Interested in history, war, and Russia
I listened to the first 3 audiobooks rather quickly after getting addicted to the HBO show. I read the reviews for this book, the fourth, on this site and came away with the idea that a) the book is boring and b) Dotrice's performance ruins the book. I actually put off buying it for a month and listened to another book instead, but after that was finished I realized I missed my Song of Fire and Ice series so I went for it and purchased A Feast for Crows.
I don't know if it was the low expectations going into it, but I found myself pleasantly surprised and just as interested in this volume as the previous ones. Yes, Dotrice does pronounce some names differently, like Peter instead of Petar, or Catelynn instead of Catlyn, and Aryas voice is different, but you get used to it really quick. I might not have even noticed the change in Aryas voice unless it had been pointed out by other reviewers. As far as the names go, I still know who he is talking about and to be honest if I was reading the books, I would probably never have figured out the correct pronunciations of most of the names unless I heard them in the show.
Yes, Tyrion, Dany, etc are missing from these books. I thought that would bother me since I adore these characters as does anyone who watches the show. I also thought the introduction of so many new characters would be confusing without having the show for a reference. However, I really ended up liking the narrators and the plot of the book. I didn't think it was as slow/boring as other readers have suggested. Getting different points of view (Cersei) and meeting new people and cultures was more refreshing than I thought. I really started to appreciate the tension- where is Tyrion? What is happening to him? Are these little hints we get about him clues? I really like the mystery of the Margery character as well. What is she really up to?
I usually don't write reviews but I felt the need to throw in my two cents about this audio book after I saw so much negativity and let it get to my head to the point that I almost did not listen to it. If you are a fan of the series, what the hell, you are already in pretty deep and you might as well go for it. Dotrice's narration takes nothing away from the story. He is still on point with most everything and any little changes he has made are easily overlooked as the story develops and you get more invested in it.
If this is the "boring" book of the series, I can't wait for the next one.
The story is great just like all of the other ones, but Roy changed most of the voices AND name pronunciation of the characters! What the hell? Roy was SO GOOD in the previous books...
Aria, but her voice was changed and made it almost painful to listen to.
Pretty much anyone that could keep the voices the same throughout a series...
Expansive creative worlds or histories seem to be my thing these days... Too much time in a car with long drives ahead!
The level of depth and history that has been created by this series is Tolken like! My only warning is that the violence is not for the faint of heart.
If I recall correctly, when GRRM was writing this it got away from him and turned into an epic unto itself with all increasing number of moving pieces. So he had to cut it back, and rework much of the story. Sadly, it shows. Long periods of exposition to explain new characters, lengthy diatribes from previously existing ones, subplots and minor story arcs that could have been handled much more succinctly, and abruptly it ends in the middle of some story arcs like a TV show cliffhanger.
Further, I read these four books of the series in rapid succession and production quality are significantly subpar compared to the previous three books. In addition to everyone still sounding like hoary old men (previous review), this time, it also sounded like Dotrice was recording from the bowels of a tin can. Further, Dotrice couldn't pronounce any of the more unusual names the same way twice and typically different from how he did in the previous books. I don't care if he was pronouncing the names wrong in the previous versions, unless it's a whole new character, keep it the same. There's this thing called consistency (in here it's sorely lacking.) It took me 6 or 10 recitations before I realized he was talking about "Petyr Littlefinger." (In the previous audiobooks, he pronounced it with a long 'I,' while in this one, *most* of the time he said it like "Peter.") Poor Brienne of Tarth, he never said her name the say way twice. In one sentence, she's "bri-EEN" and the next she's "Brian." (I wish I were exaggerating.) Finally, Dotrice didn't seem to be able to keep track of which voice he'd used previously for which characters and often seemed to swap them out at whim. All this and more still is why this only got a 1-star rating from me on Performance.
I was SO disappointed when I listened to this book. After loving the first books in the series, the wonderful narration, and the great story lines, it was so disappointing to hear the names pronounced differently from the first books. Not only were names pronounced differently, but the voices of the characters were changed dramatically. It was so frustrating that I doubt I will finish the series. I am so sad!
English Mystery Collector
On the strength of the first 3 books which I could not put down I bought 4 and 5. What a
mistake--too many characters left out, new characters go on forever and are a big yawn.
My favorites didn't appear at all. I can't imagine what Martin was thinking!
I have enjoyed the story and the characters in the first three books and I continue to enjoy them in this fourth book, but the variety of voices has been lost. Mr Dotrice did a wonderful job of protraying a variety of voices in the first three books. There were clearly warriors, women, common folk, lords and children. In this book there are only about three voices, narrator, scratchy or slobbery. I miss the variety and it is distracting to have to remember whether it is 12 year old Aria, Brien, or an old crone speaking. Still a good listen, but the drama is lost.
Roy Dotrice is a beast! This man is hands-down the BEST narrator in the history of ever! And Mr. Martin is a genius. I started listening to the books after watching the first season of Game of Thrones. Each of the characters, as performed by Mr. Dotrice, come alive in your mind's eye with this audio book. I felt like I was there, I knew these characters personally and was invested in their lives (and deaths). Even the ones you're supposed to hate are so well created that you can't help but love them for their humanity (or lack of humanity). It's crazy. I've never been addicted to anything, but this series is like crack! I'm on my third listening to the series and I'm still finding things I missed the first two times. Epic.
The book itself is fantastic! However, the audio book is missing at least one chapter...I believe chapter 40 or 41. I stumbled upon this because I just happened to be reading along with my friend's book. I would read the book again, but I don't think I would listen to it because I dont know how much else is missing.
All of it!
The reader is a little slow and uses the same rhythm throughout the book. Also, his voices are all very similar and gravelly. The accent he uses for the children make them all sound like babies regardless of age.
My wife says she can read me like an open book. Though she regrets not being able to shut me up the same way. :)
I'll let the previous reviews about the narrator's failure to maintain character consistency stand unchallenged; they're right. And, I thank them all because their reviews benefitted me. Since I had read those reviews before downloading Book 4, I was prepared. So the voice changes weren't as jarring for me. In fact, since I was aware they were coming, I waited for them with a bit of comic anticipation.
So that left me to focus on the story… which I have to say was sadly disappointing--perhaps even wasteful--given such little plot progression over the course of 34…slow…hours…of…setting up…new…characters…and…more…of…the…same…heroes quest…stuff.
Over the course of 4 books now, I feel I've been baited with the anticipation of dragons; a looming war with Whites, Wargs, giants and "The Others"; meticulously developed characters sent off on compelling heroes quests; and the promise of pauper-to-king revolutions.
Instead, all we got in this book were more NEW characters to painstakingly develop and set off on yet other quests while previous protagonists are implicitly killed off, allowed to whither away with quests unfulfilled -- or unceremoniously (and I daresay lazily?) dropped from the storyline. Worse, at least one protagonist is clumsily hung over the proverbial cliff in what seemed a weak attempt to build anticipation for Book 5; an ironically pedestrian approach in what has otherwise been an imaginative story.
Add to all this the sense that the author seems biased towards having only the "bad guys" show any consistent progress and you begin to get a feeling that he must be having a hard time figuring out where to take the story from here.
Brainstorm with supporting authors if you must, but It's time to move this story along already.
Unfortunately, as I read ahead to the reviews of Book 5, it seems like there're 49 more hours of what has become the same pedantic slogging.
So, sad to say, I'm done with this series for the time being until I sense a willingness to change the scenery in Book 6 to move this story along already.