While still an excellent story it fills like veered a little left of the original plot(s), although I am sure Martin will tie everything in somewhere.
I haven't like the narration from the start. Initially I was put off by the fact that Dotrice first can't begin to carry off a female voice and makes the numerous younger characters sound many, many years older. In fact everyone sounds like they are at least 60 years old. He uses what sounds like a mixture of British, Scotch, Welsh, and Irish accents with no apparent affect and as other reviewers have stated he often pronounces characters names differently. And in this book he does not always (ever?) use the same character "voices" he used in the previous books.
That being said while moderately annoying and perhaps less than might be expected of someone we have to listen to for a couple hundred hours, this is a distraction and not a game breaker. It is a good story but I doubt I could have ever read it as opposed to listening to it. The many characters and fairly numerous subplots are much easier to follow when you can listen to the books one after another and are much more manageable over all than say those in that unreadable mess of a epic The Wheel of Time.
Starting book 5 today which is the bottom line.
Like so many other listeners, I am so distracted by the dramatic change in narration in this book, compared to the first three in the series, that is it seriously interfering with my enjoyment of the book. Roy Dotrice used very distinctive accents, voices, and pronunciations that were consistent in the first three books. Now, in this book, they are so changed that it makes the reading jarring, unpleasant, and difficult to follow. Dotrice is a skilled enough narrator that the voices he uses really animate each character's personality, so changing the voices at this stage feels like a wholesale change to the persona of each character. It doesn't even feel like I am reading the same series. It's like when you were a kid watching the sitcom and they changed the actress that played the mother. It is disorienting and unpleasant. This narration is really disappointing, and I agree with others that Audible should insist that the producers fix this huge slight to the loyal followers of this series. The narration is sloppy, unprofessional, and maddening!
I was happy to see that Book 4 was being narrated by the same actor who did the first 3 books. That was until I started listening. Not only did the character voices change, but apparently the pronuciation of their names did too. Not to mention, names of the towns that are frequently mentioned in the storyline. For example, I loved how the narrator chose the perfect slimy, coniving voice for Littlefinger in the first 3 books. He really captured the deceitfulness of the character. In this book, he sounds more like Robert Baratheon than Littlefinger. You can't recycle a character voice like that just because the character is dead. The plot seemed flat, actionless (if you will), compared to the first 3 books. I came into the series after having watched the first 3 seasons of A Game of Thrones on HBO. I knew most of what was going to happen in most of the first 3 books, but I got them anyway so I could "read" the story as the author wrote it. Even still, I was enthralled with each book. The narrating was wonderful, and really brought audio life to the world and characters that I came to know from the TV series. All of that being said, Book 4 did have some moments that made me laugh out loud in the car by myself, or made my jaw drop. To summarize... Narrator - FAIL, Storyline - C minus
Unfortunately, I am a glutton for punishment. I have to see the story through to the end, no matter how painful it may be to listen to.
The narrator should go back and listen to the previously recorded books. He should refamiliarize himself with the characters he created through their voices, and he should be sure to pronounce their names properly.
No particular scenes were a problem for me. Some parts of the storyline just dragged on. I don't think scenes should be cut from an audiobook. It should be produced the way the author wrote it. If I wanted editing, I would only watch the TV series.
find a narrator with better and clearer diction
different narrator. Wish I could retun it
After three great books, the story just plummets into mediocrity. I have read the reviews and they slam Dotrice but I would equally slam Martin. I actually give Dotrice a little break given how many characters and the difficulty in the performance (that being said, Dotrice is clearly off his game in this book). It is the story I was most upset about. What happened to all of the great characters, the action, and the plot. This is a book of a few characters talking a lot and barely inching the plot along. Almost felt like filler material to make this a five book series. I have to imagine all of the interesting characters come back in book 5. I know some of my friends stopped this series have way through this book and now I know why. Despite my disappointment I will trudge forward to book 5.
The Series "A Song of Fire and Ice" is most intriguing and it's easy to lose yourself in the stories of westeros and while so far I would consider this series in one my top favorites thie narration of this particular book is quite at odds with the narration of the first three books in this series by the same narrator and took some getting used to. I hate to say this but I would absolutely love it if they could get Mr Dotrice to listen to his recordings of the first three books and then re-record this one.
Through the series my favorite character has been Arya but in this particular book I definitely became engrossed in the unraveling of Cersei's story.
The narrator should have kept his his narration consistent. Most importantly the way certain names and words are pronounced not to mention the voices used for the characters.
As the story came to life for me I found myself changing my opinions of some of the characters multiple times. Mr George RR Martin certainly knows how to tell an engrossing story and to show the many sides of one character in many different and interesting ways.
My one complaint about this audio book is that the narrator is all over the map in his pronunciations and accents. Where he was very consistent in the first three books, he pronounces names multiple ways, sometimes even in the same paragraph. His voices are pretty limited too, and he'll switch accents for the same character between chapters. It's pretty obvious that he didn't do his homework and review his previous 3 recordings before he started this one. I fault the editor and director/producer too. He/she should have caught the inconsistencies and corrected them early in the production.
The story takes awhile to get into. The narrator seems to be plodding through it too. There isn't the same depth or color you get from the first three audio books. Still, nothing is bad enough that I won't finish it and listen to the 5th one.
This story is so grand.
I can't answer this without spoiling the story, but what I can say is that everyone gets what's coming to them in this story.
Yes because I wanted to find out what happened next, but it was incredibly slow and not much really happened.
While I am impressed with Mr. Dotrice's performance of the men voices, he SUCKS at performing Brienne, Danerys, Sansa and Arya. Every woman sounds like an old irish grandmother, which really detracts from the story.