If I decide to read the reviews of a book, I read them all. Mainly so I understand what people liked about it and what they didn’t like about it. However, recently, I have noticed a trend developing; when people don’t like a book, they don’t say why.
I’ll provide an example. I was recently book shopping and found a book with an average star rating of 3.9. There were almost a hundred reviews. As I ran through them, the good reviews were thought out, most of the time. There were a few that barely made the Amazon 20 word requirement, but most were longer. The critical reviews were just not helpful. I grabbed four of them and added my own comments.
- You will be disappointed with this book. I can guarantee it. – How can you guarantee it? Are you psychic? Can you read the futures of everyone that reads this book and know that they all find it disappointing? What does that say about the 70 or so positive reviews?
- Book had too many murders. Didn’t enjoy it. – Did you read the blurb, you know, the one at the top that describes the book and says (I’m paraphrasing) “X confesses to the murder of his family on a camping trip. He explains how and why he did it. Was his actions justified or just a teen getting revenge after being mad at his parents?”? What did you think the book was going to be about?
- Book was sad and depressing with all the killing. – Again, did you read the blurb or did you just randomly buy a book? The fact that it has “Murder” in the title didn’t tip you off that it wasn’t going to be a light-hearted, love is all around, everything is wonderful type of book? Is there a way to make killing light-hearted? I was pretty sure that most books involving killing and murder were a little sad and depressing.
- I don’t know why the author bothered to write such crap with such violence amongst family members. – Um… Wow! I’m not even sure how to respond to that. It’s listed as a horror novel. It has murder in the title. The blurb says it’s a confession by an adult about how and why he murdered his family 20 years earlier. There is even a disclaimer that it contains violent content. Plus, families are violent against each other all the time. If they weren’t, we would never have reports of child abuse or domestic violence.
Ok, rant over. I bought the book. It did contain some violence, nothing gratuitous. It did involve killing, specifically, the confession of a killer to murdering his entire family, but that was in the description, so it wasn’t a surprise. All in all, not a bad horror novel. I will probably buy a few more books by this author… And continue to scratch my head about some of the reviews they have too. I can’t imagine what these reviewers would think about Elysium Dreams.