3.5, but I'll round up just because it's better than other books I've given 3 stars to in the past.
I quite enjoyed this. I don't read many Westerns, s3.5, but I'll round up just because it's better than other books I've given 3 stars to in the past.
I quite enjoyed this. I don't read many Westerns, so it was a change of pace for me. I liked Flynn's flustered, brash personality; Wash's laid-back outlook; Gabriel's cocky charm and Cage's silent, honourable atonement. I like that, though this is a romance, it's not particularly romantic. I liked the witty back and forwards banter and the writing style in general.
However, I also thought that having two romantic pairings diluted the plot. As funny as Flynn and Gabriel's sniping was, it got old. Wash's character was never particularly developed. He seemed to exist solely for Flynn to quietly long for. And after finally acting on their feelings after platonic decades together, I would have like at least conversation about it. I also found Cage inconsistent. He spent 2/3 of the book so quiet and honourable that he almost felt child-like. Then in the last 1/3 he was made out to be all sorts of bad to the bone. It didn't feel like the same man.
I'm assuming this is the first in a series, as it concludes with an open ending. I'm not head over heals in love with the book, but I'd be more than happy to pick up a sequel. It's a serious case of good enough. ...more
Good lord, what a mess has grown around this poor book. Ms. York made a mistake that, if she'd paid any attention to the indie reader/writer world (orGood lord, what a mess has grown around this poor book. Ms. York made a mistake that, if she'd paid any attention to the indie reader/writer world (or listened to those who did warn her), she should have known better than to make. And she paid the standard price for it, as readers took offence at being told, AGAIN, how an author would like their book reviewed.
Generally happens something like this, one person or multiple people simultaneously see the post, maybe makes some noise about it, rate and/or review the book. That rating/review is seen on the feeds of all their friends, some of which check it out, have a similar reaction and take a similar action. Thus, that book moves on to the feeds of all of their friends, etc. etc. etc. And as we've all seen this before, the standard reaction has become a 1✮-I'm-not-interested rating. It's not so much organised as organically developed into a routine.
I've never been a fan of 1✮ing a book, but I recognise that GR's TOC allows it and respect readers right to rate/review a book based on anything they like. I quote someone else, who used not liking orange covers as a perfectly legitimate reason to 1✮ a book. It is, like it or not.
But now there appears to be an effort to counter the 1✮ ratings with 5✮ ratings. On Jan 23rd alone, 250 5✮ ratings were submitted, many from brand new accounts with no other books listed. That seems to have more than made up for the 38 1✮s and it's hard to imagine it could be anything but an actual campaign to inflate the book's rating average.
For one, there is no pre-established behaviour that individuals are falling back on, as there is with the punishing 1✮s. For another, it would be difficult (though admittedly probably not impossible) for the book to be sweeping through feeds so quickly, especially without accompanying reviews to advise the friends what the rating is about and prompt enough curiosity to investigate. And they certainly can't be seeing friends' ratings on feeds they don't yet have on their brand new, friendless profiles. So, I can only conclude someone somewhere has arranged to return fire on Ms. York's behalf.
And this is significantly different that the 1✮ carpet-bombing that has become a ritualised behaviour among reviewers. In that case it's a series of individuals deciding on their own to take a certain action. Yes, that action has been pre-established through past experience, but it's still individuals (in this case, 38 of them) who chose on their own to do something. They each carry the weight of their own actions. In this new 5✮ flood, it's a single individual who has contacted his friends to instruct them to a certain action. Yes, it's still individuals choosing to follow those directions, but it's a single person prompting a following to 5✮ one author and 1✮ another, carrying the responsibility of impetus for at least 250 other people. That is a horse of a different color, indeed
I'd be interested to know if this was with or without Ms. York's consent, because I don't see this helping her at all. For one, when her rating was in the dumps due to a 1✮ carpet-bombing, it was easy for future readers to see what exactly happened and why exactly the rating was so low. They could then choose whether to ignore those ratings/reviews or not. (Many readers, myself included, tend to ignore a numerical rating and pay significantly more attention to the content of a review.) Now, however, the event that led to the low rating in the first place is being concealed, buried under a mountain of even hollower 5✮ ratings. And as they are review-less and will garner fewer likes, they are unlikely to ever climb above the 1✮s to top the review lists. They remain largely unseen.
This muddies Dragonbride's value even further and can only hurt it in the end. Because now, it's not readily apparent that Ms. York sustained what some would call an attack, but it appears as if she's inspired others to manipulate her book's rating. And it will always be obvious, as the nice little review graph will show heavy 5 & 1 star ratings and almost nothing in between. Just in case anyone needs to be told, this doesn't look good for an author. It trashes their credibility.
Even more confusingly, in conjuncture with the 5✮ carpet...can it still be called carpet-bombing...there seems to be a simultaneous campaign to 1✮ another author (though either on a much smaller scale or much less successfully, but over several books). Again, the simultaneous occurrence and too fast for believable snowballing, leads one to question if it's not coordinated. I'm not sure why this second author was chosen for retaliation. I never noticed her being particularly out to get York or unusually vocal about her book.
Again, this can only make Ms. York look bad. And as the one thing she's done right in all of this is not engage people and be polite, I suspect it's not at her behest. I could be wrong, of course, but one does wonder. Whether she sought people to start this or not, she's certainly aware of it. She's been online since this started. She friended the person who sent out the call to action. Now that it's not needed to float her book's average, she's removed her own 5✮ rating for the book. She's liked the few 5✮ reviews, knowing they can't have actually read the book in the time available. (Not reviewing a book if you haven't read all of it was on her own initial wish-list of reviewer behaviours.) She definitely knows it's happening and has been as silent on it as she had the negative attention.
I've been fairly active in discussing Ms. York's blog post and eventual apology. I see value in doing so. It's through such discussions that opinions develop, grow and change. Participants and observers both learn from it. I understand and support the right of readers to rate a book anyway they like, even unfortunately in an organised, retaliatory fashion (though I find it distasteful). But I'm feeling increasingly sorry for Ms. York. Either she has some exceptional skill for always doing just the wrong thing to benefit herself or she's stuck in the middle of, not only people academically discussing her posts and publicly shaming her behaviour (frequently different people in the same threads) but also a tit-for-tat war with star ratings as artillery. (Personally, I suspect it's a bit of both. I think she leans toward victim-centered behaviour that leads to actions that alienate readers and someone else took advantage of that to help her out.Unfortunately, that appears to be more about his agenda than actually helping her and it's just making her look petty and unscrupulous, which isn't really a help to her.)
No one is benefitting from this—not the author, not the book, not the rabble-rousers, and certainly not the poor reader who one day wants to know what other readers thought of Dragonbride and can't make heads or tails of the hundreds of reviews/rating cluttering its feed.
It's just my opinion, of course, but there it is.
Edit 1/30/15: Since I posted this, last week, there have been further waves of drama. I figured I might as well add them to the list. A representative of Dragon Knight Chronicles, which I believe is some sort of author collective that functions as a publishing group (though I could be wrong on the details) commented on several threads that they had picked Dragonbride up and were having it reedited. This garnered some hostility as their own book doesn't appear much better edited than Dragonbride, in the opinion of some readers.
What's more, it was stated that Raani York's doctor took her computer access away for mental health reason, suggesting that she had been pushed toward mental breakdown by this affair. (This despite her Goodreads status showing her active in the same time period.) To me, this seems a bit over-dramatic and in a very real sense felt like one more person, that wasn't actually Ms. York, jumping on the bandwagon and stirring the pot and making it worse.
Now it would appear that Zoe Desh, author of Authors vs. Goodreads (which is an aniti-Goodreads pamphlet) has taken on Ms. York's cause by posting tweets like the following:
Zoe @zoedesh ROFLMAO - Full scale rating nuclear war just broke out on #Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1LjJWAH (Linda Hilton, excommunicated)
vs Zoe @zoedesh Follow http://bit.ly/1uDSisv (Raani York, still standing) When is Goodreads rating system going to embarrass #Amazon? #authors paying attention?
So, here's one more pot-stirrer jumping in the mix. I notice Ms. York has now taken her blog, her Twitter and her GR accounts down. It would appear she really is either trying to disappear or been driven into exile.
I hereby declare this to be the most clustered clusterf*ck I've so far encountered here on Goodreads. (Though, unlike Desh, I don't blame that on Goodreads.) Too many people trying to "help" poor little Raani York and just making things worse, if in no other way but by keeping it from dying. Might I suggest that it's time to just leave it alone. ...more