|I was told not to smile for this|
picture, but I love this MINK Viking
photo too much not to use it.
Evidently this humble blog has gained enough of a
reputation that I am now getting requests to do book reviews with
greater frequency. If you are one of those newly published and/or established authors or publishers who wish me to review your book(s), this page is for you and I have formatted it in an FAQ manner. Please read the ENTIRE page if you are thinking of contacting me for a book review.
(If you are a reviewer and/or blogger yourself and want to contact me about the Fantasy series I wrote then you can ignore the rest of this page and just email me.)
First and foremost
I do not read Dark Fantasy, Science Fiction, Grimdark, Horror, Dystopian, Urban Magical Realism, graphic novels and/or comic books. Nor will I read books filled with swear-words/profanity (call me overly sensitive if you wish, but I loathe swear words and have, believe it or not, never uttered one in my life), and if I start a swear-filled book I will likely stop reading it. So if you are the author or publisher of one such book then please do not email me because, no matter how good the book in question may be, I will not read it. Do not say to yourself "well, maybe he will make an exception", because as a matter of purely personal taste these sub-genres do not interest me. Furthermore, I do not review pre-publication books.
Please remember that Stars Uncounted was meant to be a public diary of sorts rather than a review site and I mean for it to stay that way, hence please do not take a "no" answer personally. Like any human, I read what I feel like reading and, like any voracious Fantasy reader, my to-read-list is long. I do review books, yes, but not lightly and I set my own schedule for doing so. If you want the specifics on what that means, then do as I already counseled and read this entire page.
Will I answer emails?
If you want me to review an actual book and if I can find unimpeachable evidence online that the book exists and it is not a spam email, then yes (provided you actually write a personalized email and not just information about the book). However, I might not if comic books or graphic novels is what you want me to look at and absolutely will not if you want me to watch a movie. (Someone wanted me to review a zombie-apocalypse style comic once and the cover alone made me ill).
Also and on a side note, I am not stupid so please do NOT send me emails along the lines of "I am an experienced web-designer and can improve your website and help you in putting yours on Google top page and in getting more customers." Stars Uncounted is not a business and if I was interested in it becoming one then I would have made it a review site – and answered "yes" to more previous review requests – years ago. Any such emails sent to me will be ignored and I will block the sender. Again, I recognize internet trolls just as readily as I do those Gandalf tricked into becoming stone and judge them of approximate intelligence. In short, I do not suffer fools gladly and less those who take me for one, so I beg you not to waste my time or your own if you mean to send me such an email.
Do I write book reviews?
Tough question. Technically yes since I wrote one for Eli and the mystery of the Hallowshine dragon by Eve Cabanel and The Last Keeper, Book One of J.V. Hilliard's Warminster Series; and I suppose I end up writing an informal book review for everything I read. Yet, as was the case with the Monarchies of God by Paul Kearney, the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson, The Bone Queen by Alison Croggon, George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, and even The Book of Dust by Sir Philip Pullman, I do the same for books I quit and am seldom complementary. I would feel terrible accepting a book to review only to find myself less than fond of it. So, in true answer to the question "Do I write book reviews", the short answer is: technically yes, but do not hold your breath.
The long answer is that I love the freedom of reading and
fear that knowing I was reading a book purely to review it would sap my
enjoyment of it; so while you are welcome to send me book-review
requests there is a strong possibility that I will say no and a
better one that, in the event that I say yes, I will hold off until I
finish my current book/series. I only read one book at a time, as otherwise I
would spread both my mind and concentration too thin; and yes, that means that if I am on book two of, say, a five-volume work that means you wait until I am done. I did Eli and the mystery of the Hallowshine dragon immediately because it was/is a picture book – i.e. it was not exactly a time-consuming matter to read and review it. Remember that Stars Uncounted was meant to be a public diary of sorts rather than a review site, so please do not take a "no" answer personally; and if I say "yes" then rest assured that I will read it, but I set the schedule.
What books would I review?
Again: Not Dark Fantasy. Not Science Fiction. Not Grimdark. Not Urban Magical Realism. Not Dystopian or Horror novels. Not graphic novels and/or comic books. Not books filled with swear-words/profanity (call me overly sensitive if you wish, but I loathe swear words and have, believe it or not, never uttered one in my life). Probably not Romantic Fantasy either, but it varies. If you want to know why and, more to the point, what Romantic Fantasy I am more inclined to read, then read my Types of Fantasy page. I read high-minded High Fantasy as per the Spirit of Tolkien. I read unique Fantasy. I like books with humor. In short, I would review books I would naturally pick off the shelf and buy at a bookstore. Best just look at the Bookshelf here to see what I like reading and/or the other pages on Stars Uncounted. (Technically I guess I would review picture books too given Cabanel's Hallowshine Dragon one, but it would have to be a true tale out of Faerie and more than a mere retelling of an older tale with a few twists; Little Red Riding Hood wearing blue and bravely hunting down were-wolves is a nice idea, but probably not something I would want to review. If someone actually wrote such a book, any post I dedicated to it would be for pure entertainment value.)
Would I refuse to review a book that fits all the qualities/qualifications I have listed?
Yes, because I do not simply pick up an read every High Fantasy I come across. Like anyone, I read the back/inside cover and from that judge whether or not I think I would really like it. If I put it back, if I say "no", it is not a reflection on the book itself – neither a negative judgement nor condemnation or prediction of poor quality. It simply means that the book does not match my own purely personal taste and/or current mood for what I want to read. Hence, again, please do not take a "no" answer personally.
If I agreed to read and review a book, how long will it take me?
As long as it takes. I read at my own pace and will not be rushed. If you need a quick review then do not bother asking me. Given my busy schedule and the other hobbies any well-rounded person has (such as Kung Fu), I can usually read a 400+ page book every month or so.
Could I change my mind about a book I refused?
Yes. Unlikely, but yes – and if I do the first you will know about it is when you see the post that I began it. I reiterate, Stars Uncounted is a public diary of sorts and not a review site, a hobby and not a business.
One last thing...
If you were not thinking of asking me to write a review and only got the idea from reading this page then please pretend you never read this page. The point of this was not to open the floodgates but rather lay out basic expectations and ground rules. Why? Because most of those who have asked me for a book review have clearly not read much of Stars Uncounted, asking me to read and review urban romances, Dark Fantasy Horror novels, or a mix of both – and often write me as if I was an active fan of such things. If you are one of those authors and/or publishers and are reading this page now then I apologize and beg forgiveness for what might be justly called uncharitable bluntness; I am merely trying to make a point, because I get no joy out of refusing people and thus wrote this page in hopes that those who do desire to contact me will do so knowing both their chances and what sort of books I might actually agree to read and review.
Where is my email on this site?
That is the question, isn't it. Actually, I have no idea; I just assumed it was on the site somewhere since people kept emailing me and only realized it might not be due to M Gaffney's comment on the bottom of this page (in the comment section). Anyway, you can contact me about writing reviews at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after." - J.R.R. Tolkien
"Follow your bliss." - Joseph Campbell
"Each of you is a separate, individual you. You are a unique person, with wild ideas about what's truly important. Each of you has a gift that only you can bring to the world. A way you can help that others couldn't. And the way you express that gift is to hear this: trust yourself. Trust your gift." - Chandra Nalaar