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My First 5 Angel...Star...Whatever Review!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006
It gets hard to keep track of what the review sites use. Kisses, coffee cups, angels, moons, thumbs, stars. I'm waiting for someone to start using bars of chocolate. And some of them don't use a "quickie" grading system. You just have to read the review to find out how much -- or how little -- they liked it.

Anyway, YAY!! My first 5 Angel review is from -- you guessed it -- Fallen Angel Reviews! Elizabeth, the reviewer, said:

Not Quite Dead is a witty and original novella that kept me reading with a smile. Sela Carsen has woven a tale where all is not as it seems. There are a few plot twists that I did not see coming, as well as the potential for an unhappy ending. Not Quite Dead is a beautifully crafted story, with tender love scenes, betrayal, vengeance, a spot of suspense and a growing though seemingly impossible love. The plot itself appears well thought out, flowing well with no bumps to mar the way. The characters and storyline were rather well developed. Sabine and Willem are drawn to one another almost from the first, though they know that the chances for anything between them are near nil. Thoroughly enjoyable, charming and unique, Not Quite Dead is a fabulous read that gives much cause to watch for more works from Sela Carsen.

Did anyone else catch that "characters and storyline are rather well developed"? Hmmmm. Sounded a bit like faint praise. Wonder what tweaked her? Still, no point in turning myself inside out over 3 words in an otherwise excellent review!
10/06/2006 11:00:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 10 Comments


In wouldn't take those 3 words as negative mojo. In reading the review, it came off to me that she was surprised that the characters and storyline were so good. Maybe she was finding herself becoming a cynic, and caught off guard at how well the book read. Lay the 3 words along side the 5 stars, and I think "rather" means "pleasantly surprised."

By Blogger S William, at 12:55 PM  

Well, there's subject matter (which is great, of course--I love your writing) and the reviewer's style.
I am greatly taken with Elizazabeth's way of writing a review--and I've reviewed plenty of books: Succinct while highly readable.

Professional critic for years and years and still so much to learn.

I'm jealous!

By Blogger ivan, at 1:05 PM  

Yay! Told you it was a fab book!

By Blogger Nell Dixon, at 2:21 PM  

Well done and congratulations! I bought my first book from Samhain the other day and really enjoyed it. I just read the excerpt for 'Not Quite Dead' and it looks good too. I'll remember it next time I'm on an ebook spending spree.
Oh, and this blog skin is gorgeous!

By Blogger immi, at 2:34 PM  

Perhaps the "rather" is a reflection of a slightly clumsy stylistic thingie.
Concentrate on "fabulous read!"

By Blogger Bernita, at 6:41 AM  

Thank you, S William! That does make me feel better.

Ivan, there seems to be a particular style to reviewing romance. A couple of paragraphs of summary, then the critique of the work. Some focus on how the book made them "feel" and some are interested in craft issues like POV and structure.

Thanks, Nell! I'm beginning to believe it!

Immi, thank you! I'm so glad you're enjoying Samhain's books. And I got the blogskin from Caz for free. Took me a while to find the right one.

Thanks, Bernita! I will!

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 8:18 AM  

Well dog my cat.
You learn something every day.
I found when reviewing for the very early Toronto Sun, years ago, that I was inclined to do a hatchet number on the work if I found it clumsy or (or "footling", as W.S.M would say).
I am finding of late that it's best to use the method you're suggesting, Sela, while resisting a snort and a condemning of any new work out of hand.
Seems nowadays novelists moonlight as critics, and you obviously know both ways to go, which is cool.

By Blogger ivan, at 9:51 AM  

Great review!! Woohoo!

By Blogger Laine Morgan, at 6:05 PM  

Fabulous review! Way to go! :)

By Anonymous Michelle, at 8:44 PM  

Thanks Laine and Michelle!

Ivan, reviewing in the romance community often involves a curious sort of nepotism. I'm writing more and reviewing less.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 7:21 AM  

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