A few weeks back I had the misfortune of writing an honest review for a book that I really wanted to like. The author is a great guy, and his book hit a lot of the right notes, but just didn't work. I was concerned that my rationalizing the need for a negative review was just that - rationalizing.
This past weekend, Rawle Nyanzi reviewed Forbidden Thoughts, and the results were messy. Like me, he loves the authors, but couldn't in good conscience recommend the book. When he mentioned it on social media, it sparked a bit of conversation that's worth highlighting:
That's a critical point. Many of us involved in the fight to make sci-fi and fantasy great again are relative neophytes at adventure fiction. Our early works shouldn't be our best works. As Rawle says, we've got to do better, and keep pushing each other to get better. Unearned positive reviews provide a brief spark of satisfaction, but honest negative reviews that push us all to improve provide a long-term benefit not just to the author, but to the readers who deserve the best we have to offer.
So let this be an open call for negative reviews. They might be harder to write, but decent writers who can take one on the chin and keep coming back for more, appreciate them just as much. I know I do, and if you don't believe me - just try me:
You can review my latest novella, The Sorceror's Serpent, right here on Amazon.