That entire chapter made odditycollector and I headthump so hard, because he's doing something magnificently stupid with it: he's trying to take something that a first-person POV character knows and ought to be thinking about constantly, and hide it from the audience so it'll be a surprise, and the only result is it makes Harry look like a bleeding idiot because you're there going, "Uh... it's Odin. And those are his ravens. We know this. You know this. Why are you... god you're a moron." (Actually, I spent so much time going "God you're a moron" this book that it's not even funny. He was getting better! He was learning to be smarter! Why did we have to backslide so much?)
The thing is, for a while there he was doing wonderfully well at selling you on the notion that you should go into this with your critical thought suspended. I don't even like Blood Rites very much, and I still came through it sailing just fine the first time because he opens with a nice action scene that immediately pops you into gear. But even his chapter openings and endings, which he's usually so spot-on with that I honestly recommend the series to people who are trying to learn how to do those, were off in this about half the time. And the end of the book moves so much better than the first half of the book that they don't entirely feel like the same thing--except for that Every Character Ever Must Appear Or Be Mentioned checklist he seemed to have going; that continued on.
It's got to be that it wasn't edited enough, and I keep thinking that must either be because he ran up against a time wall, in which case I really wish he'd ditched his perfect release schedule just this once (we would have forgiven him if the book had been as awesome as it had the potential to be), or else it was his Special Book that he'd been looking forward to for a long time and he wouldn't let people touch it enough. It's honestly weirdly frustrating to me not so much because I didn't like it but as because I'm sitting here going "But this could have been FUCKING AWESOME."
Although going in knowing about the anthology makes it pretty impossible not to look at that ending and go "You asshole" and mean it. If it had been a "and for a WHOLE YEAR that's it" moment I would have respected it--hated him in a different way, in a more JMS way, but respected it. But his sales figures are no way low enough to need that boost.
Consequently, I just effectively dumped cold water all over the post at Fandom Lounge (contains Spoilers, including that one I couldn't talk about here that pissed me off on a personal level), but I know there are other people out there feeling disappointed by it and wondering if maybe it's just them, because I had that reaction too until I went hunting. Well, okay, wondering if it was just me and Karen. Man this has made me love my friends more. Which, speaking of:
when he meets Odin (and I can't remember whatever name the dude's going by, because Doner Kebab keeps popping into my head instead)
I literally laughed out loud, and now any time I reread it will never be the same again, because yeah, the name is entirely too close to that. Thank you.