Things That Make You Go Hmmm

I got the most complimentary 1 star review ever the other day on Blindsight.  A reader on Amazon left this review:

I absolutely hate when I believe I am downloading a short story and it is an inconclusive teaser! The FULL story is not even available until the Fall.
I hate being totally ensnared in a riveting story and then left hanging. The plot is captivating. The characters are fascinating – the dragon, the fae, the human with witch’s blood – you want to know more about all of them. The author drops you into a world changing battle and once you find a place to catch your breath and find the wounded hunter who rescues Isla – the author says “oh – never mind – come back in 6 months”.
I loved every minute I was there and THAT is EXACTLY why I HATE IT!!

Initially my knee jerk response was annoyance because, hey, 1 star review.  But seriously, everything she said was proof that I as the author did my job.  I hooked her.  I will, I’m sure, get other 1 star reviews eventually on this story, and I guarantee they won’t be as complimentary as this one.  If her only real complaint is that there wasn’t enough of it, I can live with that.

My only problem with this review (and some others) is the implication that Blindsight isn’t a complete story.  The story problem, Rescue Isla, is solved by the end of the story.  She’s safe.  There are other story problems presented that will be picked back up in Revelation, so yeah, in that sense it is a teaser.  It introduces you to Isla and Ransom and makes you want to know more.  But the story itself is complete.  Perhaps not to THEIR satisfaction, but it does conclude.  Obviously I’m not responding to the reviewer directly on the site as responding is BAD.  But I couldn’t resist musing about it here.

I’ve gone to great lengths to try to make it clear to readers that Blindsight is a short story and that Isla and Ransom’s story is NOT complete and will be continued in a full novel at the end of the year.   I’ve put it in the description, at the last line of the story, and in an author’s note on the final page.  And it is, obviously, here at the website.  There are still readers who manage to miss all these in your face cues, but that really can’t be helped.  Those are the same people who can’t follow directions in my classes.

11 thoughts on “Things That Make You Go Hmmm

  1. Great review, except for the stars.
    Amazon reviews really irritate me most of the time. The worst is when someone gave something 2 stars & admits in the review they hadn’t gotten the product yet. Every time I read an Amazon review I lose a little of my faith in humanity 🙂

    1. I can’t fathom why someone would review a product they haven’t even got yet! I got a review on another site on this piece where they said “I’m giving it 3 stars because I can’t really review a teaser.” A) not a teaser and b) if you can’t really review it, why are you?

  2. Every author could use that kind of one star review. LOL. The bad thing is that they loved the story enough for a five star. That’s why I actually read the reviews of books instead of going on the star averages. I wish there were no stars. I would like to see reviews where readers can tell their thoughts without actually rating it by stars. In everyone’s mind, when they read that review on Blindsight, they would see it as a five star. :0)

  3. Hm. I can actually see why folks get upset about “Blindsight”. Even when I read it, I thought it ended abruptly. The last line didn’t “feel” like an ending; overall, the story felt like an excerpt or teaser.

    Still, that’s an annoying reason to get a 1-star review. At least she stated why she didn’t like it, though.

    And having reviews on both sides of the spectrum helps you look legitimate. 🙂

  4. I actually have been getting this with a piece of flash fiction I wrote recently, everyone telling me it reads like the end of a short story, not a self contained story. Which it was, due to the central conflict being resolved. They just wanted to know more about the hints and details of world building (It’s amazing what you can fit in 700 words).

    For the more open-minded shoppers, those who read the reviews (I happen to read the top and bottom reviews for just this reason) will be more likely to pick it up.

  5. It says very clearly on Blindsight that it’s a teaser length, though… at least I thought it did. That’s aggravating despite it’s complimentary nature because some people do just look at the star average rating. I guess at least they did explain and some people are more intrigued into reading a one star review than a three star review. Gah! I’m stressed on your behalf. *hugs*

  6. Hee hee, this was exactly my reaction when I read it yesterday. I was so mad!! I kept wanting to turn the page and read more. Of course, in my book, that rates way more stars 🙂

  7. That is probably the best 1 star review. The reviewer hits on all the important qualities of a good story. They might be upset now, but that reviewer will most likely be the first to buy the next book.

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