engineering student.
I've read good reviews about Roy Dotrice and I don't see it at all. I found him to be one of the worst narrators I've listened to. He uses the worst voices for characters. They do not fit the character's description and a few times I couldn't understand what he said because apparently he figured that character should be hard to understand. Not only do the voices not fit they sound very stupid. I wish they would have found a new narrator for this one.
As for the book, I have grown bored with reading (or listening to) them. The first three were excellent, I couldn't put them down. "A Feast for Crows" was so hard for me to stay interested in I decided to buy the audio version. I feel the same about this one. It just drags on and seemed forced, like he wrote it just because he needed to get something out there. The television show is turning out to be much better than the books, and when is that ever the case.
George RR MARTIN does further the story with this installment. Much like his other books some stories are AWESOME! Others are just plain boring.
It was an ending? IT had no impact on me.
The dragons are finally becoming more prominent.
It made me rethink how I spent the last 40 + hours of my life.
It is hard to deal with this series. IT is very very descriptive. . . which is fine... but some of the side stories just are BORING.... I am usually a fan of unabridged not here.... The TV series is doing a better job at trimming the fat then the audio books. Listen if you have time.
I read Dance of Dragons before I downloaded this audiobook, so I already knew what I was getting myself into. Most fans of this series are aware that the quality of GRRM's writing and pacing in books 4 and 5 are inferior to the first three novels. I'm in agreement with the general consensus, although the end of Dance of Dragons starts to pick up and the last quarter of the book leaves me optimistic that this series could end on a high note. Obviously, I enjoyed the book enough to give the audiobook a try because my experience with Audible has taught me that a good narrator can really enhance a story.
I think this book is definitely worth READING especially if you loved the first three, but please don't make the same mistake as I did and download the audiobook because the narrator ruined it completely for me. I'm not even sure if I can finish it, it's that bad.
I've heard from others that this narrator was really good on the first three audiobooks, but I can only comment on what I know from Dance of Dragons. The best way I can describe it is that if you like the idea of listening to a cranky old man/chrone rambling for 47 hours straight, maybe this is the audiobook for you. . . It just takes you out of the story when Dani, who you know is supposed to be a beautiful, young queen, sounds like an old hag. The biggest flaw in this narrative is that there are too many characters and plotlines and the narrators use of similiar voices and inflection for all characters just makes the story close to incomprehensible. Also, very, VERY annoying.
Due to the popularity of the HBO series, I am really shocked at how bad this audiobook is.
I feel ripped off. Not by Audible, which I can't say enough good things about, but whoever The Powers That Be are behind the current GOT money machine who are cashing in on this POS audiobook.
Bottom Line: if you are a diehard fan of this series READ a Dance with Dragons. If you are more a fan of the TV show, you probably won't like it. No matter what though, don't buy or waste a precious credit on this audiobook!!!
It's an awesome jam-packed book, much like Book 3... if you're a series fan I need not say more.
Roy Dotrice (the narrator) doesn't do very well in terms of various character voices. I mean it must be hard for one person to read for all, but it's really bad. Every character sounds like an old, wrinkly, haggard, unisex person that has smoked 2 packs a day for an eternity. Danny's voice - almost unbearable, at times I had to focus more just to keep track of who was talking in scenes with heavy dialogue.
As narrator he's good though.
Hard to listen to with this narrator.
They're all equally disappointing because they all have this same narrator. AUDIBLE, please do yourself and your listeners a favor. Please find another narrator.
When it comes to dialogue, this narrator fails. He's hard to understand because he often gives his characters lisps and wheezes and spittle. Many of the inhabitants of Westeros sound like they came straight out of a Lucky Charms commercial. Well, Lucky Charms + 900 years old + emphysema. He has particular problems voicing Daenerys Targaryen; she sounds like Spongebob Squarepants on helium.
He calls attention to himself constantly with his cringeworthy accents. He detracts from the story.
When this narrator is just reading he's not so bad. The moment he launches into dialogue, though, it's over.
Please find another narrator. Please at least give us a choice.