Critic Takes Over Our Universe

Critic Takes Over Our Universe (Photo credit: Edwin456)

Please don’t judge, it started as an amusing diversion from the blank page and has turned into a bit of a secret obsession (far worse than looking at videos of cute cats on the internet). I have found that the reviewers themselves tend to fall in distinct categories….. Let me know in the comments section if you can think of any that I missed.

1. A Page One-er.

This person obviously hasn’t read the book and is having a bad day. Usually has the words “I only read X amount” in it. Followed by “and I always finish books”. If you see this person has reviewed another book there will be the same sentence in that review as well. – Juries out on whether this person is physically able to finish any book.

2. The Family Member.

Genus a. Over-excitement

These reviews usually read like the Author has just discovered the cure for the ills of Mankind. You will regret it if you don’t buy this book and you will be missing the literary event of the decade, no, the century! This is such an amazing book that it can cure all known diseases and bring about peace in the middle-east……

Genus b. Guilt

My Brother/Sister/Friend etc has spent nineteen years writing this book and I know how hard it has been for them. I’ve been with them since the start and you pesky readers should be honored to even view the dust jacket graphic of this book. This author will starve, starve I tell you, unless you download this RIGHT NOW!

Genus b. Threatening

This is an excellent book and I happen to know the author. In fact they are a member of my family. I feel very strongly about family. Did I mention that just like the gangsters in this thriller I am Sicilian? Well, you know how we feel about family.

Genus c. Denial

Now, I don’t personally know the author but this was a really exceptional read…. (Why on earth would you say in a review that you don’t know the author unless a friend or family member has told you that you are not allowed to know them for the purposes of the review. What reason would you have for personally knowing the author?)

3. The Literary Critic

This person is a wannabe author/editor and will take great pains to explain just why the dramatic arc did not obey any of the rules of (insert principle of well-known “write a book” author). We are unsure whether this person is irreparably filled with hatred and self-loathing but we think it might have something to do with the manuscript for their first novel which they have never finished. There is also the Critic that has finished the manuscript and received countless rejections down the traditional publishing routes; who holds staunchly to the believe that self-publishing is “Vanity Press” and should be banned.

4. The Angry Man or Woman

This reviewer believes that the book is the sole reason for the continuing collapse of Western Civilisationย as we know it. In fact the book is so bad it has just started a sequence of events that will eventually lead to Armageddon. Accompanied by statements of “If I could have left a review of less than one star, I would have.”

5. The Genre

This person for some reason will have completely ignored all the sign posts for what the book is about including the blurb which mentions ten times in ten different ways that the book is a thriller set in the fourteenth century. They will say things like I don’t like thrillers and take issue with the fourteenth century, informing you that this is definitely the worst century of this period and had the author chosen to write a romance about the fifteenth century all would have been well.

ย 6. The Genuine Reviewer

They read the book, they liked it or even didn’t like it but they tell you in plain and simple terms “why” on both counts. If you spot one of these, send them my way, they can have copies of my debut for free and they would be worth it.

So, which reviewer did I miss? As always comments welcome.


  1. I think you got them all! And I love reading this post very much; witty and well written. And guess what else โ€ฆ now that you named them, you find they do not matter much anymore!
    Keep writing,

    • I really do love reading reviews on my kindle/amazon before I download a book. The interesting thing about reviews, is that I tend not to purchase a book unless it has some neutral/negative reviews. The reason? Some of the books I love best are not loved by everybody… 10 Five Star reviews makes me suspicious….. Thanks Daniela for stopping by…

  2. You hit the nail on the head for most of the reviews I have read on amazon! I was really chuckling over this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. S.J.F.—-I think you nailed most of them.!! Most of the ones that I would have named will fit easily into one of your categories…..some slight variations maybe, but your categories will certainly work as good or better than any I would come up with.!!
    Be well..

  4. Awesome, awesome, awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚ I just wrote about being addicted to the amazon ranking, so this really caught my eye. I’m going to share this one. Too good not to ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. The moral review annoys me. I’ve come across a lot of reviews that give the book one star because they don’t agree with what a character did. It goes against their own morals or it’s not a decision they might make. I have to wonder why the characters all have to follow a particular code and can only do good things. Image how boring fiction would be. I recently read a review where the reader said they gave one star because the one of the minor female characters slept with more than one man. They liked the writing though, and loved the story but they didn’t agree with the characters choices. I actually yelled at the computer when reading that.

    • I think I would have probably yelled too. Got to love that hardcore puritanism. The moral review, great spot. And, I also agree that characters should be allowed to do bad things for good reasons, bad reasons and because they don’t understand the consequence of their actions! I personally hate “goody, goody” characters. They irritate me. Nobody is perfect, that’s part of what makes us interesting human beings. Thanks for commenting. Oh and well done on the word count..

      • I completely agree. It really annoys me. Either like to book or not, but to give it one star for a characters choices Ahhhhh, so annoying.
        ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks about the wc.

  6. I read every bit of the post. In our world of: scan the fist couple of sentences blogospheres–this is saying a lot. Bright, snappy, fun and above all: accurate!! Sign me, a reformed “Page One-er”..:)

  7. You’ve somehow forgotten about the โ€˜Off-topicโ€™er..? Maybe it’s just me who has seen (and read) a review or two about a particular book or item that wanders over to another realm. Instead of talking about the book that was read, they compare it to another and then continue in the direction of telling about the other book. No, I’m not referring to Amazon or Kindle book pages here; I’m speaking generally.

    • Ahhh, Good spot Mr Husted. I’ve read loads of those type of reviews. I’ve seen it where they compare a book with a completely unrelated film, cross-media. It’s er, annoying at best!

      • Very much agreed there; annoying. I’ve never understood why such people feel the need to hi-jack review space in order to advertise something else. I also tend to wonder at times if many of them do it on purpose.

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