Top critical review
61 people found this helpful
Worth it for the first three books.
on 29 July 2011
I came to this series via the four-book Kindle package and read all four books back-to-back over a few weeks.
On the Kindle format:
It seems as though the publishers have no concept of proof reading and quality control. One in ten pages contains typos and formatting errors that often cause the reader to pause in a "What... wait?" manner until you work out the error and can read on.
On the books themselves:
The first three books are a great read. Gripping, thrilling, intriguing. The theme, itself, is epic. The character development is detailed and three-dimensional in a way that is often lacking in too many books. The author's ability to garner sympathy for despised characters and induce annoyance with loved characters is to be commended. The world the author has so lovingly described feels real, populated by real characters.
The fourth book, A Feast For Crows, is where this series loses its way. This book is in dire need of a strong editor possessing ferocious ability with a red pen. I found myself skipping over yet another tedious description of the attire of a minor, unimportant character, or yet another description of muddied fields, grey rocks and rotting corpses in the desperate hope of getting to the [plot] point.
Full and considered characters who developed so well over the first three books suddenly become two-dimensional caricatures. The plot, where there is one, is ponderous and the device of turning the end of almost every chapter into a cliffhanger wears decidedly thin. Like much good American TV drama that runs for too many seasons, it turns into a soap opera where you just think, "Oh come on!" I kept reading in the hope that something of substance would happen, only to be mostly disappointed.
I finished the fourth book a few weeks after the release of the fifth book, A Dance With Dragons. Having now read the reviews of the fifth book, it seems that neither the author nor his editors have learned anything from the mistakes of A Feast For Crows. I am disinclined to buy A Dance With Dragons or any further books in this series.
I give the first three books four stars each. They are definitely worth reading if you are able to let go there. I give the fourth book two stars. I give the Kindle bundle 2 stars for all of the errors.
The author, and his editors, could learn from Neal Stephenson's The System of the World books: a weighty trilogy that never loses pace, each book a magnificent piece of tight, well-paced writing in it's own right. Now *that's* how you write a good series!