Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The critics speak!

One of them, anyway. I hadn't even looked at the Amazon Kindle pages for my various e-novels in a long time, but today I swung by each and was astonished to see the following reader review, on TIME WATCH:

Don't waste your time on "Time Watch"., February 11, 2010
By Kelly Abney (Bentonville, AR USA) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Time Watch (Kindle Edition)
A single, one-dimensional, unlikeable character who makes his way through a nearly incoherent plot. The author attempts to create a futuristic "slang" language that is periodically used to further confuse the reader. Throw in a little cyber-sex with a computer avatar and you start to understand where this review is headed. If the author had even started to develop our time traveling hero's character and then added a few plot lines to expand the story's basic premise, the book's hypothesis might have been more interesting.

Interestingly, TIME WATCH is pretty much my top seller, as such things go, and among my novels, probably my second favorite. I like the shifting narrative viewpoint and the relatively simple central story/character arc, and enjoy the (hopefully) unexpected romance that shows up in the story's third act.

However, I can't argue with anything Ms./Mr. Abney has said here. Presumably, he/she bought the book and are entitled to their opinion, as as TIME WATCH's protagonist is pretty much me, I certainly can't dispute the 'unlikeable' tag. Christ knows I am. As to one dimensional, well, I guess that's the risk you run when you essentially write about yourself. I chose to focus more on the story elements than developing 'Jim' overly, probably because I know Jim well and presumed the story of Jim getting hold of a time machine was more interesting than Jim himself. Which certainly could have been a mistake.

I will say that it seems Ms./Mr. Abney (Kelly is an indeterminate name; I'm not trying to be disrespectful) has some kind of personal issue with sexual depictions in their science fiction, and, well, I guess that happens. Sorry you didn't enjoy it, sir/ma'am. Maybe you'd like ZAP FORCE better.

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