A Storm of Swords

Hats off to George R. R. Martin and his writing. I am blown away by his work. He has a way of holding the reader’s attention leading up to a big event. For myself, when I was about halfway through the book I sat back realizing something big was going to happen and I wasn’t bored in the time it took building up to it. Instead I was caught up in the imaginary world he created.

“A Storm of Swords” is the third installment in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, AKA Game of Thrones. Both titles fit the books well, because of the various battles that seem to be taking place. There is the ongoing battle surrounding the Iron Throne that rules the 7 kingdoms. In the battle for the Iron Throne there are those who are in it to maintain power, others who seek power moving up through the ranks, and of course those who are trying to keep it in the family and will tell whatever lies necessary to accomplish this. The other battle, involving ice and fire is just starting to show itself. It has been revealed that the dead can come back to life, and there are things and magic beyond the wall that have only been told through stories.

The downfall of this series is that it is dangerous to be attached to the characters. It seems like every time I like one, or find myself cheering for them, something bad seems to happen. Or, the opposite could happen where something bad happens to somebody I don’t care for, and they change for the better. It’s safe to say that George R. R. Martin likes to keep the reader on the edge of their seat not knowing what to expect might happen to the characters.

It’s hard to talk about this book without giving much away, and I don’t want to spoil it for those interested. It’s full of blackmail, sword-fighting, death, plotting, sex, weddings, violence, and now there’s magic and mystery. It’s a sort of magical medieval time. The biggest thing that gets people is the amount of characters. It can be a lot, and the books take time to get through. But I think it is worth the commitment.

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Dark Places

This is the second work I’ve read by Gillian Flynn, and I found this one a disappointment compared to “Gone Girl”. “Dark Places” was a mystery and thriller like “Gone Girl”, except the characters and plot were much different.

Honestly, I didn’t think I would finish the book. There were a few good things about it, but in my eyes the bad outweighed the good.

One of the biggest drawbacks for me were the characters. I found most of them rather annoying. At the same time, the style of characters Gillian Flynn had in this book may have been part of the point. If that’s the case, it tells me I just don’t care for that style of character.

I’ve seen people really enjoy Dark Places and other works by Gillian Flynn, but this book is starting to make me wonder if her writing just isn’t meant for me. After finishing the books I have read of hers, they haven’t left me feeling the best, so I don’t think I will continue to read her works.

Big Little Lies

First off, I have something to admit. ┬áThis is the first book to leave me with book hangover. It was such a powerful read that I didn’t pick up my next book until a day later. This is unusual because normally I can start another book shortly after finishing one.

“Big Little Lies” is a beautifully written, dramatic book that shows the impact of various forms of bullying. I didn’t realize this aspect of the story until about half way through the book. Some of the implications, and various parts of the plot were worked further into the story, which I felt led me to not realize the bullying aspect until later.

When I first started reading “Big Little Lies”, I got caught up in what I first perceived as just some good, juicy drama. Later on in the story, I found myself reading an article about the making of the book into a mini HBO series. This article opened my eyes to what was really happening. As I continued to get to know the characters I realized that most of them had suffered or were a part of some sort of bullying.

Liane Moriarty did a beautiful job with the characters of the book. From the beginning you could tell how unique each of them were, and that there was much to be learned about them throughout the book. The relationships between characters at times seemed unlikely, and exactly what they needed all at the same time.

In conclusion, this is a wonderfully written, powerful book that I recommend to anybody interested. I am thankful that I read this book and can’t wait to read other works by Liane Moriarty.