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Profile for Daniel B. Davis > Reviews


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Daniel B. Davis "mad science" RSS Feed (Dallas, TX USA)

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The Lands of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones): Maps from King's Landing to Across the Narrow Sea
The Lands of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones): Maps from King's Landing to Across the Narrow Sea
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Poster
Price: $29.33
62 used & new from $15.43

23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa-, October 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Containing 12 large exhaustively detailed maps, including a lot shown for the first time (like the entire known world I think for the first time,) this is a pretty sweet piece for any Ice and Fire collector or anyone interested in the geography of the many lands in the series. I didn't realize when I pre-ordered this that it would be full sized posters, maybe I didn't read the fine print, but I was picturing more of a coffee-table map book. I am not disappointed. The Known World map is going to be framed on my wall very soon, it's just gorgeous. Not to mention the Journeys maps, showing the many character's journeys depicted with lines across the world. There's a wealth of material here, can't wait to jump in. The overall presentation is impressive, and you can tell a great deal of work was done on this artwork. The 12 maps are: The Known World, The West, Central Essos, The East, Westeros, Beyond The Wall, The Free Cities, Slaver's Bay, The Dothraki Sea, King's Landing, Braavos, and Journeys. 5 Stars from this collector, I was always a little disappointed with the smaller maps in the book, and this solves that problem and way more.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 30, 2012 1:37 PM PDT

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire)
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire)
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.27
423 used & new from $0.81

53 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Personal Opinion, June 15, 2012
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I went into Feast for Crows with the mindset that it was going to be terrible. I was thoroughly impressed, though how much of that was weighted against my expectations from reading reviews I guess I'll never know. I decided, since I disagreed with most of the criticism for AFFC, to go into ADWD blind, to see how I felt.

I very much enjoyed the entry. In fact, I do personally feel justified in giving it 5 stars. I understand that puts me in the minority, and I understand my review probably won't be tagged as too 'helpful,' but let me try to explain the best I can.

I've read a bunch of fantasy, some bad, some great, some took a lot of slogging through, some had great payoff, others completely faltered. The thing about GRRM, is that the 'slogging' part didn't seem so bad to me. I ate it up! I'm a patient reader, especially when it comes to a story that I really emotionally invest myself into, and maybe it's part of me that doesn't want said story to end, but I think it's more than that. Let's break it down.

I feel like there are 4 stages to creating a fantasy story and world on an epic scale.

1. Establishing a central character or group of characters (or in this case, an army) and a few central storylines that grasp readers, or else you will not be able to keep an avid readership.
2. Worldbuilding, worldbuilding, worldbuilding... Make sure that your readers know and understand every part of the world, the cultures, the religions, the magic, the history, and anything at all that will be necessary for them to understand and enjoy the resolutions that are to come.
3. Take all your storylines, and start to turn them in on each other. Start knocking out some payoffs, and resolve some of the smaller arcs to pave the way for the impending finale.
4. End it with a bang.

The problem I can understand most people having is that AFFC & ADWD seem to still be swimming in #2, though there are arguments to be made that many of the arcs are starting to clear up and collide.


(Stannis/Jon/Theon/Asha/Iron bank of Braavos coming together for example, Arya becoming faceless and possibly having the opportunity to shorten her list soon, Jaime/Brienne/Lady Stoneheart colliding, Varys helping to set up Targaryen plots, Dany possibly teaming up with a Khalasar AND dragons, etc...)


Despite a few arcs inching forward, the payoffs are drastically down in these entries compared to the (most everyone agrees) fantastic ASOS, and the focus seems to be aimed at getting you familiar with places you don't know much about. Dorne, the Iron Islands, Braavos, all the slave cities, north of the wall... On top of that you learn more about R'hyllor, the drowned god, the Faith of the Seven, the Children of the Forest, culture of the wildlings, the mystery of the Faceless men, and more.

These are all things that I have been craving to know more about. I know the story seemed to slow to a crawl, but I personally never felt cheated. It would have been nice to have the battle sequences originally planned for this entry to have been included, but I still loved jumping from the absolute paranoia of Cersei, to the calculating and militant Selmy, to Jon's insecurity and Tyrion's broken and confusing mix of revenge and sadness. I would have sorely missed Tyrion's journey and encounters with the stone men, Quentyn's sad and hopeless quest and demise, Jon's unsure negotiations with the wildlings, Cersei's fall, Wyman Manderly, every delicious bit of Theon's story, and Victarion's thirst for power.

Here's hoping that with the Winds of Winter GRRM will push on through the 3rd step and we get the resolutions we have been craving. Maybe you didn't enjoy this entry, but if you are deeply interested in the world he's created, the cultures and religions, the immersion and the inner ramblings in the minds of the characters you love or hate, I feel like this book has plenty to offer. If you need tons of resolution, I wouldn't recommend skipping, but maybe you should wait for #6 and then start up here. Meanwhile, I'll be bundled up and ready for the Winds of Winter.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2013 10:57 PM PDT

by Doug TenNapel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.17
51 used & new from $7.29

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I remember, March 12, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Gear (Paperback)
I remember reading this a while back, to the point where it was destroyed beyond repair. Then I went through some sort of maturity phase, I guess, and did that thing where many parts of your childhood disappear from everywhere except the darkest recesses of your mind. I've been doing some excavating, and found that many of my favorite things, albeit video games, comics, art and albums have an inexplicable link to one Doug TenNapel. I'm pretty sure it all started with this book.

While simpler and more straightforward than some of his other books, there still remains a complex and beautiful story, engaging characters, and some of the most unique artwork and vision I've seen. On many of the pages you can just FEEL the intensity and ferocity with which he drew, and the recklessness and broad stroke style that he shows in this book is one of many reasons that sets him apart artistically from others in my eye. I own them all now, and urge you to do the same, starting with this one.

If you remain interested, check out his other stuff, as he's left imprints everywhere, whether it be his video games (neverhood, skullmonkeys, earthworm jim), cartoons (catscratch, ewj), online videos (sockbaby), or album designs (Terry S. Taylor, Five Iron Frenzy.) It's nice finding an artist with this kind of vision and seemingly endless supply of stories who somehow seems to enjoy what he's doing more than I do.

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