Example Four--what not to do

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Example Four--what not to do

Post by SRHowen on Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:10 pm

This reviewer picked this book up in a group much like this one, and he was obviously more interested in racking up review points than taking the time to actually read the book. While I don't consider a 3 star review a bad review, or any review for that matter, it is an opinion, this is what not to do when reviewing like this group or in any case.  Read the book.

3.0 again, I don't consider a 3 star review badout of 5 stars Fascinating, uneven read, July 7, 2013
By I took the name out (CA, United States)
(REAL NAME)  
This review is from: Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time (Paperback)Amazon's auto import, the reviewer did not put this in the review

This is a fascinating work overflowing with much American Indian lore that feels authentic. The first person narrative tells the story strongly although the plot takes twists and turns that do not all contribute to this particular tale. This at first I was thinking, okay, that's odd, as the book was trimmed and trimmed, and no other reviewer ever mentioned this, but I thought, okay, so he didn't like some of the plot twists. The writing is assured and has its moments; I liked, e.g., the "calliope of sounds" but did not care for the "conglomeration of plastic containers." This was a straight up, huh?  I have found that in surface reads, a reviewer will pick on some small phrase that they think makes it sound like they read the book, yes, reviewers use these tricks to fake it. and this is a common one, look I read it see . . . I found the characters to be less than fully fleshed out. Again I have close to 40 reviews of this book, a point most reviewers make is the depth of character, feeling that they were not fleshed out is his opinion, but it doesn't quite make sense, as you read on in the review, it becomes clear why he felt that way, he didn't do more than a surface read.

With the ability to travel through time and to gather people and things a young Indian maiden (a key character) gathers members from various tribes, with the view to changing the course of history by preparing the natives to repulse their white colonizers. BINGO, a huge light went off, this is not the heroine's role, she is looking for the right person to do this, but it is not her role in the story. The return of the narrator to his native roots appears secondary. This was a huge plot point in the story, the hero can't do what he needs to until he returns to his native roots, and he is clearly the MC, not the woman, so this says, hey, I didn't really read this book. Now, if this were the only review the author could think, wow, I must not have made that clear, and not to say that a reviewer who reviews a book, that is not understood, is wrong, it may be author fault--but when put together with his other points, he clearly surface read. This is not the way to hurry through reviews.

It comes as a surprise that the "staging area/era" is said to be a time "before steel .... before written time .... before the birth of the White Man's god." Why this is so deserves more elaboration, perhaps an explanation. Again, this is made very clear, and how can the alternative history unfold, if it plays out the same? Again another point that says, surface read.

Also, although each and everyone brought to this staging era had been chosen, it appears the chooser was not infallible for she/they another indicator that he didn't read well, it was only SHE that chose the ones who came back. And that was an obvious plot point. chose to include Kills Many It was made clear who came from what time, very clear several times, this character, Kills Many, did not travel back in time, he was from the era the past part of the story takes place in. Those who follow him as well. and those who follow him. Thus, there is evil and evil personified [possible spoiler omitted] in the story.

In addition to the ability to time-travel, the main characters also have the ability to heal. The narrator, Medicine Elk, is a trauma surgeon in "real time." Morning Dove, another major character, can heal herself as well as others She can't heal others, another indicator that he didn't read the story. The MC also can't heal instantly, not until the very end of the story, and his time travel ability, is not his until then either, so he has this wrong as well, again, I am not saying that a novel that is unclear should be given a great review, but combined with the other things, he did not read the book. although at one point a head injury inexplicably recurs forcing Medicine Elk to revert to his traditional instruments and chants to heal her.Again this is very far off base from what happens that is shows the reader put together a review based on other reviews and surface read the book.

Further Medicine Elk's brother tells him No, he doesn't.  His brother worked for the company but did not tell him anything about them.  This is made very clear, a few chapters are devoted to it. Another wrong plot point, that shows he didn't read the book. that a pharmaceutical company had been contracted to develop a self-regenerating and evolving universal vaccine against all diseases. naturally he goes and gets a good supply. This is a intriguing concept but, seemingly irrelevant to this story, This was a straight up, HUH?  It is said clearly several times that the medicines were needed to stave off the illnesses brought by the Europeans, just in case you had no clue as to the devastation the unknown illnesses caused. The magic in the medicine is also what binds the tribes together, to the MC, as he establishes leadership.  A major plot point missed agian.  Shows he did not read the book, that he skimmed it. invites speculation on future volumes.

This is an example, no matter how many stars are given, of how not to handle reading and reviewing. Not every reader is going to get every plot point, but some of the ones he didn't get, made it blatantly obvious he didn't read the book. We have all skimmed books, picked up a little here and there, enough we can fake it, but here, with him not even getting the MC's right, we know he didn't read it.  Please read the books before leaving a review. Take a moment to read the other reviews of the book and the blurb, see if maybe you missed something if you read quickly.  A review like this, among many others, that not a one shares the same issues, makes the reviewer look bad, not the book.
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SRHowen
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