Winter is coming…eventually

winds of winterI wish I could say this is a post about how George R.R. Martin is finally sent a date for the release of The Winds of Winter, the next book in his A Song of Fire and Ice Saga but sadly no.  As much as it pains me to continue to wait, it obviously pains George even more.  Today he posted on his blog that The Winds of Winter will not be published before the beginning of the sixth season of the HBO based on his book in April.  Yeah this sucks but at least we know.  (To read his whole blog post, go here) I know that many people are going to be angry with him.  there are a lot of people who worry that the show is now going to spoil the books or the show will influence how the book will end.  I don’t really feel that way.  I think George has a pretty clear idea of where he wants his series to end and the producer of the show have theirs.  I’m not sure if the books had been completed would have changed either endings.  The show have deviated from the books since season 1.  Characters that are POV in the books haven’t made the show yet or cut completely and other characters still alive in the books have died in the show.  True they may die soon in the books but we won’t know for sure until it comes out but has any of those changes really ruined the show for you?  The past five season, us book readers have had an advantage over those who haven’t read it and now we will all get to experience the show together with no insight.  How exciting is that?  As for the books now being spoiled, was the show spoiled for you even though you read the books? Did it make the red wedding any less horrifying to watch? or Ned’s death? or any of the other thousands of deaths?  It hasn’t for me so I don’t think the show will spoil the books all that much either.  Sure we might have an inkling of what will happen but there is so much more in the books then the show could ever show us.  So many more characters, subplots, settings that haven’t even been mentioned on the show that will be just as much in the dark about as we are now.  So I say, let’s enjoy the wait.  Let’s appreciate what we have with both the books and the show.  Let George finish the books in his own time and not rush him.  Don’t we want it to the best it can be?

This makes me think about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it’s the longest of the seven books and my least favorite and I believe J.K. Rowling’s too.  In between writing four she had a son and felt rushed to finish five.  She has said that she wished she had more time to edit and it shows.  It’s kind of a mess.  With tons of subplots and tangents it’s not as focused as the others.  The great thing about the movie (which ironically is the shortest film) is that it was able to do the editing that J.K. didn’t get to do to make it much better movie then book but what as readers we were more patient and gave her the time.  What book would we have got?  Would it have been better?  Would we have avoided S.P.E.W.?  Would Harry have been less of a git, I mean a whiny teenage boy?  We will never know for sure but I do think for sure we cheated ourselves of her best effort.  So for this reason I say give George a break.  Let him finish it in his time and we will all eventually get what we want.

Not sure how I feel about this

So I think we all know this was going to happen.  The show Game of Thrones was going to end before the final book is published.  However, I think many of us, were hoping that the show’s ending would be different then the books.  It’s doesn’t seem like it will be.  Show runners, Dan Weiss and David Benioff confirmed the show is heading towards the same endgame as George is with the book.  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  In one way, we are going to miss out on George’s meticulously detailed story telling and no longer will have the benefit of knowing what’s coming on the show. On the other hand, it means we get to experience the show with a fresh take that we couldn’t before since we had an idea of where the characters stories go.   So there’s good and bad in both options.  First we will get a condensed version of the story and outcome and then we will get a more detailed account of how Westeros was won or lost.  And let’s be honest, I’m going to watch the show and read the final books anyway so why stress how I find out how it ends?  I have seen a movie and then read the book after to see how they compared so this isn’t anything new to me or to many other people. So I guess after typing this all out, I feel alright about this.

So how do you feel about this?  Are you upset that the books will now be spoiled? Will you still read them when they come out? Or are you like me, who’s now just going to go with the flow?  Let us know in the comments below.

Only One More Month, People!

HBO released a new trailer for Season 5 of Game of Thrones.  Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to embed the video (I’m sure they did that on purpose) so you are going to have to Click Here To View it.

Also exciting news, HBO has partnered up with Apple to launch their HBO Go service as a stand alone service.  As of now, you have to subscribe to HBO via your cable package to got it but now, you’ll be able to get HBO and all of their movies, shows, and documentaries without having to have a cable! The service goes live on April 12.  You know what also happens on April 12?  The premiere of Season 5!  Coincidence?  I think not.  Well played HBO.

Now that we have seen the trailers, what do you expect from this season?  Do you think they will continue to stay faithful to the books or is this the year that they really go their own way?  Sound off in the comments below.

GoT! What might have been and What might be.

Who knew I would be writing about HarperCollins twice in one week? It turns out HarperCollins London’s office is moving into a swanky new office.  According to this article, there are conferences rooms named in honor of their authors, Hilary Mantel and George R.R. Martin. And it’s the Martin room that interests me.  This room has on display the original letter that Mr. Martin wrote to his agent about the plot of The Song of Ice and Fire.  The final paragraph has been blacked out keeping the ending a mystery, for which I am glad about.

Some kind soul took pictures of the letter and posted it on Tumblr. I don’t think I have to say this but I will, Spoiler Alert.  While many of Mr. Martin’s original ideas did not come to pass, some still might happen.  Including the five characters who Mr. Martin originally intended on surviving the whole series.  I give you a hint, all five are currently still alive though may not be for much longer.  So, click at your own risk. 

For those who found the letter to hard to read or too lazy to read it,  MilfordAcademy summarized the letter on the blog Oh No They Didn’t.  Again, don’t read unless you really want to know. You’ve been warned!

So what do you think?  Who wishes some of what he originally planned had happened?  There’s a few things I definitely do and other’s I’m very glad never happened but I guess there is still time.

GoT Update: I’m done

Featured imageI finished A Dance of Dragons and now I am where everyone else is the world is.  Waiting. So many questions.  This goes without saying but the following will spoil things if you haven’t read them.

Jon Snow? Did he survive the attack of his brothers?  Did pull a Bran and take over Ghost?  Will Ghost save him?  Jaime?  Is Brienne leading him to his death by Lady Stoneheart?  What of Stannis?  Is he really dead like Ramsey says or is this just a trick to lure out the Jon Snow and the Night’s watch? Can Queen Selsye be any less likable? If Mance’s change of appearance is on glamour thanks to the ruby he wears does that mean that Melisandre looks are also a glamour? What of Bran? Rickon? and Davos?  My poor poor Davos.

I’m sad about Quentyn.  We barely knew you lad but what a terrible way to go.  Cersei, just got lucky.  I have a feeling she will be soon free to run Westoros into the ground and further corrupt her son.  Poor Tommen.  At least he has his kittens.  And where are they sending Arya again?  And Dany? Is she going to march back into Meereen, as Khalessi again with Khal Jhogo and Drogon in tow? And how has every thing that has happened play or mess Tyrion’s plan with the Second Sons?  And what of Sansa and Littlefinger?  We know that Littlefinger hasn’t been idle all this time.

I probably have more questions but I can’t think of them right now. When does the Winds of Winter come out?

GoT Update

So the Dance of the Dragons is going much better than A Feast For Crows did. I’m already on page 400!  I think it helps that so many of my favorites are back. Tyrion! Jon Snow. (You know nothing, Jon Snow) and Davos. Yes, the Onion Knight is one of my favorites.  He is really one of the only truly decent people in Westeros.  He’s trying to make the best of what’s he’s got and god, is he loyal.  I’m not sure Stannis deserves it though.

I like Dany but she’s not my favorite but I think that might be her story line.  I sort of lost interest in her when she was raiding Slaver’s bay and now in Meereen, the same thing. Isn’t it time for her to get to Westeros. Let’s move things a bit.

So happy that Davos is still alive. I was worried.  Tyrion, you sly bastard.  Messing up the Spider’s plans.  Oh, btw, where is Varys?  Does anyone else get the feeling that Jon Snow isn’t going to be Lord Commander much longer? Poor Theon.  Yeah, he was a git but no one deserves to be tortured like that.  And man, those Northmen are sneaky.

Books that Rocked My Face off, Part two

Kate has already posted her list. We have some of the same books in common but unlike my sister, I don’t have any qualms about reading only fiction and mostly teen fiction.  There are a few non-fiction novels I do want to read.  I’m quite interested in the Secret History of Wonder Woman. I’ll get to it eventually.  Anyway, this is about what I read this year so let’s get on with it.  I omitted a few books from contention because I read them as ARCs and they have not been released yet.  That will have to be a post for another day.

1.Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater.

I love her. I might have mentioned that before but I really do love Maggie’s writing style.  Blue Lily Lily Blue is the third book of her The Raven Cycle.  The search for the Welsh King, Glendower, is back with more earnest as Blue’s Mom, Maura has gone missing. Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah all have grown up so much in the last three books and yet, if we know anything about Maggie, they have so much to learn before the series ends in the next book.

2.The Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

I’m going to miss Percy, Annabeth, Nico, Leo, Hazel, Frank and Reina.  I’ll even miss Jason and Piper too.  They both did grow on me.  I thought it was a fitting ending for a great series. As a team, the Heroes came together, defeated the Giants and brought the Greeks and Romans together.  They all got a happy ending and there was a little bit of opening for some to return in Rick’s next series.

3. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

This was such a satisfying book. Georgie McCool is a TV screenwriter on a crappy show but she and her writing partner finally have a chance to get their own show going.  The problem is they have to write six episodes over Christmas, meaning Georgie has to stay in LA, while her family goes to Omaha.  Georgie’s marriage is already on thin ice; can it survive this?  While spending the night in her old room at her Mom’s house, she plugs in her old landline phone and magically calls her husband Neal in the past.  It soulds fantastical but it is based in the real world.  Rainbow has such a way of creating characters that you can’t help but fall in love with and want to be friends with.

4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

In a revision of history, after the blood fever in the middle ages, the children who survived are left with scars.  Some were left with mysterious powers. They call themselves the Young Elite. Adelina is one of them. The blood fever left her disfigured with a scar over her left eye.  She has been shunned and abused by her father and when her powers surfaced, she’s a danger to herself and everyone else.  Marie creates a world with so much atmosphere that it was easy to get lost in it. Adelina, is filled with anger about how she is treated; you feel that it’s valid.  There are so many other layers of intrigue and one shocking ending, that the next book can not come too soon.

5. Cress by Marissa Meyer

I really do love the Lunar Chronicles.  A retelling of fairy tales with an alien twist.  I think they are really clever and the characters are so likable.  Cress is a take on Rapunzel.  She is a lunar and is hidden away in a satelite so she can spy on Earth for Queen Levana.  She is rescued from her prison but of course things don’t go as planned. She and Throne crash land in the desert.  Cinder seeks the doctors help for wolf, who is injured and Scarlet is captured by the Lunars.  Oh, and they only have a few days to stop Prince Kai from marrying Queen Levana.  I’m kind of mad that I have to wait until October or November for Winter, the final book but I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

6. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

In the final book of the Grisha Trilogy, the Darkling has taken over Ravka and only Alina, the Sun Summoner can stop him.  I feel in the past, I have been too hard on Alina, especially how she treated Mal in the last book.  It really started to get me to think how far more critical we are on female characters then we are of male.  Alina, is a  young girl who discovers she has a frightening power that can save them or destroy them.  It is a lot to take in.  She needed someone to understand and for a while, the Darkling was really the only one who could or so she thought.  It is a fitting ending to a dark series.  I felt like all the stories were wrapped up right and they all found some kind of peace.

7. Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Part Gothic Novel, part Nancy Drew.  Not your usual combination but it worked for the whole trilogy.  It was funny, scary and heartbreaking without missing a beat.  It was also one of the rare YA novels that not all of the main characters get a happy ending. I sometimes feel that authors feel they have to keep them alive or they will upset their readers but lets be honest.  That’s not realistic.  How many near death experiences can one character live through?  Kami is smart, resourceful and brave and really someone I would love to be friends with.  I’m going to miss this series but I am happy with how it ended.

8. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Yet another conclusion to a fantastic Trilogy.  Excluding the last half of the first book, this series grabbed me and never let me go.  It was heartwarming and heartbreaking.  The sacrifices that had to be made were real gut punchers but necessary. In the end Karou and Akiva achieved what they set out to do and a surprising relationship for Liraz was perfect.

9. Firebug by Lish McBride

Firebug doesn’t have the clever names as Lish’s other books but has the sense of humor and urgency.  Set in the same world as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone (see what I mean about those titles) but in Maine and not Seattle.  Ava is a firebug, a rare gift. She is forced to work for the Coterie, a magical mafia.  When she refuses to kill a family friend, she and her team, Locke, a dryad, and Ezra, a werefox, go on the run.  It really is funny.  Lish has such a great sense of humor that comes out in such surprising ways.  I can’t wait for the next one.

10. Raging Starr by Moira Young

Apparently 2014 was the year to end trilogies.  This is the last book in the Dust Lands series.  A dystopian series that goes beyond what the Hunger Games did.  Miss Young has no problems killing off characters or being seduced.  Saba has found her brother and reunited with Jack and is now ready to take down DeMalo.  The problem is that Saba does not disagree entirely with what DeMalo is trying to do.  Maybe not with how he is going about it and it puts her in direct conflict with both Jack and her brother, Lugh.  I really had no idea where this series was going to take me and it was quite a ride.

Books I loved so much, that I read the whole series:

A Song of Ice and Fire aka A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Ok so I technically haven’t finished all the books that are out.  I just started A Dance of Dragons.  Also, I did take a 8-month hiatus to watch the series and then read other things but I do love this series.  It’s so rich and challenging.  So many characters and places and plots.  How does he keep them all straight?

Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin and Opposition. The Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Daemon is a jerk and I love him for it.  He is also loyal and will do anything for his family and the ones he loves.  So the jerk with a heart of gold.  Obsidian got me hooked and well, I immediately bought the other books.  Were they the best books I’ve read this year.  No but damn, they were entertaining.

Legend, Prodigy and Champions by Marie Lu

I’ve been wanting to read these for a while and finally gave in and I’m glad. June and Day are perfectly matched heroes,  The ending was bittersweet but it did leave us with some hope.

Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Sometimes you just need a couple of good romances.  It’s really not a series but three companion novels that happen to have overlapping characters.  Anna is a new girl in an American high school in Paris, who falls for the charming St. Clair. Lola is a girl who knows exactly what she wants, except when it comes to Cricket, who lives next door and Isla has been in love with Josh, all for years of school but was to shy to do anything about it until a chance meeting over the summer. Isla is my favorite with Anna close second. Lola is ok but I just didn’t relate to her as much as the other two.  If you are looking for a sweet story with a lot of heart, you couldn’t do much better then these three.

Etiquette and Espoinage, Curtsies and Conspiraces, and Waistcoasts and Weaponry.  The Finishing Series by Gail Carriger

Sophronia is a handful for her mother. Always getting into trouble so when she is accepted into a prestigious finishing school, she’s sent packing.  However, this is no ordinary finishing school.  Not only do they teach the finer points of being a lady, they also teach the best ways to hide weapons in your skirts and what is the best poison to use.  All for Queen and Country, of course.  This steampunk look at Victorian Englad is full of humor that I did literally laugh out loud.