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A Little Opinion Goes A Long Way

April 18, 2012 by Kiersi

Amazon review

So, yesterday’s review of MaryLynn Bast’s novel No Remorse attracted more than a little attention on Amazon.com (read my review and the half-dozen comments that have appeared here). I’m not necessarily sure if it’s more attention than I was expecting, but I can say I was surprised by the voracity with which I was attacked for my opinion.

For the record, the book’s publicist specifically requested I post the review on my blog, Amazon, and Goodreads, and I did as I was told.

I want to start this post with an excerpt from the book, just to give you a little taste of what we’re working with:

Instead of killing him, Blake jerked the man to his feet by the front of his shirt demanding an answer. “Who sent you?”

When the man remained silent, Blake shook him, rattling the teeth in his head and repeated between clenched teeth. “Who sent you?”

Opening his eyes, he stared frighteningly at the giant of a man who towered over him. Blake could easily break him in two with his bare hands by the looks of him.

“I, if I, if I,” he stuttered, then stopped and straightened his shoulders, dropping his hands to his side. “If I tell you anything, they will kill my family,” he said in a resolved, but stronger voice.

Amber had followed and was standing behind Blake, touching his shoulder. “Blake, he’s telling the truth.” How she knew she didn’t know, but she did.

Blake glanced at her over his shoulder and nodded, dropping his hand from the man’s shirt and stepping back. Turning and directing an order to no one in particular [sic] “Take him inside and get the first aid kit. See if Seriana can fix him up.” Blake didn’t wait for a response and barked out more orders. “Someone stay with this bastard and get Adam inside”. [sic]

The crowd dispersed in a flurry of movement. A handful of men stayed with Blake. Amber moved quietly out of the way, watching Blake with his people. She felt the admiration and respect the pack held for him. Even though things were still tense, she relaxed somewhat. There were so many people around and she assumed that everyone here was part of Blake’s pack. If that were the case, then there was a good twenty to thirty werewolf’s [sic] bustling around.

“Search the grounds for anyone lurking around. Let me know immediately if you find anything.” He looked directly at her Remember, my love it’s our people, not just mine. [sic]

If you spotted four instances of “[sic],” then you’re paying attention.

I don’t think I was harsh. In fact, I worked very hard to make sure my review wasn’t harsh or mean-spirited or any of those things–I respect the fact that Bast wrote a book and was willing to put it out there to be judged by the public.

However, I wasn’t going to pretend I liked the book when I didn’t. Other readers deserve to know what lies in wait for them when they pick up No Remorse. There are better werewolf stories out there, in my opinion, such as Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver: it has excellent character development, a believable storyline, and professional-quality writing (and editing). And, like many of my critics on Amazon.com mentioned, Shiver is a unique take on the tired old werewolf mythos. I believe Bast attempted to write a book like that, but the “special powers” she gave Amber (the ability to turn into an invisible flying pleasure-glob, for example) were unbelievable at best, and not at all appealing.

What perturbed me the most about the response by Bast’s irate fan girls was the assumption that I was somehow forced to read this book, and that I harbor some kind of grudge against paranormal romance. Clearly none of them bothered to read my blog, or they’d have read my short story My Brother the Wolf, or perhaps my flash fiction Daddy’s Little Occult Supernatural Monster (also, not surprisingly, about a werewolf).

Regardless, I had more hits yesterday to my blog than I’ve had in over a week. As irritating as it is to be slandered by total strangers for simply giving my honest opinion (which I was asked, by the author’s publicist, to do), even bad publicity counts as publicity, I suppose.

Whoever said controversy was a blogger’s best friend might be more right than he knew.

Update: I have officially been removed from the blog tour’s website. I was originally listed under April 17th. Way to show real class, MaryLynn!


11 Comments »

  1. Ami says:

    I second rebeccaoftomorrow’s response: Wow.

    Thank you, not only for your spot-on review, but for the excerpt that cements my desire not to read the book. (Incidentally, I think you were too kind. I’d have given it no stars. Perhaps a moon or two…) Still, I find it sad that giving one’s honest opinion now translates as “if you disagree with me, please publicly hate on me.” ::sigh::

  2. Kela says:

    I read your review on Amazon yesterday, and I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. Judging by that excerpt above, your review was accurate. Perhaps that author needs a little AQC involvement. :p

    • Kiersi says:

      Ha! Yeah, I think there were fundamental issues with the premise that AQC would have dug up like a weed’s root system. Thanks, Kela!

  3. Brenda says:

    Feeling better today?

  4. Jesse says:

    AHHH! “How she knew she didn’t know, but she did.” Why would anyone write that sentence?!

    But I think the real question is: Are you a very lonely woman, Kiersi? Do you need a hug?

    Also how did you not show any respect for the highly original narrative choices? I mean, “Instead of just one main character to follow you can feel and follow a group of them making way for new story lines and a larger series of stories.” No one’s ever done that before-*cough*ANIMORPHS*cough* *cough*REDWALL*cough* *cough*amillionotherbooks*cough*-oh, excuse me. But yeah, props where props are due.

  5. Tabitha says:

    Oh, the joys of the Amazon mob. Anyone who posts reviews on Amazon falls victim to them at some point.

    The best part is that Amazon *says* they want to build a good community, but then don’t do anything to enforce their own rules. I was bullied on Amazon for posting a less than favorable review a couple years ago, and Amazon did nothing about it. It had to escalate to the point where the bully verbally beat on everyone who posted a negative review, fair or no, and then all of us as a group had to go to them to get it taken care of. What a joke.

    • Kiersi says:

      No way, Tab! Really? What book was it? That’s just.. bizarre. Frankly, I think there just shouldn’t be a “reply” option for reviews. Once it’s up, it’s up, no further comment necessary.

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