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Dave Green's Read Alerts

My hobbies include just about anything, really...except reading, I hate reading! Kidding of course, reading is my favorite hobby! I love not only reading, but creative writing as well. I'm currently working on a novel about a group of paranormal social workers who try to help creatures like themselves cope with being different while also protecting humanity from the more malevolent beings. Other hobbies include music, yoga, comedy clubs, movies, and video games. I read from just about any genre, but my favorites are fantasy/urban fantasy, mystery, science fiction, and graphic novels (that's what us comic-book geeks call them to try to sound more sophisticated). In my secret identity, I work as an accountant for a nonprofit organization . I know...accounting and creative writing don't exactly go together...what can I say, I'm full of contradictions! My rating system: 5 STARS - I absolutely loved this book! I couldn't wait to finish it, yet I also never wanted it to end! 4 STARS - I liked this book an awful lot! It would have been perfect, except for some minor issue or issues that detracted from my overall enjoyment. 3 STARS - I liked this book, but found it somewhat flawed. Probably would not read again, but might still give the author and/or series a second chance. 2 STARS - Overall, a disappointing read for me. It had its moments, but sadly the bad outweighed the good. 1 STAR - I hate the part of my brain that convinced me to read this book!

Currently reading

Queen and Country: A Gentleman's Game
Greg Rucka
A Game of Thrones  - George R.R. Martin "When you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die. There is no middle ground."

Finally read this, and I have to say, overall, I felt "Game of Thrones" did indeed live up to the hype. Admittedly, the overall story arcs are your typical fantasy lore: A noble lord investigates a possible conspiracy against a kingdom; a band of warriors vow to protect their land from outside threats; a deposed prince plots to win his crown back. But George R.R. Martin still manages to create something unique via his amazing character introspection.

For me, the best element of this book by far was George R.R. Martin's technique of telling every chapter from the point of view of a specific character. This provided amazing character introspection, especially since Martin did such a great job of giving each character their own voice. The chapters spotlighting young Sansa really did seem like they were coming from the point of view of an innocent child, where she would lovingly talk about her "sweet prince", even though the readers could see how horrible her "prince" really was. Similarly, this technique manages to make the exiled "princess of dragons" Daenerys so much more compelling than a typical third-person narration would have. Through Daenerys's eyes, she sees herself growing stronger throughout her journey, even as the reader can't help but wonder if her new-found power is corrupting her along the way. Martin's multiple narrative voices definitely added layers of depth and complexity to the story.

Another impressive feat is how Martin managed to move everything along at such a brisk pace. Admittedly, I was a little intimidated when I first saw the book was over 800 pages, but once I began reading, I never felt like the book was too long. There is so much action, intrigue, drama, and horror mixed in with the compelling characters, I never felt any part of the book was just padding the clock. Martin took over 800 pages to write his novel, and he managed to make every single one of them count!

However, I did have one big problem with this book, and that was how disturbing it could be at times. I try to avoid spoilers whenever I write a review, so I won't get specific, I'll just say that there are so many acts of depravity and brutality throughout the story, there was more than one occasion where I found myself ready to just give up on the book as it was getting extremely uncomfortable to read! Anyone who picks up this book thinking they are about to read a light fantasy should know this is more like a NC-17 version of "Lord of the Rings"!

Still, while this book definitely isn't for the squeamish, if you can tolerate the more disturbing moments, you will be rewarded with an amazingly complex story filled with fascinating characters. Can't wait to start reading "A Clash of Kings" now!