#Review of A Feast for Crows (GOT4)

#Readers of #fantasy adventure, especially #GOT, may differ with me on this fourth book by George R.R. Martin in the saga A Song of Ice and Fire. For me, this book was more tedious. Maybe that was due to the lack of characters that I care about. It offered a good continuation of the ongoing story narrative within the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, but told from the point of view of previously minor characters. Wherever a chapter arose with Sansa or Arya or Jon Snow I was delighted.

Nevertheless, all the fine word craft and storytelling skills that readers have come to expect from Martin are in this book, so that is not lacking. I am eager to move on to the fifth book. Overall, this one I give 3.5 Stars.

#Review of A Storm of Swords (GOT3)

#Readers of #fantasy adventure, especially #GOT, will certainly delight in George R.R. Martin’s third novel in the saga, A Song of Ice and Fire. Once again, Martin weaves a masterful tale with ingenious plot twists, tragic characters, and incredible suspense. While a blow-by-blow of the story is impossible with a novel this long and entwined, suffice it to say it is brilliant. Numerous characters meet a pointed end, and others, few to be sure, gain some slight cessation in their suffering.

Martin’s writing craft continues to sparkle as the narrative carries through various points of view of key characters. Fans of the HBO GOT series will find some divergence from the story shown on screen. I’ve enjoyed the TV series, an avid fan for sure, but found Martin’s to be clarifying in many places, as well as satisfying. One the whole, the two are pretty similar, with Martin’s being the original. Overall, a spectacular series. 5 stars. (Only 6 typo errors in over 1100 pages.)

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#Review of Contact

#Readers of #sci-fi will most likely enjoy this novel by esteemed scientist Carl Sagan, even if it is a bit dated by current standards. Written in the mid-1980s, the story revolves around Dr. Ellie Arroway and her connection to mathematics and the stars. These interests lead to a career in radio astronomy, especially working with the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), a field that the author worked in as well.

When a signal is received from the Vega star system by Ellie and her team, the forces for and against the revelation of more intelligent life forms in the galaxy shape up quickly and intensely. Some of the story parallels the 1997 movie version and parts of it were dropped or altered in the film. Overall, it offers a good exploration of the human reaction to such a discovery (assuming that this has not happened already, but is kept secret).

However, I found the book’s ending/resolution to be somewhat weak. Also, I am divided on whether I like the book or the movie better. Enjoy! 3 Stars.

 

#Review of Eragon (Book One of The Inheritance Cycle)

A remarkable debut novel of epic #fantasy #adventure from Christopher Paolini, who was only a teenager when he wrote it. The story centers on Eragon, a teen, who, unbeknownst to him, is destined to become a Dragon Rider. Dragon Riders were the stuff of legend, but have not been seen for centuries in Eragon’s country, Alagaesia. Now, the empire is ruled by a wicked sorceror-Galbatorix.

Upon finding an egg that hatches a dragon, Eragon is thrust headlong into a world that he is not entirely prepared for, nor accepting of the responsibility that it brings.

Overall, despite some uneven pacing, the story moves along with action, mystery, and good character development. Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, grow through the help of supporting characters and dangerous situations encountered.

It is hard not to compare this work with Tolkien, Brooks (Shannara series) and C.S. Lewis (Narnia), the legends of the genre. Nevertheless, I think it stands up well and has many unique elements in its own right. Bravo Paolini! 4 stars. Now onto Book Two-Eldest:-)