Becky’s Twenty-Fifth Book Review: “A Clash of Kings” by George R. R. Martin

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ “THE GAME OF THRONES” AND ARE PLANNING ON IT

Yesterday I finished reading “A Clash of Kings” which is the second book in the Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. I was once again captivated by this world which Martin has created for his numerous characters. I really admire his work, I don’t know how he can possibly keep everything straight when he is writing! As mentioned in my previous post about the first book, Martin writes his novel from different perspectives. There are many main characters who tell the story from their eyes. I love this and I hate it. I love being able to learn so much more about each character and have the ability to see things through different perspectives. I think it keeps the book very interesting. What is frustrating is when there are cliff hangers at the end of a chapter and you have to wait for multiple characters to tell their story in order to find out what is happening next.

I continue to love the Stark family and hate the Lannister family. I believe that Martin writes the novel in the perspective of different families and different people within families so the audience can better understand each character and their motives but ultimately the Stark family is portrayed as “the good guys” and in turn, the Lannister family is portrayed as “the bad guys”.

Then there is Daenerys Targaryen. I am still unsure about her and how I feel about her. In the first book we see Daenerys as a victim more than anything else. She is a hostage under her evil brother’s care and it is only when she marries (originally for his benefit) that her life becomes something worth living. Daenerys is the last of the ‘dragon family’ and after her husband dies in the first book she decides that she is going to rule as queen. Being free from the dominance of her brother (who also died in the first book when Daenerys husband gave him a crown of molten gold) Daenerys uses all the strength that she has gained from the loss of her husband along with the legacy of her family to get what she wants. At the conclusion of the first book, Daenerys became mother to three dragons–the first dragons in hundreds of years. These dragons give her a power over others and she uses it to her advantage. There are times when I feel bad for Daenerys who has had a rough life and at the same time, she considers everyone the enemy, including the Starks. So I am still not sure how I feel about her.

(At the beginning of the second book, this is where the Stark’s wolves stand) In the first book the Stark family found a litter of Direwolves–one for each child and I really enjoy listening to how the children are connected to their own Direwolf. Sadly, Sansa’s wolf, Lady is dead (killed in the first book at the order of Queen Cersei, the evil bitch). Arya lost her wolf Nymeria and I am really hoping that she comes back into the picture. John (Eddard Stark’s bastard) took his wolf, Ghost with him to the north. Robb regularly bring his wolf, Grey Wind into battle. Bran is still protected by his wolf Summer as is Rickon by his wolf, Shaggydog. This is one of the coolest things that Martin does in his novel, is keep the wolves involved with the story.

Martin’s use of language and the creativity that has gone into developing this whole other world is just unmatched. I am almost reminded of what J.R.R. Tolkien did with creating his world but I found it overwhelming when I tried to read those books. Martin creates a new world, but it is easy to understand. I highly recommend reading these books!

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Becky’s Twenty-Fourth Book Review: “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin

I cannot believe that it took me this long to start reading this series. It really sucked me in. I love when books do that–Martin has a way of emerging his audience into the world that he has created. In the book when he is describing “The Wall” his use of language to describe how cold it was made me feel cold. His writing is that good.

In the book Martin goes between characters so that the story is told from so many different perspectives. I really like when authors do this. In some cases it can be a bit frustrating because I want to know what happens next to a character and I’ll have to wait. But it is always worth it. I found myself torn between the characters, once you see everything through a different person’s eyes you can sympathize more with things that the characters do. For example, there are a couple of families in the book including the Starks. There are several children, including one bastard–Jon Snow and during the stories that they each tell you feel for each character. It is hard to pick a favorite character, but I am a big fan of Jon Snow and also of Arya Stark. She is what I imagine I would be like born in a different age. I don’t want to give too much away…but Martin does have a way of shocking his audience and some of the characters that he has developed are just plain evil.

I strongly recommend this book. I’m sure that the whole series is excellent, but I’ve only just started the second book so I’ll have to let you know.

I have not seen the television series, nor do I plan on watching it until after I’ve finished reading the books. From what I hear though, the television series is also excellent.

Becky’s Eighth Movie Review: “The Adjustment Bureau”

Just finished watching “The Adjustment Bureau” with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.Very interesting movie. The movie is based off of a short story by Philip K. Dick (which I have not read so I cannot compare) and it is directed by George Nolfi. At 106 minutes, the movie isn’t too long and isn’t too short either.

The premise of the movie is the main character, David gets a glimpse of the future being set for him. He gets upset by this, refusing to believe that everything is left up to Fate but is forced to keep quiet about what he saw with the threat of being ‘reset’ (basically the equivalence of a lobotomy). A chance meeting with a woman, Elise changes everything that David values. All that is important is him finding the girl of his dreams. David refuses to believe that his life would be better without this Elise despite all of the warnings being given to him from “The Adjustment Bureau”.

David soon learns that part of why he and Elise are being kept apart for is so their individual dreams can come true. It becomes a choice for David between being with the woman that he loves or being alone and have not only his dreams come true but hers as well. David has to decide which is more important, individual happiness or being together on a path they were not intended to take.

Damon and Blunt do a great job in this movie, although there were some areas that I thought could have been better. The premise of the story was very entertaining and through the paths that each individual goes on we see some beautiful cinematography–especially when David and Elise are at the Statue of Liberty. The chemistry between the two actors does leave something to be desired…but it isn’t terrible (Kind of left me wondering if they just didn’t like each other very much or if one of them or both is just a bad kisser).

Would I recommend this movie? Yes, I think it is worth watching. The movie isn’t necessarily something that you would watch over and over–it’s no classic–but if you are looking to watch something entertaining and different I would suggest checking out “The Adjustment Bureau”.

I would have to give it three and a half out of five stars.

Becky’s Twenty-Third Book Review: “Deadlocked” by Charlaine Harris (Book 12 in the Sookie Stackhouse series)

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE SOOKIE STACKHOUSE NOVELS AND ARE PLANNING ON IT! THERE ARE SPOILERS FROM PREVIOUS BOOKS!

The new Sookie Stackhouse novel “Deadlocked” was released on May 1st. I was done on May 2nd. If you haven’t read this series yet, I strongly recommend it. The books are so much fun and they go in their own direction (when compared to True Blood). Charlaine Harris branches out from just writing about vampires, many different fanatical creatures make their way into her novels and it makes for a fun read.

This new novel picks up right where the previous one left off. In the previous novels Sookie has been learning more about her heritage and why she has the ability to hear people’s thoughts. It is discovered that she is part fairy or “fae”, which is another reason that she is so desireable to vampires since they go crazy over fae blood. The fairy blood comes from her grandmother having an affair with a fairy. She recently had found a letter from her grandmother explaining everything and leaving in her possession a magical gift. This plays an important part in “Deadlocked”.

After a bit of an introduction in the novel, Sookie attends what she is expecting to be a meeting with some out of town vampires (including the vampire king of Louisiana) at her boyfriend Eric’s place. As soon as she gets there everything starts to go wrong. The book picks up and really never stops (part of why I read it so quickly). The same characters are present in this novel, Eric and Bill, Pam, Alcide, Sam, Jason, Claude, Dermont and more. It is so easy to get lost in the world that Charlaine Harris created with these novels. I feel that I may give too much away if I keep writing, so I’m going to cut this short.

Would I recommend this book? ABSOLUTLEY!!! Would I recommend this series? OF COURSE!!! Anyone who enjoys a good fictional read involving other worldly creatures would enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse novels. If you want to start the series, here is the list in order:

1. Dead Until Dark

2. Living Dead in Dallas

3. Club Dead

4. Dead to the World

5. Dead as a Doornail

6. Definitely Dead

7. All Together Dead

8. From Dead to Worse

9. Dead and Gone

10. Dead in the Family

11. Dead Reckoning

12. Deadlocked

And according to wikipedia, the next novel “Dead Ever After” will be coming out in May 2013!!