From the Mind of Master Imaginationist Crystal Connor ~"A Trusted Name in Terror."

The Darkness, Artificial Light, In The Valley of Shadows

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The One Star Review

Word of the day:
Necropolis pronunciation (ne-KROP-uh-lis) noun:
A burial place, especially a large and elaborate cemetery belonging to an ancient city.

How to survive a horror movie tip # 8
Always check the back seat of your car.

I got my 1st “real” one star review today but and I have to tell you it wasn’t very insightful besides I’m not even sure it should be called a review as the reviewer states that the book wasn’t finished.

So I cruised thru Amazon and Goodreads to find & compare other one star reviews because in my opinion if a reviewer doesn’t finish the book then there shouldn’t be a rating or a review but what became unsettlingly clear is that I didn’t find any one star “reviews” what I found instead were some pretty mean and down right nasty comments, and I couldn’t help but wonder why so many people would gleefully leave these types of comments:

“The author and the editor really need to go back to school. Or possibly they are still IN school because I think a 3rd grade student could have done better.”

How does that help? But more importantly …who do you think you are?

“This is just one of these books you knew, going into it, that you were never going to like it, and yet, after you finish it, you remain with a sour taste in your mouth.”

If your going to call your self a “reviewer” basically a book critic and authors are bearing the cost of sending you their book, then don’t you have the obligation to 1 read the book and 2 give it a in- depth, well rounded review?

"One star, because I paid money for this. I'd give it 2 stars if it was free..."

After all the purpose of writing a review/critique is twofold: (1) identify the weaknesses in the piece and (2) offer some constructive advice to the author that might lead to improvement in the story. To just bash the story without providing something useful to the author is not really being professional.

The feedback below is for a short story of mine called The Lazarus Antidote and I am sharing this with you because I think this is what a constructive criticism is supposed to look like:

“As a customer, this wasn't necessarily my cup of tea as far as horror goes, so I'm probably going to be more critical than someone who would specifically be looking for a story like this...I had the same problem with Handling the Undead. I am also pretty blunt, so I hope I don't offend you.

As a reviewer, I thought the two "articles" at the beginning were a nice touch, but too long -- I could see some people wondering when the meat of the story will begin. The further I read into it, the more I liked it...the dialogue helped move the story along. I absolutely love how you divided up the story, instead of traditional chapters! Some other good points: the story is very original, and it looked like you may have actually done some research, instead of just making stuff up out of nothing.

Now, I may sound critical, but despite my personal feelings, I can think of several people who would truly enjoy a story like this, so I don't think you need to make any changes.”

And here is a review for The Darkness that is less than glowing:

“I had the privilege of reading an ARC of The Darkness, by Crystal Connor the other day. It was a slow starter, but I had to find out what was going to happen with Adam, and so it kept me reading until the end.

"I reacted to this book the way I react to some of Dean Koontz's work-one minute I'll be loving it and then a few pages later I've become detached from the story. "I used to call you Mommy." I admit, prior to that sentence I was a little bored.

But suddenly I wanted to know all about this mysterious caller. That caller was Adam. I did have trouble connecting to the characters. We also get a lot of names of colleagues and organizations thrown at us in the beginning of the book, but not a real sense of who anyone is. I think the author did this on purpose-it seems to highlight Adam's early lifestyle, for instance.

We're pages in before we're 'introduced' to our narrator/main character, Artemisia, and I never did get around to liking her. But again, I don't think she was meant to be likeable. I don't always love books of this genre. But that's a personal quirk and shouldn't be reflected on the author. If you enjoy sci fi and horror, there's every chance you'll enjoy this book.”

If you’re going to call yourself a reviewer and you’re reaping the benefits of free books then get off your pretentious high horse and read and review the books and keep your nasty comments out of it. You need to realize that, the NaNoWriMo aside, it takes six months to a year to write a book and that’s before the rework.

If you come across a book you simply cannot finish take it to Half Price Books and trade it in for one you will read. Or better yet, why don’t you write a book and let’s us review it. I promise someone will be just as nice to you as you were when writing a review.

Then you’ll know what it feels like when someone comes along and says this about your work.

“So I'll leave it with one star, because it certainly doesn't deserve two stars. Now it sits in my Bookmooch pile, waiting to be requested so that I can pawn it off on some other unsuspecting fool. Hopefully it will end up somewhere far enough away so that the reader won't try to hunt me down and take revenge on me for the pain I have inflicted on them.”

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Apologies

Word of the day:
Nubile (NOO-bil –byl, NYOO-) adj
1.Sexually attractive (referring to a young woman)
2.Ready or suitable for marriage (referring to a young woman)

How to survive a horror movie tip # 31
If it stars snowing on the inside of your house and the hallway gets real dark … take your dumb ass outside!

I am so sorry about my absence and silence, I’ve got a lot going on and am really busy but in the best way.

For one Artificial Light is almost done (whoo hoo!), I am gearing up to go one another blog book tour and I’ve also started working on the 3rd book in The Spectrum Trilogy =D Oh! A 2nd edition of The Darkness is in the works and I have been confirmed as a vendor at World Horror Con!!!!!