Good Reviews/Bad Reviews what does it all mean?

I’ve discussed reviews a few times over the years, and recently I see many new authors struggling to make sense of it all. My best analogy is, take four friends to a movie and you’ll come out with four different opinions. For the most part, that is all reviews are – opinions.

However if you find in a lot of your reviews a similar theme, IE: plot holes, character flaws, grammar issues, then you know those areas are problematic. You need to take them all with a grain of salt, and a learning tool. Use what you need, ignore the rest.

I am going to leave you with two examples here of wildy opposing reviews from a book I recently read that I absolutely fell in love with – AND from one of own books too!

The Demonologist: A Novel by [Andrew Pyper]
5 ***** Review
The “Demonologist” is without a doubt the most unusual story I have read this year. Breathtaking in its suspense and narrative scope, this story unfolds slowly at first, then gaining speed to the final pages and denouement, drawing all the strands of the story to a surprise finish with a double meaning. Supernatural occurrances interwoven with flashbacks and the present storyline kept me on the edge of my seat to the point that I finished it in two days, nearly couldn’t put it down, but at the same time being unable to read this in bed before trying to sleep due to the disturbing subject matter. The author is masterful in his prose, so good that I need to look up other writings of his – the only question is which one is next, and of course how can it possibly match what I just finished reading. You will need to suspend your sense of what works in the present world a bit, but its easily done because of the way it draws you in! Highly recommended & Five Stars!
The Demonologist: A Novel by [Andrew Pyper]

1 * Review
DEMONOLOGIST…..This is the worst book I have ever read! The book begins with a divorce, goes on to a close friend telling the main character that she is dying. The book includes suicide, a desperate chance in Rome to be brought to help a man in deep religious torment. The entire situation terrifies him meanwhile the author sees John Milton’s PARADISE LOST as an evil piece of literature. Confused? the book gets worse. The main character returns to America and starts having evil hallucinations and this mess just gets worse and worse I cannot see how this mess ever got published! Don’t bother to try to read it. It’s a lost caus




 Good space drama/character study Wow! This book had me biting my nails to the end. It wasn’t that there was so much action involved (although there were pivotal moments with some action that moved the story along all in a leap). It was more that you grew to care about the characters and were left on the edge of your seat, wondering what was going to happen to them. Would they ever escape their imprisonment? Was there anything out there for them if they did escape? It was so grim in the beginning, I found my mood altering to match Finn’s dark brooding, his wish to keep everyone he cared about safe, his helplessness at being unable to do so. When events occurred, I was puzzled and alarmed and joyful right along with him, the mark of a good story. I’m glad I took this ride.


Cardboard characters Such an interesting idea, so unconvincingly developped. What a pity.

So there you have it, people love it or hate it, or somewhere inbetween it! Give it your all, get an editor, and keep writing! I’d love to see some of your best and worst reviews. Share in the comments and show the world we’re not alone in this crazy journey!

4 thoughts on “Good Reviews/Bad Reviews what does it all mean?

Add yours

  1. My thoughts on bad reviews have always been pretty much along the same lines as yours. Although, if I get a negative review with something actionable – too much violence, too much cursing, inconsistencies, etc – I’ll usually take those to heart and see if it’s something I can or want to work with. If a review just says, “It’s crap”, I’ll usually ignore those.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Good article, Theresa, and I agree. I also like Eric’s points which I agree with too. We, as authors, must always be open to feedback and (constructive) criticism. This does not mean, however, that we should be happy to accept either personal abuse or someone trying to be clever by spouting-off in a review.
    I don’t check my reviews too often but I learned a long time ago not to be too concerned about the occasional idiot. Anyone with a modicum of common sense can see through a 1* review when the other twenty are 4* or 5*.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Here goes, Theresa. 1 Five Star and 1 One Star – they DID read the same book!

    I’m a reader who is tired of paying the known authors to produce sub-standard stories. So, I’ve been searching for new talent. These books are also, as a whole, cheaper, which makes it easy to take a chance. This book was something I would not normally read – I’m a mystery/paranormal reader. However, I read the synopsis on this book, was intrigued by the story line and took a chance. Just like a bad accident, I couldn’t look away! It’s the kind of book that has you yelling at the characters, “You idiot! Don’t do it!” The twists and turns in this plot kept me turning the page to see what happened next. It’s a love story that leaves you guessing until the end. And, the ending is satisfying! (sorry if that is a spoiler? I just hate books that leave a bad taste in my mouth. I love the ending of this book. It isn’t something I guessed, so it was a pleasant surprise.) If you are looking for a good read – something to keep you engaged and interested – this book is it.

    Not a very interesting book. Drags on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing that Sarah, it really does show that everyone’s opinions can be wildly different.
      ITs the same with my book, most of my top reviews are people loving the character and the one thought they were under developed.
      We can’t please them all.

      Liked by 1 person

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