Book of the Week: 'Dying of the Light' by George R.R. Martin

Book of the Week: 'Dying of the Light' by George R.R. Martin

Wow, I expected more from the genius behind Westoros.

Wallpaper Mania

I never thought I’d find myself being disappointed with a book by one of the greatest modern day fantasy writers alive. Dying of The Light has so much potential of being a great story but it just fails in so many ways.

The story takes place on the planet Worlorn, a rogue planet that has no true gravitational orbit with any star system and drifts through the universe. For the past few decades, it had been within life-giving range of a six-star system, but now that it's moving away, the planet is slowly dying. The cast is a group of characters who are also flirting with death. Dirk t'Larien, the protagonist, finds life empty and of little attraction, after his girlfriend, Gwen Delvano leaves him. Most poignant of all, the Kavalar race, into which she has "married," is dying culturally. Their home planet has survived numerous attacks in a planetary war, and in response, they have evolved social institutions and human relationship patterns to cope with the deprivation of the war. Yet now that the war is long past, they find themselves trapped between those who would recognize that the old ways need to be reviewed for the current day and those who believe that any dilution of the old ways spells the end of Kavalar culture.

The problem I have with this book is it seems to go from one plot to another leaving each unresolved. At the beginning of the book, Dirk is summoned to Worlorn by Gwen, seemingly desperate for his company. Dirk goes there in hopes of rekindling a romance that fell apart years ago. Then it turns out that Gwen is married or I should say “owned” in this case to a Kavalar named Jaan, who has studied cultures outside of Worlorn so it’s a very big deal that he, in fact, welcomed Dirk upon his arrival since he is an outsider to the planet. It’s very clear that there is no romantic passion in this marriage by the way.

Gwen also is trying to study the dying ecosystem of the planet, despite knowing the planets days are numbered, a plot point that is barely acknowledged throughout the story and is only there to give Gwen a purpose into why she hasn’t left the planet. Also the supposed budding romance between Dirk and Gwen is just aweful, because there are so many moments when Dirk has his head in the clouds and Gwen constantly rebuffs his advances despite CONSTANTLY insisting she needs him!!

Throughout the book, there are these highly conservative Kavalar’s who are after Jaan, Dirk and Gwen, because Jaan is apparently a lot more left wing in terms of his customs and breaking of Kavalar traditions, which does make sense considering the Kavalar is a dying culture so it makes sense to have Kavalar who are very conservative in tradition taking extreme measures to maintain its culture. And yet I am asking myself WHAT IS THE WHOLE POINT!?!

The planet is dying anyway, the 90% of the population has left the planet, unless this is a fictional version of Heaven’s Gate and they all plan to die together at the end of the world, I can’t find any reason they would be so militant in keeping tradition. AND AT THE VERY END OF THE BOOK IT JUST STOPS! Literally on the very last page, the Kavalar’s had caught up with Dirk and challenge him to a duel because earlier in the book, they caught Dirk trying to steal their hovercar, and he had pissed them off by refusing to show up to the first duel that was to take place.

Literally it stops right on what could’ve been a climax!! The only subplot that actually gets an ending is the supposed romance between Dirk and Gwen. Gwen finally decides she is going to stay with Jaan simply because she feels she owes it to him, even though it’s a completely loveless relationship and she was so desperate to get out of it, and constantly hinted that she still wanted Dirk. You know, now that I think of it, George R.R. Martin has a talent for writing characters that I hate. I know he’s notorious for killing off characters without warning, but if he’s not killing me off, he’s making me wish they were killed, or at least maimed.

I think the worst part of all this is that the book has such redeeming features that make it so it could’ve been a great book. The planet Worlorn has such an interesting history, each City has a unique trait about them, and their origins are very complex. The idea of an impending doom is mentioned but never acknowledged by any of the characters, and considering this planet was dying you would think that it would be central to the plot.

There are these creatures called Banshees with fly in the sky of Worlorn, they kind of resemble a cross between manta rays and a flying cloak, (I know that sounds a little silly but it did give their flight patter such a creepy vibe and sort of gave them a ghost-like appearance), but with a large mouth on their underside, they attack their prey by wrapping themselves around its pray and basically its entire underside is its mouth. It’s so creepy but it was amazingly written. The study of the cultures and traditions are so interesting they create the universe within the book. All of this and almost 75% has no effect on the overall plot.

This book had such a thin plot, but there was so much to explore. I only wished there was more to the story. I don’t hate the book, but it was a disappointment.

But these are just my opinions. Have you read the book? Comment below and look out for more of my reviews.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

Odyssey Webinar: Writing Reviews About Your Favorite Products

See you on Wednesday, July 8 at 4:00 p.m. EST.

On July 8, our Lifestyle editor is hosting a video webinar focused on writing review style content for your favorite brands and products and you're invited! You must have an Odyssey account to attend.

Keep Reading... Show less

Odyssey Templates: Review A Product You Love

Rave about that product here as much as you have been to your friends.

There are few things less satisfying than giving someone a product recommendation only to find out they actually took the recommendation and love it just as much as you told them they would. There exists a great sense of gratification in knowing someone valued your opinion enough to go out and make a purchase based on it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Those Hormones Aren't Gonna Balance Themselves

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

It's common knowledge that your hormones impact practically every aspect of your body. Weight gain, acne, mental health... it's all related to your hormonal health. If your life is treating your body like the superstar it is, your endocrine glands should produce the perfect amount of each hormone to keep you running like a well-oiled machine. This is a nice thought, sure. In our current society, even the most balanced person you know may be missing an important aspect of respecting their body. Things like sleep, stress, diet, exercise, and a busy pace of life can throw hormones off balance and negatively impact your general wellbeing. Sometimes these imbalances are noticed right away, while other times they can be smaller — annoying, but not as obvious.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments