Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
In book one of this trilogy (which I loved so much), Kaer and her family were getting ready for life on "another planet" (an alternate Earth), a very low tech world with a young culture. It was a slow story full of wonderful worldbuilding and very little plot. What plot there was I disliked, but there was so little of it, I enjoyed the book overall. Unfortunately book 2 was just the opposite: Nothing but that plot I disliked.
While I'm no fan of organized religion, I really, really hate the "all organized religion is evil and everything bad in the world is caused by it, and every single religious person is bad/evil/stupid/cruel" plot device. It smacks of lazy writing. That was the whole plot of this book.
In the first book, we learned that one of the families that went to the new planet had lied through all their training: They, like other religious families in the training program, never intended to give up their current religion (basically Christianity -- it had a different name, but the main figures in it were named Jesus/Mary/Joseph/etc) and adopt or pretend to adopt the local religion. People from Earth had to believe or pretend to believe the new world's religion, since no one was supposed to find out they were from a different planet.
I lost interest before I got 10% into the book, but forced myself to keep going because I had liked the first one so much. By 20% I found myself skimming more than anything and forced myself to slow down and read... at which point I encountered many pages of two characters talking about what 'empowerment' meant -- just two characters, father and daughter, doing nothing about talking about what that term meant. (Which fed back into the 'all religion is bad' theme, since religion disempowers people.) I gave up on the book at that point.
I loved the first book of this trilogy so much, but I couldn't even come close to finishing the second one. But what really pisses me off is that Child of Grass made me want to defend religion! Arg!
You know, it's almost odd to run into an accurate Amazon review anymore. I checked them after writing this post. One reviewer wrote:
Kaer proves herself to be one of the more deep-thinking and resourceful 12-year-olds you're ever likely to encounter.
Unlike last book, I didn't for a moment believe Kaer was 12. I constantly found myself thinking she was an adult. She was smarter and "deeper-thinking" than any adult I know. Moral issues, planning/tactical issues, everything.
"Child of Earth" ends rather abruptly and continues seamlessly in "Child of Grass."
That amused me. My one complaint about the first book was that the author seemed to have the whole story ("trilogy") finished and just cut it into three chunks to publish -- there was zero attempt to make book one into a complete story at all, it cut off mid-scene to be continued into book two. "Ends rather abruptly" indeed.
Game of Thrones: Season 5. No spoilers outside of the cut.
Oh man, this season. What a miserable mess. I heard nothing but bad from everyone about it, so my expectations were low, but the season was even worse.
There were a few enjoyable moments in the season (and I literally mean "moments" -- a good episode meant there was an enjoyable scene somewhere in the hour). But there was so so so much bad. Really bad. Unwatchable bad.
I don't even know where to start. I'm just so sick of this show killing women, torturing women, raping women, the endless full frontal nudity of women, abuse of women...
Burning a young girl alive, while they didn't show the details, her screams still bother me a week later. (Though I liked that the man who burned her at the stake, her father, did pay for doing that, but still.)
The whole entire organized religion crap was just that: crap. Hated that whole subplot... which felt like it took up half the season. Hell, Cersei's "slut walk of shame" felt like it took up the entire last episode. (And I cannot put into words how much I hated that. I never liked her character much, but I still HATED that whole subplot.)
(Edit: Oh yeah, and it really made me frowny that Jorah got that Greyscale thing. I like him! All this bad stuff keeps happening to him, poor guy. Blah!)
What were the moments I liked? Tyrion speaking Valyria was wonderful to hear. Shireen and Davos interacting (be still my heart!) ...which was followed by Shireen being burned to death by her father. Most of the stuff with Arya.
That's it. Out of the whole season, I liked less than a minute (language), one brief scene (Shireen and Davos), and one subplot that didn't even appear in every episode (Arya). The rest either bore me or I hated it. (Edit: Oh, and I liked anything with Sam in it, but he appeared maybe... twice? the whole season.)
I think by this point in the story I had lost interest in the books as well. I'm not intending to get the next book when it comes out, and it's highly questionable if I'll bother watching season six.
chichiri posted a link to some beautiful, interesting music, perhaps from a video game: