LdDurham's Reviews > Dragon Streets

Dragon Streets by Jeff Pearce
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Dec 09, 10

bookshelves: m-m-romance
Read from November 30 to December 02, 2010

It was a neat idea, but the writing was a little too heavy-handed and dramatic. It sort of read like a Sci-Fy Channel movie, which caused it to be more visual and choppy, not allowing, in my opinion, much depth to characters or plot. I didn't feel all that invested in the characters, and their relationship was one of those, "Oh hey, we're in love now." I'm a slow build-up kinda gal, so having them suddenly in love, especially with all the hang-ups the main character had, didn't jive for me.

But if you're interested in London as a city, or in Brit-speak, this was very informative. You could probably use it as a tour guide for that great city.
--EDIT—
It was brought to my attention that I didn’t write a very good review. So I’d like to fix that. Dragon Streets had a promising premise. I liked that the issue of domestic abuse was brought into this. A big pet peeve of mine is women who feel it is their right to beat on men and feel they don’t have to worry about repercussions for it. Having Dale be a victim of this sort of abuse was interesting. However, it felt forced; a piece of a puzzle that had to be jammed into place. I want to think it was meant to show more of Dale’s character, but it didn’t really. Even though Dale kept saying that he had PTSD, he didn’t really seem afflicted by such a traumatic diagnosis. His being alone and lonely could have been the result of a lot of reasons, but for it to have been due to the huge trauma of an abusive spouse and her and their child’s death seemed almost too massive for this bit of fantasy-action story. Toward the end, I thought there would be a connection between their deaths and the reason the dragons’ were after Dale. That didn’t happen, but it would have been cool if it had.

The characters in this were an odd mix of intriguing and opaque. I kept feeling as if I got hooked, but was never hauled anywhere with them. Dale is clearly the most put-together character, but even his seams unraveled. I expect characters to grow when put in the situations he was placed in, but he went from hermitic dullard to uber-confident super-sleuth in a matter of a day or two.

The story was choppy in that it didn’t really give me any reasoning behind why characters did or said a lot of what they did. I could understand why Dale would fall in love with the first guy that seemed safe, but why did Phirun have immediate true-love? Why did the detective, Vivian, fall madly in love or lust with Dale? It just suddenly happens and the author just wanted me to swallow it. On page 102, Phirun tells Dale to explain things to Vivian. On page 110, Phirun fights with Dale because he doesn’t want Vivian told anything. Dale has lived in England for years, but still says things like, “…or whatever the equivalent is in ‘stone’ or what you call it.” He didn’t know that DI stood for Detective Inspector. I only watch BBC America and I knew that stuff, but I was expected to believe a man living in the country for years didn’t. The fire dragons drag Dale into the war because they don’t want him in the war in a Terminator-style plot hole. Weird inconsistencies like these were constantly pushing me out of the story.

When there is a war going on, I expect action, and this story delivers that. But the characters had a lot of dialog in very intense moments that I’ve only ever seen in action movies. There was even a stolen kiss, ala Leia and Luke swinging to freedom in Star Wars. That’s why I originally likened it to a Sci-Fy Channel movie. It was choppy and hectic in its action scenes. And in one instance, for some odd reason, there was a soundtrack. I still don’t know why one dragon faction would start playing a Coldplay song right before they sprung their trap, but it added to the movie feeling. Not in a particularly good way, but in a way that tossed me back out of the story.

The really nice thing about the book was the peppering the author did of locations and history of London. I was very intrigued with ghost stations, just sitting there under the city. The bit of history about wooden elevators being used as late as the 1980s was fascinating. The rancor with the transportation department was interesting and gave me more insight into some interactions I’ve read or watched in British dramas. Happily, this book gave me new things to look up and explore the next time I am lucky enough to enjoy the sights and sounds of London. I appreciate that a lot.

However, as a reader, I wish the author had slowed down a bit and built the story up more. Give me more thread to the story that is being weaved so that I can wrap myself up in it. If the pace had slowed down a bit and allowed the characters to develop more and the plot to strengthen, I think this could have been a very exciting tale for me. As it was, I closed the book with dissatisfaction at a story charred on the outside and raw in the center.
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Comments (showing 1-37 of 37) (37 new)

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message 1: by LdDurham (last edited Dec 04, 2010 11:45PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

LdDurham I didn't give a glowing review of your book and you accuse me of being self-important? There was nothing behind my words other than the desire to review a book I had read. That is what this site is for. You're right, you can't please everyone. And if they aren't pleased, it doesn't make them malicious bitches.
I won't be bullied into white-washing my reviews for fear of hurting the feelings of thin-skinned authors.

Jeff wrote: "Well, I can't expect to please everybody, and I wouldn't normally want to rebut a low score because of this very reason, but the tone of this review smacks of such self-importance and malice, you have to wonder what's behind it. Especially with the bitchy comment about..."


message 2: by Magnolia (last edited Dec 09, 2010 12:36PM) (new) - added it

Magnolia I wish more reviewers would publicly post when authors send them snarky or threatening emails. This is a serious subject matter and these authors need to be exposed.It is being a bully and is wrong. Not everyone is going to like your work. And even if we don't that does not make us evil,malicious,uneducated, or shallow. Our thoughts and opinions are our own. If an author is not secure enough with themselves, they will strike out. Kudos to you, LD for standing up for yourself.


LdDurham I used the reply link on your comment to reply. It was still there, the next day, when I replied directly to your comment. Goodreads sends a notification email, yeah, but it doesn't quote it. However, the comment box does, in order to identify who the reply is to, hence your own words are in my reply. I don't cast myself as anything. I didn't call you any names, but you have now accused me of being malicious, self-important, bitchy, disingenuous, self-serving, and over-the-top.

If Magnolia doesn't have all the facts, it's because you deleted your comment. The automatic quoting of your words in my reply is cut off, so she doesn't even know about the lovely "attention meriting" comment you made. I didn't start this "silliness," you did. I happened to pick up your book, read it, and reviewed. That's it.

Jeff wrote: "I wouldn't normally want to keep this tempest in a teapot going because it's ridiculous. But just in case any sane readers are out there... What's interesting here is that I never sent LdDurham an..."


message 4: by Magnolia (new) - added it

Magnolia # bullying - the act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something
# bullying - blustery: noisily domineering; tending to browbeat others
Bullying is a form of abuse. It comprises repeated acts over time that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power with the more powerful individual or group abusing those who are less powerful. The power imbalance may be social power and/or physical power. .

This is a terrible discussion. Jeff, I can only say that you are digging yourself deeper and deeper with each new post you make. And it is not a good reflection. Using words to belittle or demean others is bullying. You may not be doing it behind the scenes like some people do, but the results are still the same. I hope people get a chance to read this. Though, I hope it does not upset too many. This is supposed to be a place where we all can come and feel free to express ourselves without the fear of being attacked for our beliefs and opinions. No, we will not all agree. And some times things are misunderstood or taken out of context. But throwing insults back and forth does not help, only causes more harm than good. Jeff, You are not the first author to call someone silly,crazy(or whatever the opposite of sane is),malicious,self important,etc. But, each and every time you do that, you are losing sales or future fans. Do you really think that people will want to read your work, actually spend their hard earned money on an author who may or may not insult them if they tell you something you do not want to hear? All I have heard out of you is more and more insults and it is not very nice. When I wrote my comment, I was speaking out against authors who use their words to harm, instead of using them in a way to create new art, in the form a well told story. There are quite a few authors out there who have been sending readers/reviewers nasty messages. If you were not one who did that, then the comment was not for you. I read your words and they were not nice at all. You can protest all you want, but your actions speak louder than words. I am sorry my comments brought up such harsh words. I only meant to support a fellow reader who had been attacked. I do believe that this issue needs to be addressed. It needs to stop and the people who are sending threatening or insulting emails need to be exposed.


message 5: by Magnolia (new) - added it

Magnolia Here is a very good article from last year about dealing with negative criticism. If you have the time, check it out. It's pretty good!!
http://www.litdrift.com/2009/12/29/do...


message 6: by Carvedwood (new)

Carvedwood OMFG.

Jeff, you deleted your comment AFTER L responded, I know this for a fact, because I SAW it!

You know, her comment that your book contains enough information on London to be used as a travel guide was complimentary, despite your deliberate misinterpretation, and it would have been enough to make me pick up the book by itself, but finding out that you're a petulant bitch who (publicly) flips out at the slightest hint that someone might not think you're the World's Greatest Author is enough to dissuade me from buying any of your books. Ever.

Grow a set.


LdDurham Very well, Jeff. After all this, if you had just said that you would have appreciated more elucidation from my review to back up my quibbles with your book, I could have done that for you. I glossed over it because, in the end, I didn't hate your story. I just didn't care for it. So I was vague in order to let my friends know what I thought, while at the same time not deter any curious readers who may enjoy your style of storytelling. However, I think your own vitriol here has taken that burden off my shoulders. I'll edit my review, for clarity.

Of course authors have the right to respond to a review, it's just that most of them have the excellent sense to stay clear and neutral. They know a reader can move on from a book they didn't care for and still read another work from the same author. But most readers won't waste time or money on an author they don't personally like. I've befriended authors of writing styles I don't enjoy and will happily recommend them to others. But you'll be relieved to know that I and my ignorant brethren will steer clear of you and your works. I can see you write for higher standards than reader enjoyment or book sales.

After I post my review, I'll leave the floor to you. This was just a last note to explain my review edit, not an attempt to have the last word. I'll leave that to you, of course.

Jeff wrote:"Sigh...

Let's see. You comment on something when you don't have all the information.
You write about people "feeling free to express themselves" then want to limit others from doing so while ignoring the hyperbole..."



message 8: by Lee (new)

Lee Rowan Um... You comment on a review, then delete it when someone calls you on it? If you don't have the guts to stand by your words, it's better not to post them. And once there, deleting them and pretending it never happened and the Big Bad Reviwer is being mean...?

I get bad reviews sometimes. I don't like it either. Once in a great while, if the reviewer has actually got the facts wrong, I'll say something. But for the most part it's a waste of time and telling someone they should not say they didn't like your book...

I haven't read this book (paranormals aren't my cup of tea) or the review (I tend not to read reviews of books I'm not interested in). But the tone of this exchange is pretty unprofessional, and I'm not talking about the (unpaid) reviewer.

"Publish" means "to make public." And once a story is public, anyone who reads it is allowed to say why s/he liked or did not like it. As long as the opinions are based on what was actually in the book, that's a legitimate review.


message 9: by Carvedwood (new)

Carvedwood This was a great article, Magnolia, thank you for sharing it.

Magnolia wrote: "Here is a very good article from last year about dealing with negative criticism. If you have the time, check it out. It's pretty good!!
http://www.litdrift.com/2009/12/29/do......"



message 10: by Magnolia (new) - added it

Magnolia You're welcome Carvedwood. And thank you for saying what I did not have the balls(though technically I am a girl)to say. So much for trying to be nice.lol


message 11: by Carvedwood (last edited Dec 09, 2010 06:06PM) (new)

Carvedwood No, you didn't. There was a lag of about six minutes (long enough for you to get the notification email) between her reply and the deletion of your original comment.
Edit: I know this, because I had to refresh the screen at the time. First your comment was there, then there were two comments, then I had to refresh again, and your comment was gone. Which confused me at first, but then I had a big LOL at your expense when I realized that you had tried to cover your ass by deleting your comment.

So you're an asshat AND you're lying.


message 12: by Carvedwood (new)

Carvedwood Of course you don't appreciate it. No one ever appreciates it.
However, I exercized my right to rebut and comment. Why should I silently accept what I know is a blatant untruth?


message 13: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason Huffman-black Wow, I don't know you, Jeff, but this is sickening. I realize that your book is personal enough to take offense when someone else doesn't feel as strongly about it as you do but, as a writer, it is always in your best interest to be gracious and accepting of criticism, even if you feel it was given with malicious intent. An author cannot argue with a reader's likes and dislikes. They are as individual as the reader. You may have feared a bad review would do damage to your success but this exchange is far more damaging in my opinion.

Shame on you, Jeff.


message 14: by Magnolia (new) - added it

Magnolia You may not have called anyone any specific names, but your tone has implied insult and your opinions on our character have been less than desired. I do not need to use big words to get my point across. Nor do I need to play the victim. This game you are playing is sick and wrong. I don't know what is going on in your life, but to attack every single person that has commented on this thread is not ok. Learn to think before you speak.
You may not think this site is important, but trust me. This will be all over the web by tomorrow. You are only hurting yourself by acting this way. Please stop and take a look in the mirror and stop acting like we are all in the wrong and you are the poor misaligned author defending yourself. If everyone else can see it. Why can't you??


message 15: by Carvedwood (new)

Carvedwood A boor, huh? Meh. I could have done better. And if I'm rude and bitchy, it's because, OMG I can't believe I have to explain this, because I'm pissed off at YOU.

You have every reason to lie about it, because it makes you look dumb.

You know, your comment was public and this entire exchange was public, but you're going to email a private apology? I don't think you're going to do it. Or, at least, you'll send her an email and it will be an incredibly rude apology, not addressing any of the points you SHOULD be sorry about, and then, when I post the contents of the email, you're going to scream that I've rewritten your words.


message 16: by Chris (last edited Dec 09, 2010 06:34PM) (new)

Chris Rude and a boor... so redundant. Also, so very untrue, Jeff. Jason happens to be one of the moderators of the GRs M/M Romance Group. One of the very cherished moderators.

Not that I can be sure your comment was directed at Jase, because you didn't quote a specific comment. Still.


message 17: by Carvedwood (new)

Carvedwood The "rude and a boor" comment was for me, Chris.


message 18: by Chris (new)

Chris Carvedwood wrote: "The "rude and a boor" comment was for me, Chris."

Well, in that case, CW. ;p Still redundant.


message 19: by Carvedwood (new)

Carvedwood Not just redundant, also very pot/kettle.


message 20: by Magnolia (last edited Dec 09, 2010 06:51PM) (new) - added it

Magnolia Yes, I have lofty dreams. But you can be damn sure, that I will be sending this thread to every m/m review site and publishing house that I can think of. If you think that people will support you when you have clearly lost your mind(as witnessed in this thread), you are even more delusional than I thought.
And don't tell me that I do not have the facts. I can see things pretty clearly. Whatever I originally missed, you more than made up for with your subsequent posts. You are just digging deeper and deeper....


message 21: by Carvedwood (new)

Carvedwood Oh, please. Pfft. No one's complaining about it because I'm saying what they're thinking.


message 22: by Magnolia (new) - added it

Magnolia This is my last post. I wanted to share this blog that Heidi Cullinan wrote. It is about a reviewer who was verbally assaulted by an author for a review she posted and Heidi's thoughts and feelings. It is absolutely brilliant and you could learn a thing or two Mr Pearce.
http://amazoniowan.livejournal.com/45...


LdDurham Jeff wrote: "I don't appreciate anyone calling me a liar. Up until this point, I have not called anyone names. I have criticized their comments and behavior, but calling me a liar... that's contemptible. ..."

You are a ridiculous, ridiculous man.

Where was I "caught out" in anything? What was I caught at? What on earth are you talking about? Do you even know, anymore? Or are you so busy trying to cover the fact that you picked a fight over a simple blah review that you've completely lost the plot?

No one has once said you didn't have the right to respond to a review, we've just pointed out that it probably wasn't wise to do so in the manner you chose. You know you were passive-aggressively intimidating me when you wrote your oh so sweet "Especially with the bitchy comment about the novel only being good enough for a travel guide. Maybe I can return the favor of reviewing one day... Assuming there's a product that captures any attention meriting it." You know you merited the bullying tag with that one, because you referenced it yourself when you responded to Magnolia, who never saw that part, as far as I know. You are under the impression that I know Magnolia. I don't. Never met her. She was a random reader stopping in who you spat on and insulted.

I had decorum, but you were contemptible enough to accuse me of being malicious, self-important, bitchy, disingenuous, self-serving, over-the-top, ignorant, inarticulate, and nasty. And you dare have a snit over being labeled a liar? You, sir, are utterly ridiculous. I have to seriously wonder what publisher would be happy about you behaving in this manner, alienating readers and fellow authors (with their own fans and followers), and killing sales.

You want to apologize? Do it here, where you flung your mud in the first place. Do it here so you can explain your emailed comment that you would "take on faith that you just didn't care for my book." What are you accusing me of now? Being on the take from a rival author? You have some impressive delusions of grandeur. I didn't know you from Jack Squat before I picked up your half-baked book, but you seem to think my simple review was a personal attack.

Apologize here where it might, might salvage a bit of your reputation. Because Magnolia is right: this is being spread around right now. People who read this genre are popping in to see what the hub bub is about. As one of my own readers said, you should have shut up a few posts back. But, hey, it's your right to dig yourself deeper. So have at, my good man. Have at.


Kassa Hey Ld, I've no desire to get into this FUBAR but I wanted to say that I liked your review. I thought your extended version was very articulate about your thoughts and likes/dislikes. Though I liked this book more than you did (prior to this mess) I could easily see where you were coming from.

No need to defend your opinion or your review. I think you were eloquent enough as was. Just wanted to let you know.


message 25: by Td (new)

Td Wow...seriously??? I can't believe I'm even going to comment on this. Messed up thing is I wouldn't even have paid this review much attention if not for this going back and forth. I don't know, as a simple reader with no ulterior motives whatsoever, I was under the impression that ratings and reviews are our personal opinion: didn't like it, it was ok, liked it... I mean it's supposed to be how we feel about the story right? Ld's original review didn't even seem "malicious" to me.
I was pretty impartial until "Authors! We don't have to take it! There are wonderful readers out there, and they outnumber the ignorant." Sorry, you're putting your work out there, so yeah, you do have to take it. But you won't have to take it from this end. I was curious by this book, just not enough now to bother picking it up. Yes, I'm ignorant!


LdDurham Hi, Kassa! You know, one of the reasons I originally held back on my review was because you had liked the book. I really respect your opinion and didn't want to sound like I was slamming your high regard of it. Heck, I took a chance on reading it just because of your liking of it. So, I really appreciate your comment here. Thank you for your kind words. It makes me feel a lot better about my extended review.

Kassa wrote: "Hey Ld, I've no desire to get into this FUBAR but I wanted to say that I liked your review. I thought your extended version was very articulate about your thoughts and likes/dislikes. Though I like..."


message 27: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Haimowitz Jeff wrote: "Oh, please, Magnolia. You've got to be kidding!

This "will be all over the web by tomorrow"? Gee, where are we writing now? And aren't you the person who didn't bother to check to see what was..."


Just as an aside, this actually is already kind of all over the web. That's how I found it. I'm not going to get into an argument with you, Jeff, and this will be my only visit to this thread so there's no point in expending any more energy on a rebuttal, but I've got to agree with the OP and with Jase and with everyone else . . . this is just not how an author should behave. Don't even think of it as an issue of right or wrong (though I do think you're in the wrong here); think of it as an issue of image, and whether it's worth such tarnish on yours to keep fighting with your readers over what you yourself have called a silly thing. Because I don't know about you, but I value every last one of my readers, and I would NEVER say to someone that I don't care if they don't buy my books. Because I don't get to write for an audience anymore if my audience disappears. I love my readers, even when they don't love my work. Might be worth remembering in future, assuming you have any readers left when this is done.


Ravyn Wow.

Just for the record, I don't think there was anything wrong with LD's original review. God knows, I write much snarkier comments about books all the time, but even then, it's nothing personal. The original review here certainly wasn't anything even close to "self-important" or "malicious" or "bitchy," and it boggles my mind that Jeff interpreted it that way, almost as some kind of personal insult. Although I think what shocks me even more is that he felt the need to engage in this crazy throw-down to begin with.


message 29: by Carvedwood (new)

Carvedwood OMFG, he deleted all his posts?!

... WTF?!


Ravyn Hmm. I imagine Mr. Pearce finally calmed down, reassessed some of the things he had said, and wisely decided that it didn't come across so great.

Typically, I'm not a fan of people deleting old posts to "hide" what they've said, but I think in this case, it was maybe the first somewhat rational decision the author made in this whole mess.


message 31: by Td (new)

Td Hi Ravyn-I don't know about rational. There is still plenty here to get the gist of what was said. If anything, I think it just shows that Mr. Pearce didn't have the guts to stick to something he seemed to feel so strongly about. Kinda cowardly, don't you think? I mean, even the "sincere" apology is gone...


message 32: by Magnolia (last edited Dec 09, 2010 09:32PM) (new) - added it

Magnolia Just had to throw this last part in. I think I'm safe posting now since the author is gone...I wish someone had thought to copy/paste the thread. It could be used as an example of what not to do when someone leaves you a review you disagree upon. I did part of it when I sent a complaint to a review site. I also contacted his editor right after I posted about doing so. They immediately got back to me. I don't think that had anything to do with it. Maybe Heidi tweeting to 500 followers scared the crap out of him.


message 33: by Magnolia (last edited Dec 09, 2010 09:38PM) (new) - added it

Magnolia Censor away. I had no idea what I did was wrong, so please let me know if I make a mistake.
My post has been edited. ~Sorry~


message 34: by Carvedwood (new)

Carvedwood I have no idea if it was against group policies. I just figured you didn't realize.


message 35: by Magnolia (new) - added it

Magnolia It probably is. What threw me is that everyone who posted is a member of the group, so I wasn't even thinking about anyone else on this site. I tend to think of the m/m group as being goodreads, since that is the only place I go(besides the books and author pages).


message 36: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason Huffman-black He also resigned from the m/m romance group.


message 37: by Kymba (new)

Kymba Khan OMG, never going to read another word that jerkface writes.
Deleting his vicious idiocy doesn't make up for attacking a *customer* - that's what we are when we buy books, a customer of the author as well as the publisher and book shop we visit. He's lost my custom, his behavior tells me more than ANY review ever could.


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