A Storm of Swords & A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin ***
Sometimes there's nothing more painful than to get heavily invested in some characters in a book. When you've been experiencing their lives for awhile, it seems as though they should listen to you, the reader, and do what you feel would make sense for them to do. You know them, after all, you've been through a lot with them and you know what's best for them. But do they listen? Never.
That's been my experience with the latest books I've read of The Song of Ice and Fire. If these people would just listen to me, it would all be just fine. Take the other direction. Or hey, that's not who you think it is! It's whats-his-name! Or why the heck can't you figure out what's going on? I have! Just hole up in some forest in Westeros and wait for the grand entrance of You-Know-Who. Cause it seems as though every direction these characters take leads to more trouble. I'm getting exhausted for their sakes!
And that brings me to my other frustration--the pace became incredibly slow over these past two books also. Scenarios that could have just been summed up later were laboriously acted out in detail. It got to where I almost wanted to just skim ahead and see if anything developed. I didn't, but especially in A Feast for Crows it wouldn't have mattered--nothing really did develop.
Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I do still like these books very much. I am heavily invested in the characters as I said before, and I'd just love for them to be ok. Might not happen ever, but I'd sure like that. Obviously it's well written in that I sometimes have to remind myself that these folks don't really exist! In fact their whole world doesn't.
I'm going to take a break from the last book in the series and give myself and the characters a much needed rest. Maybe when I resume I won't be so anxious for them!