Saturday, August 04, 2007

Book reviews are up

My first two book reviews for Apex Digest are now up here.

I reviewed Stephen King's "Cell" and Alexandre Dumas' "One Thousand and One Ghosts".

So, go check them out. Let me know what you think.


Howard von Darkmoor said...

I enjoyed your review of the Dumas book - one I haven't read. You've clued me into the fact I should. I'll take a copy for Christmas. Why only 3 alien heads though?

Ty said...

Since you're more familiar with reviewing than myself, any comments and/or criticisms would be most appreciated.

My thoughts on the three alien heads were two-fold:
1.) Three is the middle, to me, the average. I don't think of three alien heads as being a bad thing, just not overly glowing. To put it in a little perspective, there are probably very, very few books I would give five alien heads. If my thinking on this is incorrect, please let me know your opinions.
2.) I based my idea of the three alien heads on audience expectations to some degree. I'm a big Dumas fan, so just about anything he writes I'm going to love, but I wanted to base my choice of number of alien heads upon what I believe the average Apex Digest reader could expect. So, while I might personally give the Dumas book four alien heads or stars or whatever when dealing with HvD or Steve Goble (known Dumas fans), for a general audience I felt it should be toned down a little. Does that make sense? And even if it does, is my thinking right about this?

Howard von Darkmoor said...

Yup and yup. But . . .
3 is the middle = average. Not bad, but not great either. So I don't personally like the 3 for me, as there are a lot of above averages and near-greats out there to read. In this case, name recognition and described content are sufficient for me to read it, but if I didn't know the author? I'm not sure I would.
Your King review also told me pretty much what I needed to know to not read it - but I'm not a very big King fan or reader to begin with, so this is not a surprise. My surprise came when this received a higher rating than Dumas, is all.
On the other hand . . . ;)
I totally agree on the 'there are probably very, very few 5 alien head books out there' concept. If you haven't read (and I thought you read my whole blog!) my thoughts on that concept, you can find them under my important posts in the sidebar. the comments between Nicholas and I further expanded my original post as well.
And . . .
I agree with your idea to be careful how you rate the book, whether it is based upon your anticipated audience's tastes or your own or another known entities. It is sort of a must for you to do so, as you write for someone else's target market, so you should try to judge what you're reviewing from that perspective. I have the luxury of reviewing simply for myself and if anyone wants to take advantage of the reviews I post they are free to, with the understanding that they are getting my tastes as I have no specific market to appeal to.
Which is one reason I don't have a very large following, but it is also the reason I do have some very few loyal followers.

I think you did just fine, Ty.
You should ask if they'll let you cross post your reviews at SFReader after the next issue comes out.

Anonymous said...

I ordered "One Thousand and One Ghosts" tonight, since your review made it sound like I shouldn't wait until I run across it in a used-book store someday. By the way, the other day I found Dumas' "Captain Pamphile" in a new edition at Barnes & Noble. The main character is a guy who hunts exotic animals and brings them to the court. I'll let you know how it stacks up.

I'll read "Cell" someday, too. I haven't read any King since "Bag of Bones," which I thought was pretty good.

Thanks for the reviews.

-- Steve