Another 5-Star Rating for The Viper’s Fangs!

Tenqui had this to say about The Viper’s Fangs (and presumably The Tiger’s Eye) in a 5-star review called “Good Series“:

I have enjoyed that while this series has all of the elements of swords and sorcery that I love the author still manages to be fresh and unique in his situations and writing.


Goodreads Reviews

I just realized there are more reviews of my work on Goodreads, and here are links to them:

Review for The Tiger’s Eye

It’s been a little while since I’ve had a review of The Tiger’s Eye, but Calyad had this to say about it in a 4-star review called “Angus the Mage Series“:
This is the first book in the Angus the Mage Series. I am now devouring the second. I am writing this early because I almost gave up after the first few pages. It felt disjointed and I felt it needed a grammar check. Of course it could be my own aged brain. I am very glad I persevered. Great story so far; love all the individual characters and the world setting is fascinating. Go for it!
I think my sister will be interested in the comment about the “grammar check,” since she copy edited it. I’ll be sure to make her aware of it. She’ll probably just tell me it’s because I tend to overuse ellipses and me-dashes. 🙂
Well, time for me to get back to Book 3. Since my mom gave me some feedback on what I wrote yesterday, I’m revising it with a focus on the characters. I’ve also added a scene that will help clarify some of the things she commented on.

Poor Review for The Viper’s Fangs

I’ve received my second review for The Viper’s Fangs. This one was from Jeff Rotman, and it was titled, “One Star.” It is short and runs as follows:  “Not too good. Was disappointed.”

Although it would be nice to please all readers, I know that is impossible, but it might have been helpful to know why it disappointed him. Also, with such a sharp contrast from the first two reviews, it will be interesting to see what the next ones will be like as they come in–assuming, of course, I get some more.

First Review for The Viper’s Fangs!

I have received my first review for The Viper’s Fangs on Amazon from “Amazon Customer”. It is a 5-star review (!) called “Side quest and good character development” and runs as follows:

The story follows what I think would best be called a side quest. It was well written and had plenty of action. It also matured the characters and set the stage for the next book. I really enjoyed the flow of the story, especially how the mc acted. I would call this a masterfully done middle novel.

It’s a relief to have a review, especially a favorable one like this, because the feedback from my readers is appreciated, invigorating, and often helpful. I like the idea of calling it a “side quest” that allowed for an opportunity to develop the characters. It is an apt way to describe it, and I wasn’t sure it worked until I talked about it with my sister (the copy editor). I’m used to having the plot be more dominant in my stories because I’ve written a lot of science fiction short stories that are plot-driven narratives. I’m still learning about character-driven novels as I’m writing the series and a lot of fun doing it. 🙂

Last Tiger’s Eye Review for Awhile

JRR gave a 3-star rating for The Tiger’s Eye in his review “Okay“, which runs as follows:

I never really got into the book, but I can’t say it was bad or anything. Angus wakes up, gets told he’s a wizards apprentice, leaves to find work, meets some not particularly likeable buddies and hunts treasure. Maybe I would have liked the story with different characters, but Angus drove me crazy with constantly questioning himself and he didn’t even seem to like his companions. Just okay.

This is an accurate description of what’s going on in the book, but it would seem that Angus’s introspective search for answers about who he is was not as appealing to JRR as it has been to other readers who have posted reviews. Also, I can relate to it “[driving him/her] crazy”, since Billy Pilgrim’s fatalism in Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five had a similar affect on me (he is a very annoying character that I really couldn’t like, but I still found the book  enjoyable). As for his companions, he really doesn’t know them very well in Book 1 because he’s too focused on himself to get to know them; they’re more like co-workers working toward a common goal than friends or even companions (in the traditional role-playing sense) at that point.

I think this will be the last review I post for awhile, and I may not post much at all over the next few weeks as I continue to work on The Viper’s Fangs. I need to spend my writing time on that, instead of my blog.

Two More Reviews for The Tiger’s Eye….

The first review was from Ro Walker (“The Tiger’s Eye — Interesting,  Uneven,  Retro Feel 3.5 Stars”), and is a long one that I think deserves some response. It goes as follows:

Treasure quest. This feels like the early Dungeons & Dragons computer games being narrated into a book. The magic system where the mage always has to study the spell scrolls is explained well enough that for the first time I sort of believe it. After all, although I can knot, knit and weave, I still need to consult a written pattern most of the time. Another retro device is the clean slate amnesia plotline as seen in The Bourne Identity and many computer games. The uneven part is the choice of details included or not included and peripheral characters that seem like they should be significant but are poorly developed or left hanging. Why mention a cobbler in the early chapters, again in the middle and we never meet him? Maybe in book #2. Why are there tall poles in the middle of caravan campsites, and with all the other questions our lead mage keep on asking why not that one. I really don’t need to see our guy skinning a capybara or opossum critter, or deciding to take a piss. Early Simon R. Green and R. A. Salvatore and Tracy Weis & Hickman do this a bit better. Nevertheless, the plotline is interesting enough that I will try a second helping. What I mean by the retro video game feel is that there is a questing party with a mage, a thief/rogue, an elven ranger type who is three people or one person in 3 bodies, a basic fighter and healers and temples and weird sects and dwarves that drink a lot. If those books and games appeal to you, you may like this. I did enjoy it, uneven though it was, because few people are writing this genre now.
I’m not surprised by the reference to Dungeons & Dragons, but it wasn’t the computer game that influenced the story; it was the AD&D role-playing game (books and dice). I was playing the game back in the late 80s, early 90s when I wrote the first draft, but the revision transformed the story into something quite different from that draft (which was only about 16,000 words, most of which I discarded). However, Dungeons & Dragons was partly inspired by fantasy fiction (Wikipedia has an article on this), and I was very much inspired by that as well, especially J. R. R. Tolkein’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy, David Eddings’ Belgariad series and the early Dragonlance Chronicles by Weis & Hickman. Interestingly, I haven’t played the video games (other than arcade one that had nothing to do with role playing), so I don’t have any reference for that.
My sister told me she thought it was cool that I was using macrame as the foundation for casting spells. Of course, I don’t know anything about macrame, so I found her comment amusing. 🙂
The animal I had in mind is something like a muskrat, and the description is based upon how I used to skin them when I worked for a fur-buyer in the 80s. Fortunately, I won’t have to do that again; it was a rather desensitizing experience. I wasn’t sure if I should include it or not, but hopefully the reason I did will become clearer at the end of Book 2 or the beginning of Book 3.

The second review was only a 2-Star one 😦 from LivelnHoth (“Promising enough, didn’t quite get there”):
Premise was interesting, overall well written but the characterization was weak. I just couldn’t get to a place where I was pulling for the guy or even interested in what happens next. I think another reviewer hit the nail on the head when he said it reminded him of a role playing game.
This is a nice contrast with the other reviews I’ve had, and shows how a book can be read quite differently by different people. It would  be surprising if it didn’t disappoint some readers, but I hope overall most readers will find it to be as entertaining and enjoyable as the majority of the reviewers have so far.