Reading this book is like getting a Grande Decaf Skim Latte with Splenda when what you ordered was a full- fat
Frappuccino. All the basic ingredients are there, but it lacks that extra oomph that really satisfies.
Ouch. Head over to check put her specific complaints, most of which I think are valid.
I was pretty down on A Feast for Crows for about the first half of the book, but with about a 100 pages left I'm somewhat mollified. It starts really slow but picks up as you go along. Even so, however, it will definitely end up as my least favorite entry in the series to date. Paul Di Filippo's review gets it exactly right:
Everything that readers have enjoyed in the previous volumes will be found here. Bold battles, larger-than-life characters, resounding declarations of love and hate and revenge, eruptions of magic, startling reversals, a sense of antiquity and destiny. His fecundity, ingenuity, craft and doggedness are inspiring and heartening.
But, truth be told, those very qualities are also a little frightening and even perhaps a tad weary-making?for Martin as writer, assuredly ("This one was a bitch," he acknowledges), but also for the reader. The sheer quantity of events, dialogue and invention begin to assume staggering, senses-numbing proportions. (Consider that the real-time span of this whole epic to date occupies about two or three months in the lives of its characters. We notice this when, for instance, the pivotal death of Eddard Stark, which occurred hundreds of pages ago in the first volume, is referenced as still fresh in the minds of everyone.) The sheer weight and quantity of prose begins to sit upon us as heavily as actual events do upon the characters.
For my money, Martin needs to (a) speed up the writing process - five years between books is way too long- and (b) find a good editor with a sharp pencil who can cut all the extraneous plot lines, unnecessary POV characters, tangents, and digressions. If he does so, he'll hold onto at least this reader.
Update: My final review is here.