I received a pretty poor review today on the US Amazon site. I would have given more weight to it, had the writer not declared that he was an author too. The whole thing then took on a feel of sour grapes on his part. I was also not impressed that he also took the opportunity to plug his own book.
Whilst I tried to ignore it, there was a lot of nit-picking it it (as well as some valid comments) so I feel I need to redress the balance a little.
He stated that he is an MD and that some of the procedures I used in the Prologue, he hadn’t used since Med School. I researched the HPev3 element of my fictitious virus quite thoroughly and the procedures used are part and parcel of its diagnosis. Just because he hasn’t personally asked for those tests, doesn’t make them any less relevant.
For some strange reason he criticises my description of Jake and Rachel’s relationship – a relationship that is a vital and integral part if the story.
He criticised my description of Rachel waking up to find her phone ringing. We’ve all probably experienced that sensation of something intruding on your sleep, whether it’s a dog barking or an early delivery. Surely it’s more interesting to give the reader a feel for that than simply say, “Rachel woke up; the phone was ringing.”
He didn’t like the fact some of the characters’ back stories made it onto the page. However those stories were important if the reader was to understand the motivation of the lead “baddies.”
He made valid a comment on the overuse of the exclamation point (!) which is something I would watch in future, but he even criticised the use of the word “that.”
I read the first few chapters of his book on the “Look inside” feature on Amazon, and have to say that his writing was hard to follow. Lots of repetition and unnecessary descriptions in my opinion, which just proves how subjective it all is.
Thankfully my book’s 5* and 4* reviews far outweigh the negative ones, especially on the co.uk site.
As a writer I appreciate all reviews, good and bad. The critical reviews can be a double edged sword, so they shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you can, learn from them, cos some will spot valid issues. The rest, forget, or they’ll drive you mad.
Sometimes however, it’s just good to express your feelings and redress the balance a little.