Friday, April 24, 2015

Is a Bad Review Better Than None?

Unfortunately, this review was the very first for my Sabrina Strong book #4, Caprice. Yup. E.Foley ("lizard 1969") hits again. And it's like a train wreck. But I'm not here to whine. Nope. I'm gonna answer this "review" right here.

Maybe people would think me nuts for posting this and answering it here. I mean, do any of you other writers get a bad review and just want to strangle that person for posting it? Or better yet, answer it? See, I can't answer her at the review site (you need to have bought something on Amazon. I haven't, so...)

She gave "Caprice" 2 stars. But I'm peeved because she's into the series, I know, because she has bought each book in turn and put her review up right away. She sort of reminds me of Charley Harper's mother who can't say "Atta boy." No nice thing to say. Ever.

Here's her first line:

"I hate being the first one to rate this and it not being more than two stars."

No. I quite think you wanted to be the very first one to plunge the dagger (or stake?) into it, my dear.

"The story was convoluted; was confusing with too many POVs; was too long and filled with errors (needed editing for length, clarity and grammar); and was without a satisfying ending."

Well that was a mouthful. She could have ended the tirade right there, but I'm afraid it gets worse.

Let's get down to it it. Too many POV's? Has she never read other authors who write with more than three or four POVs? I mean, I've read Mary Higgins Clark, Tammi Hoag, and others who use as many as five or six POVs. I changed my writing style from strictly first person to first person and third in order to bring the story together. I felt the story needed more depth at this point. I wanted to get into the heads of all my main characters in this book, to let the reader know what each and every one of them were doing. Also, because if I didn't, the story would have been about 100 pages. Personally, I like a long read. I love the adventure, and if the MC is fun to read, I definitely want to be entertained by her and her friends. I've read long books like JK Rowling's Goblet of Fire, which is 735 pages long. I loved it. Or Kim Harrison's novels which go on for at least 400 pages. The length of Caprice was as long as I needed it to be. Sure. Editing would have been nice. I have no editor to correct things for me. I'm what you'd call a "starving artist". Prey for wolves to pounce upon when they see weak writing, or problems in grammar. Whatever.

What about "A satisfying ending" ? We'll get to that part later on in this post.

Here's the middle part...

As the Sibyl, Sabrina now has a bounty on her head and all sorts of supernatural creatures want to mate with her. So far, it's Vasyl, Dante, Tremayne, Bill, Hobart (although we see very little of him in this book), and a new Ware named Chris (who sounds like a hottie). And I'm sure I'm missing something.

It's pretty clear that NO ONE IS WHO THEY SEEM and I walked away from the book feeling sad for our Sibyl who is pretty much alone. Vasyl may love her, but I don't think he gets her. Dante's dead/undead, Tremayne is essentially a rapist/opportunist, Bill, who I thought was evil the whole time, may not really be and in the end can never be with her. [attempting to avoid spoilers here] And poor Chris keeps sniffing around, but he's far back in line.

Obviously, she's into the series. She's worried about "our sibyl", ("sad", even) who keeps on getting men in her life who either use or leave her one way or another. And, ha-ha-ha! I've done my job. Bill is someone I painted to be evil--I kept him as a person who seemed shady, and in the periphery on purpose. Getting into his head, and watching what he is doing, understanding the reason he's doing it, all coming together. I have my reasons, like all authors do, to write this the way I did. 

"And if it's the last in the series (which is not clear), we're left hanging with questions: Will she fulfill the prophecy? Will her eggs really work for the Nephilim? What's going on with Tremayne (will he live or die, and if he lives, will he regain control of his business and NAVA)? WHO WILL SABRINA END UP WITH?"

A-hah! Yes, my dear, that is the big question! Who will Sabrina end up with? Well, I'll answer your first question first. The series has at least 4 more books coming (8 in total to date). The next book (#5) will answer nearly all the rest of those question you have. (See? I know you really are hooked on this series, even though you have a bunch of problems with my grammar and spelling-which is why you gave this such a poor rating, isn't it? Not that the story was so awful, or you couldn't give a rat's ass what happened to Sabrina.) Who Sabrina ends up with... The answer is in #8. And I'm not telling.

E.Foley's last bit really needled me. She had to poke fun at the fact that I made a mistake with some large bills (as in $$) in a briefcase. I thought I had changed that, but apparently I didn't. Oops. Forgot. Thanks for letting me know. I hope my publisher can go in and change that.

Her last question about the title "And what's with the title? The title did not jibe with the story." Really? Do you know what Caprice really means? 
CAPRICE: A sudden, impulsive change in thinking or acting; 2 a capricious quality.

It's exactly what it did. It goes off tangent. Making crazy turns, and you didn't get it (like Vasyl doesn't get Sabrina). But that's okay.

Because I knew that the book was going to go off like a whirling dervish--I didn't want to call it that, of course. I took the chance in calling it Caprice, and since I was going with musical titles, this fit perfectly. Yes. There's a reason for the things I do. It's not up to me to explain, nor will I apologize for your confusion. That's really par for the course.

Oh. And as to the satisfying ending (spoiler here), Sabrina does kill the bad guy, and has a chat with her neighbor who was Bill's grandmother, about his death. That's a satisfying ending, I do believe. What did you want? Her to walk off into the sunset with Vasyl? Or someone else?
Well, that's my answer to this bad review. 

Speaking of reviews... Good news! Tonight, I suddenly found that all of the reviews that Amazon took away from Ascension, are back. Wow. Thank you whoever! I now have 10 reviews--as it should be on my first book! Yay! There are now 4 5-star reviews on it, now. 


  1. I've seen complaints from readers on Amazon when authors respond to their comments, positive or negative. I guess they don't like to have to defend their own reviews.

  2. Ah! I thought as much. Well, mine's here. So, if that person cares to make a comment, fire away. Thanks, Norma!

  3. It's best on a space like Amazon not to engage negative reviews anyway.

  4. I think you're right, William. Sort of glad I wasn't able to in this case.


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