Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,

Reviewed and Reviewing

Jacket copy is its own little meta-genre, and it’s really hard to write well. The length constraints are merciless, and the stakes are nothing less than your book’s first and perhaps only chance to reach thousands of readers. The best specimens are impressive in their own right, and I appreciate a chance to learn from them. Melissa, of My World in Books and Pages, does a cover reveal of books she intends to review, with notes on her initial impressions based on the art and jacket copy. Her  cover reveal of Tales from Rugosa Coven suggests that my jacket copy communicates pretty much what I hoped it would. When she posts the full review of the book’s contents, I’ll link to it.

Meanwhile, I’ve posted the most ardently ambivalent review ever at Black Gate. The things I admired about Mark Smylie’s debut novel, The Barrow, I admired immensely, in particular a funeral-gone-wrong scene so good I wish I’d written it. Alas, Smylie seems to have assumed his success at writing graphic novels meant he didn’t have to learn anything new to write prose fiction, and the book’s blunders sometimes threaten to sink the whole effort. Somehow, he got me to finish, and at times enjoy, a very long book in which most of the characters are somewhere between off-putting and odious. Only if you are a particular kind of reader would I suggest that you read it, too. I’ve been told my review is entertaining enough in itself to appeal to people who would never read this book. Your mileage may vary.
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