I read this book a couple months ago for the first time, and I loved it. Like loved it, loved it. So When I finally had the opportunity to buy the entire series for basically half-price, I jumped at the opportunity and bought all of them, intending to reread them immediately.
This was like 2+ months ago I'm pretty sure.
So obviously I got delayed a little.
I already wrote a review for this book (see below), but figured I would point out some stuff I noticed during my second read, or things that changed between my two reads.
-I still love the fact that dead character stay dead (for the most part). I think it will forever be a pet peeve of mine.
-It was weird reading about some of the characters knowing how they change/progress in the future books. Some characters no longer have certain appendages in future installments, so it was kind of strange to read them again where they had said appendages.
-There surprises weren't exactly surprises anymore because I already knew that they were coming, but it was still an interesting read! I found that I could focus more on the nuances of the books, since I already knew the general plot.
-It was much easier to remember all of the names and all of the character this time around, which again made it easier to read the book itself. I was no longer as confused as to which character was which, and what their backstories were. There were still some times where I confused the characters, but not as many as there were the first time around.
-Ned didn't bother me nearly as much this time around. I'm honestly not sure why he bothered me so much the first time. I still liked the chapters for Daenerys better, but I didn't outright hate his chapters like I did before.
I didn't read the illustrated version this time around (obviously, it's about 5 times the price of my little paperback here), and I can say that I did kind of miss the pictures, but it didn't take away from the reading experience. It was just a bonus that I missed a bit.
I still love this book, and stand by my original statement: if you only read one book this year, read this one.
But only if you are old enough. It's adult fiction for a reason.
Original Review (September 27, 2017)
Why is there not an option for more than 5 stars? Like if I could I would rate this book 224 stars without hesitation (224 is one of my favorite numbers because 2+2 =4 and 2x2=4 and 4/2 = 2 and a bunch of other math calculations that make my slightly number/pattern-obsessed self happy).
So, I have major problems writing review for books that I love this much for a couple of reasons:
-My brain doesn't function normally because I am so obsessed
-I don't want to super-analyze it because I LOVE IT and I don't want to ruin it
I am going to list a small list of like super-loves and a teeny-tiny list of no-likes and then pat myself on the back for being able to review a book that I love this much.
+ One of my pet-peeves is authors refusing to kill their characters even when they are CLEARLY dead. Mission Impossible? Dude's dead. James Bond? Dead. You get my drift. So the fact that Martin can clearly see when a character is coming to the end of their time/arc/whatever and not only kills them off but kills them off in a manner that still fits the storyline? Happy me. I realize this sounds like I'm wishing people/characters dead and I'm not, I'm just tired of movie franchises/books/TV shows allowing characters that clearly should not have survived just magically pop up and be like "I'm good!" like no you just hit your head on a doorframe going like a million miles per hour I'm sorry but you are not okay. So basically, yay for realistic elements! Even though it's a fantasy!
+ The length. I love love love bigger books (but only if they are good because otherwise tears) and Martin managed to create like 800+ pages of pure awesomeness and I was obsessed. Still am obsessed. This allowed for plenty of character development, world-building, etc. It didn't feel rushed at all, yet it didn't drag, and when I reached the end I was desperate for more. And there are 4 (and, hopefully, eventually 6) more books to go through!
+ The characters. The characters that you should hate were just so despicable that you had no choice, and you loved the characters that you should love. The others you were left to decide for yourself, but they were just so well-written that by the end you had a firm opinion on them, there weren't any characters where I was just like "meh"
+ Daenerys is officially my new favorite character in all of ever (sorry Kell). I'm not exactly sure why I liked her so much, but it was just one of those things where I kept looking forward to her chapters and her story and I was like "Hurry up and shush Ned I wanna know what happens with Daenerys."
+ Dragons. If this needs an explanation I just... don't know what to do with you. Sorry.
Teeny-Tiny List of Dislikes:
- So. Many. Characters. So. Many. Names. (internal meltdown)
- Ned = Lord Stark. Didn't know that.
- Ned like dominated this book I wanted more Daenerys!!!
I cannot emphasize enough how much I loved this book. If you can only read one book this year, read this one.
Note on the illustrated version versus regular: I did not pick this for the pictures, it was just available sooner than the normal version and I'm impatient. I mean the pictures are cool but they don't make or break the book.