Jun232009

How a Review Reviews the Reviewer (Important for Writers)

Research - Tea and Books

music: BookExpoCast

Well, Gentle Reader, I have been getting some of my first book reviews in email and online. Some of these are from libraries, some from bloggers, and some from brick & mortar independents. These are the folks who got the first round of ARCs or picked one up at BEA. I’m not going to talk about the reviews themselves, because what I am finding most intriguing at the moment is how different they are from each other, and much each review tells me about the reviewer’s focus and interests.

Those whose interest is largely fantasy orientated tend to write more about the world building process and manipulation of the Victorian era to accommodate the supernatural elements. Those who are fans of urban fantasy focus on the way Soulless deviates from other paranormals with regards to treatment of vampires and werewolves and any major aberrations from the pack. This, in Soulless‘s case is the idea of excess or absent soul. Those coming out of the romance field go into detailed analysis of the hero/heroine dynamic, flavor of the dialogue, and other personal interactions. Those who read widely and do not associate with any particular genre tend to talk a lot about characterization. I have yet to be reviewed within the steampunk community but I am looking forward to seeing how those folks lend their own personality to the opinion rooster.

With this book, my main worry was that I had my fingers in too many pies. I was concerned I might have the equivalent of a dinner party full of picky eaters, and serving up a meal with too many exoteric components. Fortunately, what I am finding is quite the reverse. It is more like a buffet, and so far, even the pickiest of eaters seem to be finding something to chew on.

So, Gentle Readers, this is my moment of gratitude. Not only am I grateful for the reviews, but I am grateful that by writing them you reviewers are sharing with me a little bit of yourself, which is a remarkable gift indeed.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
The World Beard and Mustache Championships 2009 in Anchorage, Alaska

Your Tisane of Smart:
Great quote about the Assassins guild c. 1193 (yes, the Assassins guild did really exist). “Henry [VI, Holy Roman Emperor] even made a new alliance with the Assassins. The Old Man of the Mountains celebrated it in spectacular fashion: he invited Henry to a meeting on a cliff-top, where his followers demonstrated their fidelity by leaping, one by one, to their deaths in the abyss below, until Henry begged for the display to end. The Templars had little time for such frivolities.” ~ Stephen Howarth (Then Knights Templar)
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Dave goes to bat over genre politics

CAKE in Space: With agent.
Soulless: Basking in the glow of compliments from librarians, some of the most important people in my life have been librarians.
Changeless: Gone poof. Starting to gather corrections. Release date unknown.
Blameless: No progress due to brief invasion of Western Coast by the Uber Nemesis of Podcasting Himself. You may, of course, blame him.

Quote of the Day:
“I got to thinking about the point in every freelancer’s life where he has to decide whether he wants to A, have a social life, and do art in his spare time, or B, do art, and have a social life in his spare time. It has always seemed to me that if you have any hope of making a living as an artist – writer, musician, whatever – you absolutely must learn to tell people to leave you alone, and to mean it, and to eject them from your life if they don’t respect that. This is necessary not because your job is more important than anyone else’s – it isn’t – but because a great many people will think of you as not having a job. ‘Oh, how wonderful – you can work whenever you want to!’ Well, yes, to a point, but generally ‘whenever you want to’ had better be most of the time, or else you won’t have a roof over your head.”
~ Poppy Z. Brite
(Considering Tee and I’s discussion over the collapse of the Survivor Guide, I thought this quote apt.)

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Posted by Gail Carriger

 

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