Blogspotter: Saturday, February 17th

Shannon Thompson explores the relationship between in-depth discussions and spoiler-free reviews over at her site. My take appears in her comments section, but I’ll re-post it here:

A good review has spoilers. At a base level, a reviewer could supply a “I liked it” or I didn’t like it” and if you generally agree with that reviewer’s likes and dislikes, that would be all you need. But let’s face it, we want a wordy, explanatory review rather than a thumbs up or thumbs down because we *love* to read, and that reading includes reviews, especially lengthy ones that the reviewer puts a lot of thought and effort into. A review that doesn’t include at least a few spoilers is a waste of time, because expressing vague generalities buys you no credibility as a reviewer.

As an example, I recently read reviews for a book on Amazon, trying to determine if I should spend my hard-earned money on it. A couple of spoiler-free reviews almost had me convinced I should buy it, but two reviews that contained spoilers gave me information that I knew would make me regret my purchase. The reviews don’t have to be negative – they just need to provide you with a little more information. And to be honest, with the growing pile of books I have to read, by the time I get around to the book in question and get absorbed in the story, those spoilers have been relegated to the far recesses of my mind and are no threat to ruin a story.

With that said, I do try to give a warning if I feel I’m about to reveal a major plot point that would remove surprise and/or tension from the story.

A great topic to consider from Shannon that helped me to explain why my reviews are not spoiler-free…

Blogspotter: Tuesday, June 14th

Bookworm Blues covers a topic that seems to have been covered by many bloggers lately: The Role of eReaders and the future of reading.

My thoughts as they appear in the comments:

“The CD vs. mp3 examples cited above are not the best analogy…a better one would be vinyl LPs vs. CDs. CDs are more portable, especially since you can rip them to mp3s. You can play CDs on your PC, in your car, and ripped CDs can be played on mp3 players. Vinyl, on the other hand, was limited to record players.

Flexibility and portability, as well as cost, will be the deciding factors. It’s cheaper to take a file created on a word processor and download it to a kindle, than it is to print, bind, ship, and stock a physical book. You can’t rip a printed book to your e-reader, so that makes a printed book more like vinyl LPs.

The change is coming, and it will be forced upon us like CDs were. I’m not happy about it, because I prefer printed books, but I’m not blind to the fact that printed books will become a niche market.”

Blogspotter, Wednesday, May 4th

Over at Bookworm Blues yesterday, Sarah asked if authors should discuss real world issues in their books. This was my response:

“For me, there’s nothing wrong with real world problems, as long as it feels genuine…by that, I mean if as an author I introduce an issue, it should drive the story in a natural way and not be a pulpit that pops up and then disappears.

An example of this would be Mistborn, where the entire story is about a revolt of the peasant class against an oppressive leader, his ministry, and the nobility. This class struggle drives the story – it wouldn’t be as palatable if some character passing through the town saw it, delivered some monologue on righteous ideals or killed a few “bad guys”, then walked away to the next part of the story. That smacks of preaching, and it’s annoying.

Pages and pages of monologue extolling the virtues and philosophy of the author are also a turn-off…Terry Goodkind, anyone?

Ultimately there’s a fine line that’s not always easy to see. As a writer, if you are going to focus on hot button issues, you better know where that line is crossed if you don’t want to alienate readers.

That said, for some people fantasy is an escape from the real world. Those people are not going to want to read about real world problems, so if a writer opts to write about real issues, the writer should accept the fact that those types of readers will be hard to appeal to.”

It’s been a slow couple of weeks for news. For now, I’m just trying to slog my way through The Dreamthief’s Daughter.

Also, if my sister is reading this today, Happy Birthday Courtney!

Blogspotter, Tuesday March 22

Another day, another The Wise Man’s Fear review at King of the Nerds:

Until my copy arrives, I’m trying to finish Scar Night. It’s a gritty, urban fantasy that is not really my favorite type of fantasy, but I’m giving it shot anyway. Review will be a few days away as I’m about halfway through.

Little Red Reviewer has a post from yesterday: if you were fleeing your house and were only able to grab 5 books, what would they be? I left my thoughts there, but I’ll expand on them more later tonight when I get home from work. Here’s the link to Little Red’s post:

Also, the original post over at Grasping for the Wind that inspired Little Red:

More Reviews of “The Wise Man’s Fear”

Head over to The Little Red Reviewer’s site for another review of The Wise Man’s Fear:

Besides leaving a comment on my latest review, Little Red is well-read, with lots of good reviews and topics to explore on her site. I hadn’t heard of her site before, but I’m now a fan and have added her to my Blogroll.

Also, Stephan has a review up at The Ranting Dragon, which you can find here:

Finally, Jeffrey Dern has his review posted:

My Amazon payment has just gone through, so my copy should be shipping soon. It will move to the top of the queue when it arrives…


Fantasy Book Critic has a great review of The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles. You can find the review at:

It sounds like a fantastic read…I’ll be moving The Name of the Wind up in the queue so that I can get to The Wise Man’s fear more quickly…