As an adult and a lover of fantasy, I have no regrets starting this series. It is fun and simple with an origional story line. I will read (not listen to) the rest of the series. The narrator has taken an excellent and inventive story for all ages and sucked the life giving color out of the characters. He makes them all sound like drowsy dimwits. I suppose 10-13 year olds will not notice the narrator, but why drive away the rest who would enjoy it otherwise.
First, the narrator was awesome! Right away I enjoyed his style and it fits the characters perfectly.
I love the wit and humor Lynch uses throughout the story. Humor is all too often left out of fantasy series. I also enjoyed the on-the-fly, improv thinking that Locke pulls out of thin air to create veins in the plot right in front of your eyes. Lynch stays honest in the resolutions to those twists and keeps small plot transitions smooth and not...well...random.
Many good authors have annoying habits. R.R. Martin turned crude and perverted just for crude and perverted sakes. (Like he thought that was why his books sold?) Robert Jordan put way too much description towards random objects; pictures on the wall, chairs, wagons, lunch items. For me, Lynch is relatively free of annoying habits and nothing seemed to be forced. Yay!
The story line was good and the narration wasn't half bad. The issue I couldn't get over was that the author of the story had zero boundaries. Magic, mythical characters, or even outrageous fantasy worlds need to have a defined (even gray) border or set of rules in which the charecters in the story must work within. In this story the author takes liberty to inject unreasonable escapes from a well thought out predicament. He just randomly introduces a magical 'happening' that lets them get away and it defies all previous or future rules that he sets for this world. The result allows to much unanswered chaos to rule and keeps the reader from proper involvement in the story. I stopped reading this towards the end because I was convinced this trend would continue through the story line and make me not care how it ended because the finale would all be pulled magically out of a hat anyway.... I suppose my feeling was that this story wasn't being built as it went along, it was being invented as it went along.
If the first three books were written in the same slogging drawn out style that books 4 and 5 have been written, this series would have flopped hard. I've read dozens of series that started getting poor reviews half way through and I really couldn't understand why. This is the first series (fantasy or otherwise) that I can honestly say has frustrated me to the point of quitting on it.
My opinion is that R.R. was more interested in his story and characters in 1-3. No character was safe from being neutralized or eliminated in this "game of thrones" being played but he did it with care and for the plots best interest. In 4-5 he seemed to go away from good plot and good writing to settle for the shocking, the crude, the gruesome, the sexually explicit, and random violence. Does he think that is why his books sold? How many times must I read the line "beads of water trickled down her breasts" for example? (Boring after the 5th time in a few hours of reading.) Yes all of that was in 1-3 but it was used as spice in a good plot, not the plot itself.
Yes R.R., I'm sure it is a lot of work and toil to create and continue this complex of a story. I'm sure you want to maximize your dollar out of this creation of yours and so have extended it out and watered it down with weak side stories. There has been little to no advance in the plot since the end of book 3. I think it is due to lack of effort, not the lack of places the story can move.
Finally, it is your story to do with what you will, but we the fans have invested time, money, and emotion into this series. It has promised quality in the first 3 books and you have taken advantage of our loyalty and commitment to finish this series by giving us 4-5 (which are clearly 'make-money' books). I'm sure life is real busy with offshoot endeavors that need not be mentioned here, but please return to what made you a loved and successful writer - care for your story as a whole and your readers.
Isn't there a code of honor among writers that recognizes the invested time, money, emotion and trust the reader has after committing to this large of a story. Books 1-3 were great... but..this is like a bad marriage. Years of trust and then RR gets bored, stops trying and knows that we as readers are desperate enough to try and stick it out thinking it will get better. He sells us cheap promises while making bank from audible and HBO, stretching out 15 hours of plot into two huge books (4&5) and 4 credits. What a jerk. The narrator gets a bad rap for slightly sub par work made to look worse just because of the poor content. RR HAS NO INTEGRITY. Give us substance and closure in book 6 for only one credit or I am filing for divorce.
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