Book Number 33: The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

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Next in the series…

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

138 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Horror)
Wednesday 19th November (1 day)
1 evening.

I’m really enjoying this series, although I’m finding it hard to keep track of both stories when watching it with the TV series as well. In this volume, the group move on from Shane’s death, and find Hershel’s farm, where they briefly find some shelter.

As usual, the story is brilliant, lots of tense moments, people finding solace in each other and then falling apart, terrible things happening, and characters desperately trying to survive in a hostile world. Life has become very different for the characters, and they struggle to get through the events that unfold.

The artwork in these books is amazing, I love the style, and spent a long time poring over the pictures and imagery as well as the story. Can’t wait for the next instalment.

Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

Book Number 30: A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin

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You know nothing, Jon Snow…

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin

554 pages
Genre Fiction (Fantasy)
Sunday 27th July – Monday 25th August (30 days)
6 morning, 8 afternoon, 7 evening, 2 night.

This is fast becoming one of my favourite book series, and Martin one of my favourite authors…

This is the second part of the third book, and we follow Robb (King of the North), Stannis and Joffrey continue to fight over the throne, Daenerys increase her army of followers across the sea, and Jon Snow and his struggles with the Wildlings at the Wall.

As usual for Martin, there are some gruesome shocking deaths. From hereon in are spoilers – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Joffrey dies at his own wedding, which in itself was fantastic – the little idiot deserved it. But this in turn then means Tyrion is accused of his murder, and Sansa escapes with Littlefinger to the Eyrie… Tyrion goes from strength to strength, having so much rubbish thrown at him and trying so hard to get himself out of trouble, and finally snapping at the end of the book… delicious. His character is by far my favourite. He is witty, intelligent, and I really feel for him and the way he is treated throughout the series so far.

Daenerys works hard on becoming a strong leader and Queen and building her army of ex-slaves, and uncovers traitors in her midst. (I called it…) Arya travels around with the Hound and their relationship, although strange, was interesting to read. As was Jaime and Brienne’s relationship – another interesting twist. Finally, there were interesting developments at the wall, with the Wildlings beaten, Stannis coming to the Nightwatch’s aid, and Jon Snow given some interesting choices for his future.

As always, this was a great read – I love the way the story is told from different perspectives from different characters, and the story move along with loads of twists and turns. Never a dull moment in Westeros…

Next book: PopCo by Scarlett Thomas

Book Number 26: A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin

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The next in the series…

A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin

569 pages
Genre Fiction (Fantasy)
Saturday 28th June – Monday 14th July (17 days)
5 mornings, 4 afternoons, 6 evenings, 4 nights.

Awesome next instalment of this series… if you haven’t read any of the other books in this series, don’t start here! If you have, you’ll be pleased to know that in my opinion, the series goes from strength to strength.

If you’ve not read these books, and you like fantasy, you should. They are up there with the best – I would rank J.R. R. Tolkien, Robin Hobb and George R. R. Martin as my 3 favourite fantasy writers by far. If you’ve seen the TV series you know that the story doesn’t pull any punches, and I would say there is more sex, swearing and violence in the books than the TV series.

The characters are complex and well developed, and over the course of the books there is plenty of time to keep them this way. Main characters die, and when you first pick up the books you will probably be a little overwhelmed by the amount of characters, but just let it all wash over you, you’ll remember the important ones, and Martin is very good at introducing characters and helping you remember/discover who they are. The story lines and plots are intricate and intertwined, and have kept me interested throughout, and the technique of having each chapter told by a certain character is a fantastic way of helping tell a story spread across a whole kingdom, and several years.

So, now for a little bit of spoilers… Jaime and Brienne are released by Catelyn to trade for her daughters, Robb marries a Westerling, destroying his betrothal to the Freys, and Arya meets the ‘Brotherhood without Banners’. King Joffrey decides to break his betrothal to Sansa and marry Lady Margaery Tyrell instead. Sansa instead has to marry Tyrion. Jon Snow goes beyond the Wall with the Night’s Watch and hatches a plan to spy on the Wildlings by pretending to become one of them. Daenerys is working her way through Slaver Bay freeing the slaves and building an army.

We learn more about Jaime in this book, he is less of an arrogant prince and becomes more likeable as we learn more about his choices, and he becomes more humble. His relationship with Brienne is something I particularly enjoyed throughout this book. As always Tyrion seems to be the only character with any sense, compassion and intelligence, but still ends up being ridiculed and hated by his sister and father. Arya is becoming more of a warrior and less of a ‘lady’, which I like, Martin writes some good female characters!

So, if you’re working your way through the series, this doesn’t disappoint, if you’ve not read any of these yet, start at the beginning, and enjoy!

Next book: The Manhattan Projects 1: SCIENCE BAD by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton