The Dreaded One Star Review AKA Beware what you wish for!

I wished for more reviews of my books and I have just received my first ever one star review. It was for ‘Mesozoic’. It is not the first poor review that I have had for my work, but the lowest rating that is for sure. When you are putting something like a book out there to be read then you are going to have to accept that you cannot please everyone. One man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that.
Reviews are very important on Amazon but, it seems, that Amazon do not take reviews very seriously, unless they suspect that they are written by an author’s family member that is. I understand that not every reader knows how to write a critical review, most are just expressions of opinion from an entirely subjective point of view, and that includes the positive ones too. That has to be expected. The best thing, I am told, is to ignore it. Well, I am not going to critique the review, but I do feel a need to respond to a couple of points raised seeing as they are now in the public arena.
Mesozoic is a piece of fun. It was fun to write and was inspired by a suggestion from a friend. It was never meant to be great literature. The idea was very simple, scientists from our future travel back in time to the age of the dinosaurs to learn how life survives mass extinction events. Being something of an amateur Palaeontologist I could see the attraction to this, but I felt that it needed some validation. In the backstory I established that the world had gone through an ecological disaster of such magnitude that our way of life had ended and something new had taken its place. The new society developed time-travel technology. Having experienced how fragile life is the new society places great weight on understanding how they can continue to exist with a minimum of negative impact in their own environment.
Currently, the scientific view is that it is impossible to travel backwards in time, but I found a couple of theories that at least gave the premise I used some apparent logic. I worked hard to make sense of using photons to shoot a capsule surrounded by a massless field down a closed time-like curve to a remote point in prehistory. I also worked hard to represent the prehistoric life encountered in the book as animals and not the monsters that populate the Jurassic Park movie franchise. None of this work on the science that is in the science fiction rates a mention in the review, and there, I think, is the rub. I could have written a shallow adventure story about people finding themselves trapped in the Mesozoic era, without any explanation beyond ‘they stepped into a time machine and poof! They were in the Triassic Period’, just presuming that everyone would accept the fact of characters leaping vast distances in time without question. I could also have not bothered with reasoning as to why they would do such a thing in the first place. That, I think, would have been a very shallow book to read indeed and really not worth the time and effort required to write it.
Ultimately, I am happy with Mesozoic as a book. I feel that I achieved what I set out to do with it. Fortunately, more readers seem to agree than disagree with me on that point.

2 thoughts on “The Dreaded One Star Review AKA Beware what you wish for!

  1. Hmmm. The 1 star review. I have someone who reviews many of my books with almost the same text and 1-star. I think I know who it is but can’t prove it – another writer. Since they are not shown as someone who bought the book by Amazon, I have appealed to have them removed with mixed success – it is obvious they never read the book at all and that helps. I have had a few other mean reviews as well and no matter how hard I try, they do hurt a bit. So, I usually pop over to say William Shakespeare and read his reviews… he has plenty of 1 star reviews too. LOL.

    My old book publicist also told me 1 star reviews help sell books……

    Keep on writing Peter…. no need to explain anything. To anyone. Ever.


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.