Friday, October 14, 2011

George R.R . Martin - A Dance with Dragons

George R. R. Martin is my favorite author, imho the best fantasy author (at least modern one) he made the genre evolve. He brought the reality into fantasy. I've been waiting like everyone else years for the next installment of this wonderful serie. And I've been disapointed. The style is still strong. The story still gripping, well most of the time at least. I could blame it on Daenarys character whom I have never really liked (except in HBO serie) but even my favorite character's chapters have been a disapointment. Basically I didn't care about two third of the book. I found most stories unimportant, not relevant to the story itself and sometimes downright boring. Worse I somehow felt annoyed about what happens to Tyrion. The character is a dwarf and one of the smartest character also someone with a lot of humor and while a lot of bad things happened to him earlier in the story there was always a spark of the wit to make his chapters shine. Now I feel like Tyrion has been downgraded, not only does he not show as much wit and humor as before but worse why in hell *SPOILERS* would the author attach to him another girl dwarf that disproves all what Tyrion had though and lived before (basically that a lowborn dwarf would have suffered much more, be abandonned or have had a much tougher life than his). This "Penny" character not only being stupid, gullible, boring and everything that Tyrion is not brings nothing to the story but dragging it down.
So ok I'm displeased bout my favorite character, fair enough, (I know that GRRM didn't see it like that and it's none my business to judge but I also found the story this time around to be offensive to dwarfs in general and somehow wonder how/if it'll ever be pictured in HBO's serie. I almost hope it won't in the current form).
So you were left with John first few chapters and then reach Jaime first chapter to realise you didn't care about anything that occured before. And then had to wait for the end of the book which cut in the middle of nowhere. Wit and humor has been very lowkey over the whole book. Sometimes even GRRM seems to have resorted to using the "deus ex machina" technique that looks so cheap.
Problem of perspective? Lack of real content, has the author been wrongly influenced? I don't know but I know that if the next book doesn't raises his head GRRM will lose his place in my heart that made him so special (well that would be good for R. Scott Bakker who is the close second ;) ). I think the next one don't disapoint, I want to believe in the author but two transition book in a row (especially as big as ADWD) it's a bit too much and to be honest ADWD is probably the worse book of the serie. Where AFFC was lacking ADWD is also lacking but it doesn't have what made AFFC good. So you still have some characters who save the day but not enough.

Really it lacks more story lines, more of the important characters, less daenarys and less daenarys and I don't see why the whole targaryen heir thing couldn't have been presented in most of the rest. Oh well the author is king and no artist can always provide only good so no harsh feeling like I said I'm just disapointed, suddenly the masterpiece that was asoaif has just become...a book. Which it is of course. Waiting for the next instalment of the serie.

Arthur C. Clarke - Rama II

Sans être un lecteur assidu de SF (je le fut à une époque) Arthur C. Clarke a toujours eu une aura. C'était un personnage que je prends pour un précurseur et qui a d'emblée mon respect. Jack Vance aura toujours ma préférence mais Arthur C. Clarke est le sage.

Bref ajouter à celà le fait que j'aie joué au jeu pc qui est presque la copie conforme de l'histoire reprise dans Rama II et tout était là pour que j'apprécie la lecture. Une oeuvre qui sans être longue arrive à fouiller les personnages, l'identité et la psychologie humaine face à une rencontre extra terrestre. Même avec aussi peu d'impact que la visite d'un vaisseau à priori vide. Bref j'ai pu (re)décrouvrir l'intérieur de Rama et la découverte gigantesque d'une espèce inconnue. Un plaisir à peine ternit par le temps.