Like a pornographic film, the plot of this book is very thin, totally unbelieveable, not especially well-written, yet the sexual aspect and one's own imagination makes it just barely interesting enough to finish the book. There is certainly no intrigue to keep one awake wondering what happens next, so it does make for ideal bedtime reading.
The author focuses too much are various guns and weapons, and has overdosed the whole book on testosterone. I repeatedly questioned whether I should stop wasting good time by finishing this lame story.
As the other books in this series, the story is very gripping, yet good and bad things often happen to the "wrong" people, i.e. evil folks are sometimes rewardedk and the good are sometimes killed prematurely.
I found the characters & story engaging & interesting. I would prefer the good to conquer the evil a bit more than happens, and for the romance to be more enduring. At the end of this book, the evil seem to have the edge on points over the good characters. Eddard Stark was my favorite character and then he dies mainly through his own honest upfront approach (and of course, his death ending the wonderful marriage to his wife Caitlain). I really liked the love between Drogo & Dany, and that's wiped out along with their prophesized child. I am counting on the good characters fairing better in future and the evil ones getting their just punishment. Plus, Rob & Arya are engaged/betrothed into the weasel faced clan. Homely isn't bad if combined with lots of kindness/integrity, but I somehow have my doubts about that family having an overwhelming amount of these virtues.
This would be a decent book if edited and cut in half. It is very tiresome and tedious in spots. While the "voices" and performance are top-notch, the story itself waxes and wanes between engaging and boringly tedious. Perhaps one of the worst aspects is that none of the characters are particularly likeable, and so the reader doesn't care a whole lot what happens to them. The treatment of women by Wednesday is especially vulgar and distasteful as he is an old coot who essentially mesmerizes young girls into one-night stands. The book is really just way too long for its content.
I enjoy this series nearly as much as the Harry Potter series and more than the Percy Jackson series. Charlie Bone is a very likeable hero and the story line is entertaining.
I signed up for the GRE 3 weeks before the test date, I work full-time, go to school part-time, and was pretty desparate for study aids that I could listen to in the car on my commute. While one clearly must supplement this audio to prepare for the GRE, this was a great way to study while on the move. It reviews the instructions for each section of the exam and provides good tips for guessing. I listened to the whole program 3 times because I found it worthwhile.
I don't recommend this book. I found the multitude of characters confusing and not well developed--how could there be with so many! I'm an adult who reads a lot of this genre, and I had a hard time following the story line, so even a bright child would probably be perplexed. I felt no attachment to any of the characters because each one is so sketchy. The story line is just okay. The narrator does the best he can with this mess.
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