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.
41
views

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.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper Mania

Popular Right Now

To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
36484
views

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

464
views

This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

Giphy

Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

Giphy

Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

1.bp.blogspot.com

You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

upload.wikimedia.org

You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

btckstorage.blob.core.windows.net

The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/385972630558152185/

You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

cdn.pixabay.com

The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

www.youtube.com

The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

live.staticflickr.com

This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

assets.rbl.ms

Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

assets.rbl.ms

You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

c1.staticflickr.com

Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

assets.rbl.ms

Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

media.rbl.ms

Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

Related Content

Facebook Comments