Most helpful critical review
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I'm a fan starting to falter
on 9 June 2012
Thankfully, I've only been reading this series of books for a few years, which gives me a chance of still being alive when it's finished. If it's finished. As other reviewers are saying, the author is getting on a bit now and if he continues to write at such a slow pace he'll probably go the way of Robert Jordan and die before he finishes the final book.
The shame of this all is that the first books were awesome. The TV series is great, too, and bound to boost book sales. But I'm loathe to recommend those books to anyone as there's no sense that they'll ever get a conclusion. Even the TV series seems doomed, really: as great as it is, they can't release a series a year and actually deliver a conclusion - just five or six years of build up, then a "to be continued..." (in 10 years). It's like stopping a season of 24 half way, then making us wait for Keifer Sutherland's unborn son to grow up so he can star in the second half.
Back to this book: I got it in hardback as the complete volume and gasped at the weight of it - so much so, that I bought it on Kindle too so I could actually read the thing. It was a bit of a plodder. I still like the characters, I still like the richness of the world, but I'm finding it hard to connect with the newcomers and really just want to find out what happens to the people I've got to know through the last few years of reading. As a writer myself, I can appreciate that it takes time to write books - particularly if you're not on it everyday (and Martin has published other books, consulted on the TV series and probably had a life, too). But this doesn't feel like 6 years of real, loving effort. More like a bit of self-indulgence, or maybe a chore - like the pretty average job I make of mowing our lawn, but then I'm not pretending to be a master gardener and I haven't made buckets of cash from cutting grass.
The REAL scary bit is that I bet I buy the next one. And, as much as I don't want to wait for it, I'd hate Martin to do a rush job of it. All this effort deserves a truly storming ending.