Sunday, February 22, 2009

Well, it's happened.

I have gotten my first bad (and I mean the guy HATED it) review. I can't argue with someone's opinion, so I will just accept this part of the process and wear it like a badge of honor on my blog!

I do ask that anyone who is curious to read a bit of the book and form their own opinion, pop over to the website and have a peek at the first chapter. It is up and available on the Death's Daughter website.

It definitely makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside - like you're being roasted over a spit! :)


  1. We have a review coming up on soon. Just a few items in front of it to wrap up first.

  2. Don't let it get to you. All great writers have critics who hate their stuff. I have a feeling you're in good company. ;-)

  3. "It definitely makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside - like you're being roasted over a spit!"

    That's a great line, the funniest thing I've seen all day.

    I'm looking forward to reading the book :)

  4. If everyone likes your work, then you're doing something wrong! ;)

  5. seriously, its just one person's opinion and if you wait 4 years til i finish college and get my degree we can talk about making it into an awesome movie and then when it wins a ton of awards so being just so awesome this guy will be eating his shoe .. or something else unpleasant

  6. Well I likes it. The first chapter I mean, not the review. As for bad reviews.......... well they say opinions are just like assholes....... ;)

  7. I couldn't read the review (there was a glitch with the link when I tried) but I did read the exerpt of the book, and I personnaly loved it. It's refreshing, funny, witty, and if that person hated it well too bad for him. It's impossible to please everybody, especially in litt and in the movie industry. I know I'll get my share of bad reviews when I start making my own movies professionally, that's why all that matters is to focus on those who do appreciate your work, and let the others well...choke on their broccoli or something.

  8. Everyone's a critic. :) As a fellow author, I applaud your attitude toward it.

  9. The site's all wonky, but you gave the guy free press and I'm pretty sure thousands of people are gonna hate him now ;)

    I've read the first chapter and found Callie's voice to be hip and modern. I can imagine the people who are not likely to "get" it. I've heard you in videos describe it as chicklit so I have a pretty good idea what to expect.

    Have to wait for my copy, though. Preordered mine at Mysterious Galaxy.

  10. Honestly, I think you need more constructive criticism on your writing.

    Your writing needs a lot of work. I read the first chapter of this book and parts of some of your other novels. I'll stick to the issues with this book.

    If you're going to write anything in 1st Person, you can't use such an over abundance of first person pronouns, as contradictory as that sounds. Furthermore, "show don't tell" is the golden rule of writing which I think was largely broken in this one chapter. Those are just two of the biggest issues that stood out to me.

    You've put out so many novels at an alarming rate and I don't feel like you've taken the time to really work on the craft and hone it.

    I know it's pretty unpopular to not absolutely love something done by Amber Benson, but I believe some constructive criticism is a lot more useful than a bunch of fans who love everything you do unconditionally. It's better to know that you've made mistakes and be able to learn from them and improve. I think if you're passionate about being a novelist than you really need to take the time to learn more about the craft.

  11. Well for one I love "Monty Python"! :D

    and that so-called 'scifiguy' sounds "...thoroughly unlikeable – whiny, self-absorbed, judgmental and immature..." :D

    Personally I can't wait to read the book!

    Keep writing! :D

  12. Amber,
    I personally, when my own novel is finished, am hoping for people to either be like it or hate it in equal measures.
    Either way, you have made an impression upon the reader which stayed with them enough to discuss why they felt the way they did.
    The worst thing someone could say, I think, would be that it was unmemorable.
    I wrote a story once which a person commented that it was so thoroughly unpleasant it made them physically retch.
    Before someone can criticize you they need to immerse themself in the creative process and let the pain and self-doubt wash over them as they struggle with world-building instead of tearing down other's or merely blowing smoke up their ass.
    I, for one, love your work.

  13. Anyone who uses "alumni" when they mean "alumnus" isn't worth your time.

  14. Have to admire the guy. He writes about Callipoe being "whiny, self-absorbed, judgmental and immature",well he pretty much summed himself up there.
    I agree with above person, in saying that as well as the good reviews you get the bad and that must mean you're doing something right if you're getting conflicting opinions on your book. Something in the writing is appealing to wide audiences with different views on your book.
    I ordered my copy earlier this evening , and after reading the little excerpt on the DD website,I really can't wait to read on. I for one think it's an amazing start to the book and I'm sure the middle and end are just as fantastic as the beginning. If the rest of the book makes me laugh as much as that beginning did, then I give you my promise that I will write a review of my own after I've read it.

    Best writing I've read in a long time!

  15. Don't let it get you down. Believe in yourself, believe in your work, and keep that chin up.

    I, for one, think you rock.

  16. Aw, I'm sorry, Miss Amber D:
    Maybe he was just too old or something... I dunno. But hey, I'm 14, when I'm done reading it, I can tell you what I thought so maybe you can get an idea of what people my age might have thought about it :)

  17. You guys are sweet :) I very much look forward to your opinions and thoughtful suggestions. We should always be open to learning new things as we continue on in our creative endeavors.

  18. Dear Amber,

    Yes, reviews as such can be very upsetting, but try to remember that critics are those special people who are not giving up on us, and if they are harsh, it means that they are still hoping that we can get better one day. Now, if nobody says anything bad, it means that you're so awful that no improvement is possible. If people attack you - you are a warrior and treated as such. If people pity you - well, then you are a loser...

    Oh, I do hope that what I've just written makes any sense.. Good luck, and be strong.


  19. Well, that's a bit harsh, but there's no artist in the world who can satisfy everyone. Besides, most writing critics are jealous wannabe writers!

  20. Read the first chapter and am intrigued. I'll certainly be looking out for a copy to see the rest. :)

    Harsh review, but that's writing for you. Can't expect everyone to like what you write. Don't take it too personally.

  21. Oh dear he was a bit tough on you....

    As many have said you can't please everyone, so you can't take it to heart. It doesn't seem to me that he's really the target audience for your book. Maybe he doesn't like chicklit, maybe he's having a bad day or maybe he's just a jerk!

    I enjoyed the sample chapter and will not be deterred from buying my copy :)

    Chin up - and good on you for publishing his review on your blog.

  22. Okay, so it wasn’t his cup of tea. Realistically, not everybody is going to love it. And it’s the first bad review I’ve seen while I’ve read many, many good reviews. Respect to you for posting the review on your blog. Criticism is only bad if we choose to learn nothing from it. Though, I agree he was kinda harsh. I’m going to stick to the opinion that it just wasn’t his thing. And I’m going to quietly dislike him. :)
    Still can’t wait to read it!!!

  23. Have to wait for the book before judging it, but I actually love the things he points out as bad, so it must be a thing of taste...

  24. ok so i read the review and then the preview bit of the book. I know everyone has their opinions and he's just doing his job blah blah blah - but seriousy who peed in his cornflakes that morning?! Did someone swap his prozac for stupid pills when he wrote that?
    I loved what i read of the book and now really want to read the rest of it. I'm kind of old fashioned when it comes to books and don't enjoy them half as when reading them online as i do in actual book form so by my reasoning if i enjoyed it so much online it'll be friggin awesome when i read it in book form.
    I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

  25. Boy, you weren't kidding, he really didn't like it. It'd be a pretty boring world if everyone agreed with everything though.

    At quick look at the scifiguy site tells us a few things. First of all, he's Canadian so he can't be all bad :)

    He has 140 articles tagged Book reviews, 65 are Urban fantasy 52 are Paranormal Romance and only 1 is Humour. Reading a few of his reviews it seems he likes serious, angsty melodrama with a heaping helping of romance. Just look at his Reading for Review cover gallery. Pretty grim stuff. Death's Daughter really isn't his cup of tea.

    Isn't "supremely disappointing" so much better than just being disappointing? Does that mean it is the most disappointing book ever written? Or just the most disappointing debut ever? Maybe it's just the most disappointing thing to ever happen in the history of the world! That would be quite the accomplishment.

  26. It's sad to say, but as I've learned the past year or so, you can't please everyone. And the real madness of it all is that you can have 25 glowing things said about you, but all it takes is one bad review to stick in your craw.

    I had a couple people have very visceral reactions that my books were helping them find comfort in trying times lately, and it's those connections that keep me from buying into the occasional negative reviews out there.

    Don't let the bastards get ya down!

  27. I've had my share of bad reviews, but remember the wisdom of one Anton Ego from the film Ratatouille:

    "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so."

    Good for you in posting up the bad review on your blog, and for not letting it get you down. I look forward to checking out Death's Daughter.

  28. Don't let one review get you down. I've read the first chapter that's up on the DD site gotta say I loved it can't wait for tomorrow to come so I can have it in my hands. I am so gonna finish it with in a couple of hours of getting it. Counting down the hours till I have it.

  29. Ah, but you just got 4 1/2 stars and a TOP PICK from Romantic Times Magazine! So it just goes to show that no one book is going to please everyone.

    The same person who hated your book hated my first Demonica novel -- the same one that has gotten raves elsewhere.

    Just remember that you can't please everyone -- the people who hate your book aren't your audience.

    So congrats on the Top Pick!

  30. I've ordered my copy. It's in the mail.

    Don't take it too hard, Amber! At least your published. I've written four novels and haven't gotten one published yet, so you're several up on me.

  31. It's nice to see you have a great attitude about reviews and don't take the bad ones to heart. A review is just ONE person's opinion, after all.

    I picked up DEATH'S DAUGHTER yesterday. :-)

  32. Hi Amber,

    I wanted to introduce myself. I'm the other half of and will be reviewing your book for the site. I just followed you on Twitter ( and look forward to reading your work.

    For more about me, you can visit my blog at:

    I wish you well, and I'm very happy that you're living "the" dream. It's a great thing to see you moving forward with your creative career.

    All my best...

  33. haha - I picked out the same as Kevin above, though it should be "alumna" not "alumni" or "alumnus".

    I haven't read your stuff yet but looking forward to it. Honestly, a person can't write a novel that everyone is going to enjoy. If everyone did enjoy the same book, well, there's something not right with that scenario. Every book has it's audience.

  34. Negative reviews sadly happen Amber but your book is good and if you want my opinion of it it's on the essence board under my posting name of AmbersSecretAdmirer (ASA). I hope my simple review helps balance the books, even if only a fraction :)

    Looking forward to part two in the trilogy.

    Ronnie AKA ASA

  35. Amber, I just wanted to let you know that "Death's Daughter" was sold out of both of my nearest Borders and Barnes & Noble, which obviously means it's doing well, as they're located in Scranton.

    Good luck!

  36. Bought your book today and read it in one sitting and loved it. Was laughing out loud. Great commentary, outrageous and hilarious descriptions. Love the characterization and thought process of your spunky lady. Awesome use of history as well. I didn't expect the expanse of religions when I read the back cover. Can't wait for the next one (there is one right?? did you sign on as 2 books or 3?). Cheers, Rae

  37. I read the extract, decided that I would definitely like to see how the story goes. Will be buying the book. In short - I liked it. I tend to prefer well developed characterization done in an interesting story setting to cardboard cutout characters in high drama action settings. If I dont get the character the action seems a waste of time. I'll keep an eye out for it here in Australia.

  38. I left a comment on the guys blog. Too bad taht he didn't like it, but I did.

    Btw, here's the comment I left. It might cheer you up.

    "I enjoyed reading the book. It didn't change my life, but I felt good after putting it down.

    I actually think that the main character did develop, but this book is more about the adventures than the character development.

    I liked the dialouge too. It's not brilliant, but definitly not bad. The dialouge you showed were funny to me, mainly because the characters sounded so silly. but doesn't most people sound silly?

    And yes, Callie is a bit whiney, but it's her inner dialouge we're reading and although she has to travel through hell, she gets the job done. After she's finished crying. She does have flaws, but I'm tired of perfect heroes.

    So over all, a great feel-good-book. It's not everyone's cup a tea, but I like it. I didn't think you sounded mean either, you were honest."

  39. A writing acquaintance once told me how excited she was about a bad review for her book. She said it offset some of the good reviews and provided some validity for them. Not everyone can like what you write and as long as you're pleased with it - that's all that matters.

  40. Been going over your blog, it's fun. I'll have to get a copy of your book now I've read that review, ouch!

    As a sometime producer and production designer I try and only look at the good reviews of projects I've been involved in, but seeing the bad ones does tend to make me rant (heaps). I hope the occasional bad review doesn't upset you too much. I like to think of critics being crushed by Godzilla, it's a great image I thought I'd share with you.

  41. I have enjoyed visiting here. While I haven't read your books (conflict in genre interest is all), I always like to read a writer's (of any genre)thoughts.

    It was interesting to read the "Anonymous" critique above on your writing. More interesting would be the motive, constructive or otherwise, behind offering it so unsolicited. Many things come to mind, a degree of resentment not least among them. Writing is such an intensely competitive art, perhaps because one puts so much of one's soul into the effort, after all.

    Again, I have enjoyed my visit here.

  42. I haven't had a chance to read your book yet :( I've got it ordered (should be here in the next week or 2). i'm not good with waiting though so instead i've been watching some of your interviews about it and to me it sounds like it bridges the gap between genres and therefore appeals to a greater number of people, which from your point of view has to be a good thing right? More sales and stuff. But i like that in a book anyway. Besides, i'm sick of perfect characters and everything being tied up in a neat little bow (sorry, just read twilight, really disappointing, makes me wonder what's wrong with people) and she's a teenager, teenagers are in general pretty whiny, i like a realist.

    It sounds like it's funny too and i'll read almost anything if it's funny (as long as it's not over done). Maybe they should look into humorous textbooks, i might actually do some studying rather than reading novels.

    I really don't understand how you take criticism/rejection so well though. If it was me reading that i'd probably be a mess. So i guess there's a question for you (maybe for a post sometime, hint hint). How do you actually deal with rejection?

    Anyway... enough babbling from me, since you're incredibly busy... sorry :/

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