Review watch 8: all three
June 9th 2011
Posted by: Simon Morden in: From the Author, Metrozone, Reviews
Tags: Alternative Worlds, Amazon, Blue Gargantua, Degrees of Freedom, Equations of Life, Goodreads, Metrozone, reviews, Sffmeta, SFRevu, Theories of Flight, Tzer Island
Colour me confused. Now, I’m fully cognisant of the concept of ‘not owning your books once you’ve published them’, but I’m not going to pretend that I’m not keeping a watchful eye over proceedings.
Which is why I’m baffled at some of the contradictory responses to the words what I wrote…
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned either the Amazon or Goodreads reviews here before: ‘my’ Goodreads page is here, and by clicking on each individual book, you get a breakdown of readers’ responses. There are comments, too, and some of the reviews I’ve mentioned elsewhere also pop up here. All well and good – it’s a bit of fun, sharing your response to a book with others. And I’m gratified to see, I get some 5s, loads of 4s, some 3s… and so on. And no, I don’t expect everyone to love the books – they’ll appeal to a certain section of the audience, while leaving others meh.
The Amazon responses are a bit more, well, serious. It’s a market place. It’s where people come to buy books, not just swap opinions about them. I’m not going to poke holes in individual reviews, but yes. Contradictory about sums it up.
So – Equations of Life: Blue Gargantua calls Equations “hands down, some of the best cyberpunk I’ve read in quite awhile”.
SFRevu has it’s third review of Equations (some sort of record?) by Liz de Jager: “Equations of Life is a great opener to this trilogy by Simon Morden. Petrovitch’s character shines brightly and Morden has given us a new kind of anti-hero, one who is likeable for all his unlikeability, and that is no mean feat.”
I’ve also stumbled on SFFMeta, which is a sort of review agglomerater. But rather than just take all reviews, it takes them from “trusted online sources”. Since publication Equations of Life has sat quite happily in the “Last 90 days high scores” table, and since reprinting, the “Last 90 days high scores – reprints” table, with a respectable 73 – which puts me in some very respectable company. And now the score has gone up to 75. Take that, rubbishy Amazon reviewers!
Reviews of Theories of Flight are still thin on the ground, but the first Degrees of Freedom ones have started appearing. There’s the usual (possibly slightly incoherent) one from Harriet Klausner. It means 4 stars on Amazon.
Best of all is TChris’ – now, he’s been reading the series through, and has had criticisms to make of both Equations and of Theories. I’ve won him over with Degrees, though! It’s a long quote, but it’s worth printing in full.
“It’s not that often I come to admire a fictional character, but Petrovich is a truly admirable creation: a self-sacrificing hero, an idealist who refuses to be seduced by power and fame. Petrovich is the kind of unwilling leader we wish for in the real world: someone with the wisdom to exercise power nobly for the betterment of society before standing aside to let everyone else do their part. He’s a character of sufficient complexity to experience guilt about the consequences of his actions without feeling remorse for doing the right thing. He gives a speech toward the novel’s end about how he’s changed because of the events described in the trilogy, how he’s learned to be unselfish, to value his friends and to be a reliable friend to them, but it’s clear that Petrovich had integrity from the start, and it’s his integrity, his consistent refusal to take the easy path when he doesn’t feel it’s morally correct, that makes him so interesting. “