Sunday 14 August 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This is a cop-out blog post, rather like the clip-show episode of the Simpsons. You might even call it online storage for my link list to guard against catastrophic loss of PC data. However you cut it it's lazy, but hey, I've got a lot on!

Listed below are all the reviews for 'Prince of Thorns' that have appeared thus far in blog posts (& that google alerts have delivered to my doorstep). I omit the reports on Goodreads, Amazon, and various forums. The only reason this might be vaguely interesting is that I've listed the bad as well as the good, and I've labelled them for you so you can scroll down to the bad ones (everyone loves the 1* reviews best don't they?). You'll have to decide for yourself if any of them are ugly ...

The Good
1)      Galaxy Books
2)      Neal Asher
3)      Fantasy Faction
4)      Rising Shadow
5)      Wertzone
6)      Infinitas Books
7)      Fantastical Librarian
8)      Publishers Weekly
9)      Tessa's Blurb
10)   Pat's Hotlist
11)   Blog Critics
12)   LEC books
13)   Fantasy Book Critic
14)   Literary Musings
15)   The Breathless Quill (review + interview)
16)   Civilian Reader
17)   Little Red Reviewer
18)   Speculative Book Review (also on State of the Review)
19)   Falcata Times
20)   Ranting Dragon
21)   Staffer Musings
22)   Book Monkey Scribbles
23)   American Book Center
24)   Rational Gun

The Bad
4)      The Man in Black
The Ugly


  1. Mark, the cool thing is that of the 4 bad reviews, 2 of them may as well be good reviews. So happy for you. :)

  2. Hey,

    Thanks for linking to my review. I intended to email this to you; I was waiting for my slightly more SFW version to be posted on Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' News & Reviews.

    I'm sorry you didn't like my review- I enjoyed the book!

  3. Hey MIB - I've liked some of the reviews in the 'bad' category. It's not a quality judgement (you'd be in the 'ugly' class for that). Yours was not a bad review, just a review that I counted as bad for the book.

    I just put your review in the 'bad' category because it indicates that the significant majority of readers shouldn't bother with the book. Which from an author's point of view feels more negative than positive, more 'bad' than 'good'.

    An extreme example would be 'I loved this book, but nobody else will. It's the best book ever, don't read it.' That one would go in the 'bad' :)

  4. Mark,

    Thank you for replying.

    I understand what you're saying, although blog posts and such that I've seen you write regarding this book seem to be much in the same vein as my review: that it's not a nice book, or for people looking for a nice book. This makes it seem like you're targeting the exact audience I recommended this book to.

    My main point of surprise was that you referenced "one star reviews" while referring to the list my review fell into, when I believe the most conservative interpretation of my review would be that it was a 3 out of 5 stars (recommend with serious reservations).

  5. @MIB it's true I've been liberal with my warnings regarding Prince of Thorn's content, but I've never suggested that women won't enjoy it or that my readership should be limited to lovers of rap music :) My approach has been to be upfront about the violence and tone, and then to let people make up their own mind about whether the book is for them. I have not and would not identify particular groups and attempt to make that judgement on their (diverse) behalf.

    I'll caveat that by say it's not a book for children (as did you) but where I'm happy with saying it's not a book for children, I can't agree that anyone, man or woman, should say it's not a book for women. And the feedback seems to support the notion that at least half of those enjoying Prince of Thorns are female.

  6. You make a good point, although all of the people that I'm familiar with that put the book down due to being uncomfortable were adult females.

  7. I'm a bit late to this thread... but I just wanted to say that I'm female and I loved this book! Why do all main characters have to be nice? I loved Jorg because he was brutal and ruthless. It was refreshing in my opinion, and there is much more to him than first meets the eye...

    Also thanks for linking my review :)

    Emma @ Book Monkey

  8. Hi Mark!

    I just ordered your book off Book Depository! I'm reserving myself from looking at any of these reviews so that I can make up my own mind about your book. As soon as I read it, I'll post my comments here.

    Hope you're well!

  9. Dear Mark Lawrence,

    How is it possible that there are bad Reviews for your book? I reread it 4 times since I got it ... And I got it last week. It's the best book I've ever, ever read by far! I laugh so hard that I had tears in my eyes! I love, love, love Jorg - I even got used to his name! - from the first chapter until the last and the book only gets better ...
    As I read the last page I closed the book for a moment bevor I open it and began to reread it again ... And as I read it was like I get suck into this brilliant world once more and it was like the first. I can praise your book all day but it might get a little bit ... unrealistic so i stick with my statement bevor: The best book I've ever read and I'm eager to read more!

    A truly fan
    PS: I read your german version ... so the tought is near that english isn't my mothertounge. I'm from Austria and recommand your book to everyone who is willing to listen me for just a second!*grin*

  10. Hi Julia! Many thanks for liking the book so much and for letting me know. I'm glad to hear the German version is working so well. And many thanks for letting other people know - word-of-mouth is what sells books!

  11. In some ways I understand that you omitted GOODREADS and Amazon reviews. For me it is a bit sad because I put in some effort in my German review of Prinz der Dunkelheit = Prince of Thorns which can read at GOODREADS and Amazon.
    Maybe I should translate it and post it on my blog.

    Maybe it is worth to consider to mention that there are reviews of Prince of Thorns in other languages.
    I would appreciate that.

    My review at GOODREADS

  12. @ediFanoB It's a great review & very much appreciated. There are 129 reviews for Prince of Thorns on Goodreads though & it seems like overkill to list them along with the 88 Amazon reviews. There are a couple of foreign language reviews in the 129, including one in Greek - which impressed me since the book hasn't been translated into Greek!

    I have to assume the vast majority of my blog readers will be non-German speakers - as I guess you do also, or you wouldn't feel the need to translate your review before posting it on your blog. If you had it up at Edi's Book Lighthouse it would certainly have appeared here :) There are also 10 or more reviews on German websites I didn't link.

    It would actually be very interesting to see your review in English because then I could see how accurate a job google translate did on it for me!

  13. Hi Mark,
    thank you very much for your detailed answer. I agree with you that most of your readers will be non-German speakers.
    The only thing I wanted is that you mention in your post that there are also reviews in other languages.

    As soon as I find time (I know the spelling of the word but it is a rare thing) I will write my review in English. I will keep you informed.