Do you like talking about yourself in the third person? I went through a phase of loving it—high school, I think— then I spent months in Marine Corps Boot Camp calling myself “This Recruit,” and all of the sudden talking about myself as if I didn’t know who I was no longer seemed as appealing. This post is not about point of view choices, at least not exactly; it is about perspective, approach or more specifically about my angle on book reviews.
This is also a long reply to several short emails. The senders—a few authors and one reader—asked why my book reviews didn’t include my precise thoughts on the writer’s grammar, spelling, plot, worldbuilding, character development, genre, number of pages, available formats, book prices, how I got the book… the list went on and on.
If you have been reading Pagan Culture for a while, you’ve probably noticed that these individuals’ questions are not unfounded. I tend to focus on specific sections when I review a book. The answer to the previous questions is very simple: I’ll rarely write about the technical aspects of a book because I prefer to focus on characters, themes and specific scenes that touch me. Simple. See?
There is one question, however, I wish to address separately. It comes from someone who asked me to review her novel. I said I didn’t think I was the best person to analyze her book. She asked why. I said because I found “most of the content would offend at least 99.13% of Pagan Culture readers, me included.” She replied: “Your reviews are biased, your choices suspicious…” and I won’t include the rest because it was not polite.
All right then…
I immediately thought about a question my friend LJ, the author of Not So Serious, asked me while commenting on “All magic was inherently wrong…” Where in… hell do you dig these people up from?!
I didn’t reply to the woman’s last email, but I wish to answer her question and final comment right here:
Dear lady, I refused to review your novel because it was unappealing, absurd and cruel. Like I mentioned on the private review I was nice enough to send you, there were so many typos, overreaching allusions, and unjustified plot swings that it took me three weeks to read—way too many weeks in Magaly reading time. I’ve never written an intentionally biased review; nevertheless, I am set on my own ways, I know what I like and I tend to support common sense. My “choices are suspicious”? You are so right; I’ve been secretly conspiring to get people to read books I think they will enjoy. I hope my master plan influences tons of readers to rush into bookstores and purchase every copy. I’m wicked, wicked, wicked and your book is… well, I think you already know.
Back to more pleasant things… I enjoy reading, and I’ll continue writing my reviews whenever I have time. And look into my eyes, my Wicked Darlings, *are you looking? Good.* Now go buy lovely books; then tell me and the rest of the world about them, so that we can buy them too. Muahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!