Monstrous Reviews

Reviews are a bit paradoxical for writers. Everyone wants to hear praise, but there’s learning in every review, even the one stars. And make no mistake, all books end up with one star reviews. There’s just so much diversity between readers.

Recently, Amazon has come under fire to clean up its reviews as some authors “seed” their books with fake reviews to boost sales.

I take reviews seriously, as they’re supposed to be an independent opinion on a book. I’ve given away books with a request for a review and received some honest critiques, but I’ve never paid for fake reviews.

Reviews are the lifeblood of an independent writer, as readers look to reviews to understand whether they’ll enjoy a particular book themselves. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of reviews is when readers provide their own insights based on what they’ve read.

In this regard, I’ve had some monstrous reviews of Monsters on various private blogs, Goodreads and Amazon (monstrous meaning massive, not terrible). Here’s some highlights that caught my eye, not because they flatter the book, but because they offer keen insights into the topic the book covers.

[Monsters is] a devolved dystopian novel that doubles up as a love letter to literacy and knowledge. After a near miss with a comet has some catastrophic events, including a drastic increase in size of many of the planet’s fauna, Earth is plunged back into the dark ages. Books, science and knowledge are shunned, and literate people are tortured and killed as examples to others. Yet some struggle to learn

One of the things we take for granted is our ability to read and educate ourselves… I really loved the premise of this novel, and how in this post apocalypse world, knowledge and reading is likened to witchcraft

Monsters-by-Peter-Cawdron-300x450To fear and disdain science is one of the worst mistakes that a society, any society, could make.  The only reason that we are who we are as a species is that we have used our intelligence to understand the universe around us and to devise ways to survive despite our inherent physical weaknesses.  Compared to many other organisms on this earth of ours, we are not very big, very fast, or even moderately strong.  We do not have sharp fangs or strong claws.  Nonetheless, we have tamed the planet; heck, we have gone to space, we have walked on the Moon!  And again, the only reason why we have been able to do so is through science and technology.

… the theme for this book …  is really how much would we lose if we as a civilization lost the ability to read and how would our lives be affected through the generations… [I] hated to see [the book] end. If I had to be in this world I would surely take the risks that the characters do to get their hands on books, because I too am a reader.

More than just a book about post apocalyptic societies and the rise of nature to overcome man, Monsters is about the power of knowledge… the discovery of knowledge not only scares those in power, but it can bring down a dictator.

[Reading is] a secret liberty … an individual freedom, an artistic expression … reading is a relatively modern phenomenon and, throughout history, reading has usually only been reserved for the privileged.  [Cawdron] touches on the terror of things we take for granted, like basic medical treatment, and it makes you think about what we have now … there’s a ton of room for a great sequel or a smart prequel as apes take over the … oh, sorry, wrong franchise

To everyone that’s provided their thoughts on any of my novels, from one star through to five, thanks for taking the time to read and review.

You can find Monsters on Amazon


2 thoughts on “Monstrous Reviews

  1. I have found as a first time novelist that getting reviews is almost harder than catching a cab in Nome, Alaska. If it wasn’t for friends and family leaving feedback on I’d have nothing at all! On that note, real reviews are better for the book because too many five-star ratings look fake; gotta have those one-star ratings to have credibility. I’m not giving up, of course, I am only inspired to try that much harder! Thanks for the great post!

    • Oh, yeah… self-publishing a book is like self-administered dentistry, trial and error tends to be painful 🙂
      And as you note, getting honest, independent reviews is a big, big deal, something I never take for granted. Keep up the good work.

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