Innerscape’s 1 star review on Goodreads

I don’t go on Goodreads very often so I was surprised to see two reviews of Innerscape, Episode 1. The first was 4 stars from the wonderful Chris James. The second was…well, see for yourselves:


I know it’s not considered good form to respond to negative reviews, but in the privacy of my blog I’m going to buck the trend and say ‘Thank You!’ to Austin Myers. No one wants to get a 1 star review, but as it’s impossible not to get one sooner or later, I can definitely live with this one.’Slow’ and ‘boring’ is personal preference, and everyone has the right to like what they like, so while I’m disappointed, I’m also immensely relieved that Innerscape wasn’t described as ‘badly written’ and ‘derivative’.

And now, I’m going to take this opportunity to remind people that Innerscape, Episode 2 is only going to be free for one more day so please grab your chance to be bored for free. See this post for details:




About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

24 responses to “Innerscape’s 1 star review on Goodreads

  • anne54

    The review sounded almost formulaic to me, like a generic review. Your book was not mentioned by title, no characters named etc. It reminded me of those spam comments we get on our blogs. Whereas Chris had obviously read the whole book!


  • HonieBriggs

    I admire your “feedback is feedback” attitude. This is exactly how I would have responded. For a couple of years I gave away copies of my book, hoping for feedback. Some readers said there were too many characters to keep track of and they had to reread a chapter to follow who was who. I get that. Some readers said they could not make it all the way to the end. I get that too. What I really wanted was useful feedback, something I could work with to improve my writing. Back in the summer I received a marked up copy from someone I greatly respect. She made excellent comments in the margins, ones which will definitely impact my writing in the future.


    • acflory

      Feedback is key. No argument there. I’ve had feedback I didn’t like, but it all made me think, and I’m certain it’s improved my writing, even when I took a conscious decision to carry on regardless. My 1 star is right in some ways – the start is slow, but that was always a conscious choice; I’m old school and like to build the pace and tension slowly. I think the impact is greater, long term, but again, that’s a question of taste and style.
      I think we both write the kind of books we’d like to read. That means taking a stand and not being cookie cutter standard. It’s a choice. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • dvberkom

    Congrats on the 1*! I consider it a badge of honor (okay, not quite, but it happens, and I’d rather my writing evoked some kind of emotion instead of “meh” in a reader, good or bad) And a slow build isn’t always a bad thing–especially when there’s a payoff of some sort at the end. There will always be folks who expect instant gratification . I’ve been dinged for too much description by one reviewer, and then, for the same book, not enough. These kinds of diametrically opposed assessments have happened on enough of my work that I wonder if the reviewers were reading the same book 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      lol – yes! I suspect readers are like ‘friendship groups’ – the ones that stick with you are the ones with whom you share common ground. I know that’s an over simplification, but I believe it’s true nonetheless. The trick is finding that friendship group. 🙂
      Tell me something – do you use a newsletter to tell people about your new book or the Amazon Follow function? I can’t remember how I learned about your latest one.

      Liked by 1 person

  • laurieboris

    Ugh. I know they’re tough to see sometimes, but as some of the others have written, a review like says more about the reader than it does the work. And it can “self-select” an audience. I get dinged once in a while for language, and slow pace, and I’m kind of happy to have those reviews up there. I’m really looking forward to reading your series.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Thanks, Laurie. I’m one of the people who think your pace is just right, so it’s nice to know you get called on it too. And thank you for the kind words. That means a lot. 🙂


  • The Pink Agendist, née Mr. Merveilleux

    I used to pay attention to negative reviews- but all too often they’re utterly meaningless. I remember when I was looking for floors for the apartments and I’d settled on a company called Kaindl (which makes wood & also laminate flooring) and ordered floors for *all* the apartments. When I got home I decided to google reviews and landed on a one star review. My heart sank for a second, but then I started reading it…:

    Liked by 1 person

  • George

    True or not, it’s how you write your review. When i really want to leave something negative i try with “i feel as if x could’ve been done like this” or perhaps “exposition could be done in y way”. Maybe i’m biased. My sister thought Blade Runner was slow and i wanted to yell “It’s perfectly balanced and crafter for what it wants to say!”

    Liked by 1 person

  • DawnGillDesigns

    Wow, I wouldn’t dream of leaving a review that low for a book. I’d just not leave one. However… I read the review and my reaction was ‘oh, I love slowly paced novels.’ especially when they arr based somewhere with which I am unfamiliar ; I like to get my bearings.
    I’m in the middle of the new Dv Berkom and only just discovered one can convert kindle to kobo format, (and only converted one bok so far- it took me ages to get it completed; I’m such a dope!) so haven’t downloaded yet (I’m happy to pay for my books so don’t worry 😉) but bizarrely this negative review actually works in your favour for me.
    Well done for looking at the positive 🌼

    Liked by 1 person

  • davidprosser

    Whilst I agree we all expect different things from our reading material I genuinely can’t understand such a harsh review. Obviously he can only have read Episode 1 and to my mind hasn’t made any allowances for the fact the first few pages set the scene for what came after. The story built slowly but carefully from page 1.
    I was happy not to be hurried and be given the opportunity to learn about Miira, her character and why she was going to Innerscape. I’m very glad you could see the positives in his criticism by what wasn’t there and I hope on those grounds he gives Episode 2 a chance now the pace has picked up and the story is established.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Thanks for the kind words, David, but if I understand the 6% designation next to the review, he could only have read the first couple of chapters, and I doubt he’ll give Episode 2 a try. But that’s okay. I’m old school sci-fi and I write what I want to read so I’m not surprised he didn’t enjoy what he did read. I may, however, check out some of the other books to which he gave a 1-star review in case I like them. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    Wow. I can’t comment on the book but the reviewer sounds like a would-be writer or would-be writing teacher. (you know that adage: “those that “can’t” “teach”.

    Liked by 2 people

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