I don’t often post about the reviews my books receive. Reviews are really for readers, a way for someone who’s read a book to summarise what they liked and disliked about it, so that potential readers can judge whether a book is their cup of tea or not. So even a negative review can be helpful. Some reviews of my books say that they’re long or have slow patches or that the main character is hard to like. I wouldn’t argue with any of that. And it means that anyone looking for a fast, action-packed story with a likeable main character will know to move along. A review complaining about explicit sex or swearing will warn off readers who would find that disturbing. A review praising the gender equality in my worlds will alert readers to the possibility of something a little outside the norm.
So all reviews are useful. But occasionally a reviewer gets under the skin of one of my books in a way that is truly heart-warming. It means the reviewer really got what I was trying to say. For me, as a beginner at this writing business, this is just a wonderful moment.
Rachel Cotterill of Strange Charms, a blog which showcases female authors of speculative fiction, had this to say about my ‘unlikeable’ main character:
“Kyra herself is a great heroine. She sets out with a grim determination to train as a scribe, taking extra jobs to make ends meet. […] Almost every choice Kyra makes is goal-oriented, and in her head at least, she’s coolly logical in her decisions (though she’s a somewhat unreliable narrator when it comes to her own emotions).”
This is a perfect summary of her, and a real thrill for me to read. You can read the full review (and many other excellent reviews) here.