Tag Archives: fantasy

I FINALLY Finished Game of Thrones

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Right folks, it took me a whole month, but I managed to make it through this epic tome. This had been on my to read pile since I first saw the TV show a year or so back, but I couldn’t pick it up for some reason. Something about the weight and size of the text kept making me pick up smaller things first.

Game of Thrones was the monthly pick for the IGGPPC bookclub, so that was enough of a drive to make me start reading… here are my thoughts.

I found it a tough slog to get through this book, I couldn’t keep reading through some bits, and I did have to take quite a few breaks from reading. There were too many stories, and for a while it felt messy. I couldn’t keep anybody straight in my head, so for a while I’d get to the middle of a new chapter and have to flip back to the start of it to check who I was meant to be with because I got so confused so easily.

Don’t shoot me for not being mega fussed about this book. There were certainly times when I could’ve put it down and never gone back to it. The overuse of certain phrases being the main thing that drove me round the bend. If I have to read the words ‘craven’ or ‘bastard’ again it’ll be too soon.

Most of the characters are completely irredeemable. Obviously there had to be someone I liked, and I was surprised that it was Tyrion that I enjoyed reading the most. I was never bothered by his character on the screen.

There is a lot of stuff for people to worry about in this story, and a lot of the cast do spend most of their chapters worrying and planning about how to get around those worries.

I was definitely relieved when I turned the page and saw the dynasties section, and that a good chunk of the last pages could be skimmed through. I’m sure GRRM will continue to kill off all of the characters so there will be nobody left in later books that I care about so I’ll never need to carry on reading.

On the plus side, I can see what he is doing, is straying away from the stereotypes of fantasy, so there isn’t a princess that needs to be rescued by a hero. Everyone in it has their own feelings and dramas to deal with. And with such a large cast of characters there is bound to be somebody else that I can root for eventually.

I guess I’m just not a massive fan of epic fantasy… maybe one day I will be ready to carry on reading the series, but not quite yet. I’ll be moving on to some palate cleansers in the next week or so and then back to fantasy. We’ll see how it goes.

I Watched: City of Ember

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Whilst watching this film I was pleasantly surprised, after not expecting much from a Sunday evening slot on TV. It was released in 2008, I was 19 years old. I had an unlimited cinema pass, so I could go to the cinema as much as I wanted, and see all the films I could possibly dream of. So how on earth did I miss this one? It ticks all my boxes, dystopian setting, sci-fi / fantasy, based on a book I could read, strong characters… I could go on.

I love the premise of this story universe, that a council of some sort built an underground city to save mankind so they could have some sort of a future after the world was healed.

The mayor of Ember was given a box to hand down to the next mayor, and after a period of 200 years, the box would open and give the townsfolk instructions on how to exit the underground city and start on the journey above the ground. Unfortunately the box is lost, and it passes the countdown lost in a cupboard. It opens unseen with nobody to notice. The city was not designed to last forever, and the strain the population put on it makes it a tougher struggle each year. The fate of the City of Ember is left in the hands of two teenagers who must unravel the mystery left to them by the builders so that they can save the people.

I loved the set pieces, the underground city was fascinating to see. At the time the film is set, raw materials are running scarce so everything is being re-purposed until it can’t go any further. Instead of sending each other letters after the phone system breaks, they have people employed as messengers to physically visit the person and tell them of events and pass on news and such. The basic science and technology mixed with steampunk really well to make a believable future from this tiny community with no way of discovering new technologies in their enclosed city.

After a variety of mild perils and naughty mayors and people being blind in the face of their troubles there was a hopeful end and an escape from the looming forever darkness. Which is especially good for Lina who is scared of the dark.The film left you with a blank canvas for a new beginning, very sweet and a nice way to wrap things up.

I think I may have to read the book series next, just to see the differences.

I’d say a 5 stars for this one. I could be convinced to watch it again!

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