Over the last couple of years, I have developed a fondness for fiction. I never saw myself as a person who would enjoy being consumed by fantasy worlds, especially those with mythical creatures like vampires, dragons, werewolves and the like. I also never imagined that dramatic battles, intense romances and gory death scenes would capture my imagination and emotions. But, all it took was one gloomy, rainy Sunday, what seemed like a month’s worth of laundry to fold, and a “Twilight” series movie marathon on cable, and I was hooked. 

After my daylong Sunday affair with the “Twilight” saga, I had to know how it all ended. At that time, the last two movies in the series were being filmed and hadn’t been released yet. This was incredibly frustrating. I am not very good at waiting, and I hate surprises. So, the only option for easing my frustration was the “old-fashioned” method of finishing the series by reading the final book. I hadn’t read a book, for fun, for as long as I could remember.  Too much of my reading time had been spent on assigned projects for classes, leadership training, sales training or something related to furthering my education or career. So, reluctantly, I borrowed the book from a friend, saw there were 754 pages and immediately felt overwhelmed.  After a few short pages, my feelings changed and I had trouble putting it down. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading for entertainment. Every spare moment I found, I read the book. Granted, with a career in publishing, two small children, a house full of pets and a husband with crazy hours, spare moments were and still are, limited, but when I found them, I read. And I cherished it.

Since then, I attended the midnight showings of the final two “Twilight” movies. I have always been on team Edward (now that I understand what that means). I got hooked on the “Hunger Games” books (again, I’m on team Peeta) and now the movie series as well. It only seemed like a natural progression to take my fiction to the next level and start reading Game of Thrones. I mean, if Amazon personally suggests it to me, it must be good, right?

I will admit I walked into this book blindly, not knowing what exactly to expect. The first couple of chapters were intense and a bit difficult to get into. There were a LOT of characters with difficult names that needed to be straightened out before I could really get going. The story is complex, yet as soon as I got through the second chapter, I was captivated. I think it is the complexity of it that keeps me so engaged. Over spring break, on a road trip to North Dakota to visit family, I finished the first book and dove directly into the second without hesitation. It was only then that I realized there were not simply three or four books in the series like in “Twilight” or “Hunger Games,” but there are currently five published books, with two additional works underway to round out the series at seven. I couldn’t help but think, “What have I gotten myself into?” 

I’ve come to accept that there now seven books that I will undoubtedly HAVE to read and finish, but I did not expect the next surprise in becoming consumed in the series. After sharing my new-found love of the book with friends, I learned there is also a TV series on HBO! Apparently, I have been living under a rock, since I don’t subscribe to HBO.  But as luck would have it, shortly after our return from North Dakota, HBO decided to offer a free weekend, and I recorded all episodes from the first three seasons to feed my addiction. 

I will admit it. I am hooked.  The lives of the Starks, the Lannisters and Daenerys Targaryen had me at “hello.” I can’t put the book down, and I can’t wait to see how it all ends. I have my favorite characters that I have loved from the beginning, there are plenty of characters I have felt betrayed by and have since grown to despise, yet there are still a few dark horses I am secretly rooting for. With only two books down, I can only imagine what the future holds and where this fantasy land will take me. My only hope is that George R. R. Martin has the final two books finished by the time I catch up, because I hate waiting and I hate surprises!

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Ashley Holter
Sales and Custom Publishing Manager, Business Record
@ashleyholter