Saturday, April 16, 2011

Let Me Count the Ways

Let me count how many reviews that are out there on the same book. Ok, I lost count.

I picked Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. I loved that book and I reviewed it. It was a difficult review to do because so many scenes throughout the book were key to the movement of the plot and were so incredibly specific, mentioning them would have been divulging spoilers and that is what reviewers need to avoid. How did others deal with it? I was curious to see.

This first one is funny. No, not the review. The fact that the reviewer took the easy way out and announced there were spoilers and off she went.
Review #1
Personally, posting actual scenes from the book wouldn't be on my acceptable list of reviewing practices. But that's just me.

Review #2 This was original. This reviewer tackled the audio version. But what is it with posting excerpts from the story in the review? Is this a new trend?

Review #3 I liked this one.

Review #4 I didn't learn ANYTHING reading this review and it actually started with a spoiler. I can't believe that! A reader isn't supposed to find out WHO actually died until they read the book! I remember how I felt when I found out who it was during the course of reading and I wouldn't ever want that feeling diluted. It was powerful and this review casually dropped it la-ti-da. grrrrr

Review #5 This one was alright. Not a lot there but the reviewer respected the fact that spoilers would ruin it.
Like I said, this was a very hard book to review.

Review #6 Wow - um... this was brief. Did you learn anything about how the reviewer felt after reading the book. Yes, I got that she liked it - but exactly what floated her boat?

Review #7 I LIKED this review. I liked the reviewer's voice and her respect of the story and I liked what she shared. I was grinning as I read it. Yes. I liked this one.

Review #8 Okaaaay - I guess she was enthusiastic. I'm thinking the language was a bit- ::ahem::- let's just say, I try really hard not to use those expressions in my reviews. LOL. Did you learn anything from her review?

Review #9 It left a lot of loose ends? Did she even read the same book??? I'm not impressed with this review. What do you think?

Review #10 Um... language people. It's in the book, yes, but does it have to be IN the review? On the whole, the review was OK - and they did strive to take out spoilers which makes me think initially there were some. Like I said, the book was chock full of fun things.

Review #11
I'm not sure how to weigh in on this review. She's unhappy that's for sure. Would the review make you want to pick it up even though she does say some positive things in it???

Review #12 I can't comment on my own review but I'm throwing it in the ring as well. If you compare mine to the others, how'd I do?

I'll stop here. Believe it or not there are MORE reviews of this book out there. It's that popular. And from what I've seen, reviewers are varied. Some will respect the 'no spoilers' rule and others don't care. Some write the way they probably talk and some definitely march to a different drummer.

I realize this post is a huge undertaking. I'd love to find out which reviews you think are better than others and what makes them so? Which reviews do you think would turn off a reader? Why?

What did I learn? It reinforced what I don't like to see in reviews and I will attempt to avoid those practices in my own writing.


Anonymous said...

XR, About including segments- I agree. Once in a while, but not very often I include a quote from a story. Just a line or two, and only if it really informs the reader of something integral to the writing or the tale. What do you think about that device? Rina

Xeranthemum said...

I don't mind it at all.
Again, it depends on what the reviewer chooses.
Can it be in any way contrued as a spoiler?
If not, sure, use a quote.

In fact, since doing this post, I've taken to quoting as well. Only once or twice, tops, and I use it to give readers a taste of the main characters.
One comes to mind that still makes me giggle.
It's my review of the latest Cheryl Brooks book - Virgin.
Man, that was a fun and funny book.

I'm picky, however. The sentence I quote has to really have flavor and provides a benefit to the review.

Did I answer your question?