Cyndy Otty's Reviews > Crimson Rose

Crimson Rose by R. Malone
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's review
Feb 06, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy

Crimson Rose is one of those tragic books for me; one that I desperately tried to enjoy far more than I did. This is no doubt at least partially due to the author's generous gift of a free copy and only serves to make me feel that my lack of enthusiasm regarding the book is downright cruel. Not to say that it is essentially a terrible novel because it really isn't; Malone's crafted world manages to put a surprisingly fresh spin on a mythos that's been explored by countless others. Her characters are, for the most part, full of wonder and spark much interest in a reader. The story itself is especially intoxicating. The downfall for me is that try as I might, I could not get beyond the editorial problems within the book and these truly hindered my personal enjoyment.

The narrative of this novel starts off maddeningly slow and once it does get off the ground it comes off as a soap opera which only served to distance me from the events transpiring. It made it very hard to take anything seriously as the plot unfolded because I felt so alienated from the story due to my own distaste for the often clichéd dialogue, cheesy situations, and completely random plot twists that put the story in a totally different direction. Except the amusing thing is that this very set of issues is what kept me reading! Like an unwilling witness to a train wreck, the more out of place things became the more I felt compelled to continue. Regardless of the fact that I felt somewhat bombarded by the author’s obnoxiously frequent issue with word usage – or more accurately over usage. Many scenes that had the potential to be poignant or dynamic felt clumsy due to the repetitive nature of the vocabulary used. Moreover, and perhaps I’m being too nitpicky, I also was disappointed in the lack of scene-setting or descriptiveness. It isn’t until very late in the book that any real explanation is given for the environment the characters are in rather than an adjective or two.

Aside from the specifics of the storytelling, the stumbling block for me was the characterization or lack thereof in some cases. Often I found myself completely bewildered by Rose as she was thrust into various situations; I found myself anticipating a severe emotional reaction where instead she would take things perfectly in stride. Her world is turned upside-down time and again, her beliefs challenged repeatedly and through it all she steadfastly remains convinced of a seemingly impossible truth that Stefan is the perfect man for her. Meanwhile, Stefan himself is a complete enigma for me. Throughout the novel he showcases his ruthless and callous attitude and by the end he is basically redeemed without any evident changes to his core being. It feels hollow and forced to me and makes it difficult to maintain any semblance of interest in Rose’s choice to be with him.

Yet, for all of its shortcomings, I can't entirely dislike this book. Malone truly does have a talent for building a complex and engaging story and has certainly created a unique enough world to capture the interest of a paranormal/urban fantasy fan. While, I was disappointed in the execution, I found myself deeply invested in the story and truly curious to see how the events would unfold. Still, the sad fact is, I sincerely believe this book could have used some further polishing before being published.

[Originally posted at my website.]
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Reading Progress

February 6, 2010 – Started Reading
February 6, 2010 – Shelved
February 9, 2010 – Finished Reading
October 22, 2010 – Shelved as: fantasy

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by Cyndy (last edited Feb 28, 2010 08:44AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Cyndy Otty Further information regarding the backlash this review caused can be found here at my website. I've deleted the comments that were posted here in reply to the author as they no longer make any sense since her comments have been removed.

message 2: by Jeanette (new)

Jeanette Um, author, sometimes people have opinions on the internets. It's this magical land of opinion.
Writing immature comments to a reader won't get you more readership, it actually gets you less.
Though that may not be your desire. Maybe you just want the internets to see that you know how to use them, LOL? Or LOL you like using internetspeak to be relevant LOL.
Either way, this goofiness and childish LOL behavior, as well as use of internetspeak is losing another reader in your dwindling collection, I'm sure.
Also.....LOL the internets never break. LOL.

Sfchick it's okay to have opinions, but why change your rating? seems wierd to me too.

message 4: by Wealhtheow (new)

Wealhtheow Don't worry, Cyndy--I change my ratings sometimes too. Sometimes I realize that a book had far more of an impact than I thought, or I missed something really interesting in my first read, and revise it upward. And sometimes I realize that I've forgotten the entire plot in just a few days, and I'll revise it downward. There's nothing wrong with changing one's mind, particularly in regards to something as petty (but enjoyable!) as star ratings on a website.

message 5: by Emma (new) - rated it 1 star

Emma Well, the author's shown their true colours! Dear me. Your review is really well written and constructive. The author needs to get a tougher skin if they're going to carry on in their profession, I think.

message 6: by Morgan (new)

Morgan Oh no! Someone is ~wrong~ on the internet!

I cannot believe the author was harassing people that gave her one star reviews. I definitely plan to stay away from things written by an internet bully.

With that said your review is completely fair and insightful. You weren't unkind, you just listed the problems you had with the book. I have no idea why she flipped out about it or why all the evidence of such has been bahleted.

message 7: by Wealhtheow (new)

Wealhtheow Morgang08, I know! This review was actually pretty nice, and had some very helpful constructive criticism. Now I wish I could see the author's hateful comments, just so I could mock how silly they are.

message 8: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Erno I've never read this author and have no idea who she is, but I am really disappointed by this extremely harsh and condescending review. I can see why she would have been hurt and angry. Sadly, the author's use of profanity and vitriol in her defense of her work rendered her arguments worthless. Originally the book was receiving very high ratings. She should have allowed her overall ranking to speak for itself, and discriminating readers would have seen how crass (and unkind) this one-star review actually was. It's very hard not to take criticism of your work personally, especially when you have devoted thousands of hours and poured your soul into it. I feel for the author, but wish she'd handled herself more maturely.

message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Parker Crass and unkind? Jeff, I urge you to read the review again. The review is FULL of CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and Cyndy even compliments the author on certain aspects. How is that crass or unkind?

message 10: by Kijikun (new)

Kijikun Rebecca wrote: "Crass and unkind? Jeff, I urge you to read the review again. The review is FULL of CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and Cyndy even compliments the author on certain aspects. How is that crass or unkind?"

Because Jeff is a sockpuppet or thinks reviews should be sunshine and kittens.

message 11: by Katie(babs) (new)

Katie(babs) Josh wrote: "Cindy Otty's a fucking bitch"

Because she gave a one starred review to a book? How does that make her a "fucking bitch"? I find you crude and tactless for using the word "fucking" in this forum and calling a woman a bitch.

Again, another prefect example of an author who has gone off the deep end because someone doesn't like her book. That show immaturity and unprofessionalism.

Just because an reviewer gives a book one star, does not mean they have a agenda. It means the author just failed in writing a a good book.

message 12: by April (new)

April Just because an author spends ridiculous amounts of hours does not automatically merit the book as good. No fuck that, you don't automatically deserve a great rating for writing a book.

message 13: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Yet another author I will avoid! I've seen this happen on GR a few times now - it's very tacky, not to mention disappointing. Readers are entitled to their opinions.

Great review Cyndy! :)

message 14: by Allen (new)

Allen Great review Cyndy! I greatly admire your calm and respectful attitude. It's a shame the author was such an ill-mannered child. Seemed she couldn't take the criticism, even when given in a mild and considerate manner. This review was anything but condescending! Very insightful and meticulous as well. Thanks for it!

message 15: by Becca-Rawr (new)

Becca-Rawr I honestly have no reason for being here, so ignore me. i didn't read the book, I don't know the author, I don't care for romance. However, upon reviewing this story, I am truly aghast that an author, some one that actually makes something of a 'public appearance' so to speak, would act in such a way.

Taking the review out of the situation, which I thought to be fantastic otherwise, it's still a rude and unbelievable response from an author, no doubt.

I just want to commend you, Cyndy, for really attacking this, and for all the other authors out there that, upon seeing a bad review, ignore it or laugh it off. I've given one star reviews to books that are, for some reason, really popular. And so far, thankfully, no harassing messages from the writers!

I count myself lucky to have two favorite authors who don themselves in Hawaiian shirts and worship the ground their fans walk on.

message 16: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Go you Cyndy! I have no idea what the big deal about changing a rating is. I change them occasionally, because as you get older and more mature you change your opinions on books you once thought were amazing. Or maybe you decided that it wasn't as good as the other books you gave the same rating. Some people just need to grow up!

message 17: by Miriam (last edited May 03, 2010 09:24PM) (new)

Miriam Wealhtheow wrote: And sometimes I realize that I've forgotten the entire plot in just a few days, and I'll revise it downward.

That's my most common reason for changing a rating (aside from actually rereading the book). Sometimes I'll give something 4 stars and a week later not even remember having read it. Then I bump it down.

Cyndy, my sympathies on the ugly name-calling. I've been subjected to flaming like this before and it is no fun. Conversely, I wrote a similar review of a book by Alison Pensy and got a very nice note thanking me for the feedback. Authors, this isn't middle school; respond to criticism in a mature and classy way and people will think better of you.

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