Forget about romance novels! I like action - paranormal - exopolitical - fictional history - sword fights - books like Anne Rice used to write - mysteries - spys and whistleblowers.... and science fiction if it is more 'middle earth' than 'far out'. I am definitely NOT the typical lady who is - uhhhhh - '39 and holding'!
If you enjoyed the TV series "A Game of Thrones", I'm sure you are looking forward to reading this most recent book of the (to date) 5-book series. DON'T. You will be totally lost in this mishmash of intertwining half-plots and the horrendous performance by Roy Dotrice. Mr. Dotrice has only 3 voices - his normal voice, a lower, rougher version of his normal voice, and a perversion of pseudo-female voices that all fall into one category: crusty crone. Don't expect to hear a seductive voice for Dani - or any type of female voice that is realistic to character. Male characters are similarly flawed - and you often hear the same 'voice' for two different characters - within seconds of each other! - in a conversation. It makes listening - and understanding the story - almost impossible, and totally frustrating. Add Mr. Dotrice's annoying habit of breaking sentences with a slight pause - in a totally inappropriate spot - and the frustration mounts. I enjoyed the earlier books - though that was a LONG time ago. I don't recall the reader making such a mess of the novel, in the earlier books. Other reviewers have praised his work - and I simply cannot understand how they could do so! I love books - I love the written (and well-read) word - and I was looking forward to 49 hours of listening enjoyment. But, it has been "forced labor" to listen to this book. Although I am on part 4, it has been sheer persistence that has kept me listening so far - and I can hardly remember any of the plot, because the characters seem to 'run together' to make a jumble of words. If you are really interested in this series, I recommend that you start with book #1, and work through the series. You'll have a much better understanding of the books and characters - and hopefully have embedded in your mind the important parts of the story, the plot, and be able to sort out the characters by name. Or - wait for the HBO series instead!
What started out as innovative and entertaining has become a bore. I am sure many will stick it out because they finish what they start. I used to do that too and wasted way too much time on Jordan's book series as a result. I have learned my lesson. I jumped ship in the middle of the fourth audio file. I will pick up the last book if I have any lingering interest by then. It's more likely I will have died before then given this author's pace.
Like many, I was also shocked by the voice used for Daenerys. It makes her sound like an old crone. What happened with that? Did the reader understand she is a young woman? Clearly not!
I am amazed that with all of George R.R. Martins concern that this book be well crafted and the years it took to get it done, that this audiobook was released. There appears to have been no quality control, no production oversight to ensure that it lived up to even the standard of telling the written story. The narration is so bad that much of the character's intent is swamped. The terrible pacing of even the descriptive text inhibits understanding. Roy Dotrice does an adequate job on the other books but there are so many great narrators out there - there is no reason this production should have be released. Shame on you Random House. We can only hope that George R.R. Martin steps up to the plate and insists on a new production that is worthy of the series.
I'm sorry to say that this only a long book. The narration is fine to me but the pace of the story makes it almost painful.
I have enjoyed all of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones books. I had given up on ever finding out what would happen next when "A Dance with Dragons" came out. I will continue reading his books, but at some point an epic needs to end or at least come to a stopping point. Robert Jordan was a rare author and knew he was dying. Waiting a couple years for the next book with no sign of a resolution to any of the myriad plots makes me want to stop reading. I don't suggest he end the epic, just that he come to a stopping point every few books. This is just something I have felt strongly about since Jack L. Chalker died in 2005. He wrote really long books that the publishers broke into trilogies. When Robert Jordan died few of us knew that he had prepared to hand the series over. I noticed his shelf space at books stores went from huge displays to just a few paperbacks within a month. The better the writer, the more I get nervous after 4 or 5 books with no plot ends in sight.
I am happy to say that my one serious criticism of Martin's work in the past, (that he took the subject of rape too lightly,) has been corrected in this 5th book and I am glad to see him stop making humorous references to something that effects real world readers. Writing about the subject is one thing, but having a character joke about it is something I think is best avoided if at all possible. *****
Martin is an excellent fantasy writer and I enjoy his characters and his plots very much.
If you love Robert Jordan or Terry goodkind or anybody of that caliber then you have to read this. But be warned these books are dark fantasy and the things that happen in them are not good things.
Excellent as always. Roy is perfect for this and thanks to Random House for listening to your customers and bringing him back!!!
Listen to the series it will be worth the investment of your time and money.
I was so happy to hear Roy Dotrice was back for this book. John Lee made book 4 a bit boring. Book 5 is much better and we get to hear about the storylines I am most intrested in anyways.
I was thrilled to see Roy Dotrice would be narrating Book 5, as another narrator spoke Book 4 and it was so jolting a difference (you could hardly distinguish one character's voice from another) that I couldn't finish the audiobook and picked up a hard copy. It was like slipping on my favorite pair of old shoes to hear Dotrice again, but sadly he has significantly changed key character's voices from Books 1-3. Daenerys Targaryen now sounds like a Scottish tavern wench, and Melisandre's voice is completely different, even changing within the same dialogue. Its hard to believe someone didn't help Dotrice with continuity from books 1-3. Bizarre. All that said, the content is magnificent and Dotrice is "hands down" the best narrator alive.
George R. R. Martin is a wordsmith and storyteller that has few equals now or in history. His Iron throne kingdom is an empire full of unusual, deceitful, traitorous, hateful, cruel, loving, kind, intelligent, stupid people. By now you get the idea, it is kind of like today, but a long time ago. I had really hoped that book five would wrap up so many stories like Aria Stark, the kingslayer, the dwarf, Circe and finally John Snow the bastard, and while some met there end most are waiting on another book, so I will too. Regretfully another couple of years methinks.