Finally, a chance to use that headline.
After all the really nice reviews of Pandemonium—like two I ran across this week, A.M. Dellamonica’s at Sci-Fi.com and Faren Miller’s at Locus—I finally found one that was negative. No, negative’s too weak a word. The reviewer, from a site I hadn’t run across before called Static Multimedia, found the book to be repulsive, depressing, disorganized, meaningless, and “void of goodness.”
But why summarize? Reviewer Liese Cope says it best:
Pandemonium is void of anything inspirational and is not very thought-provoking. It seemed to be a jumbled mess of ideas and questions that never have any resolution or sometimes even any point. The book was also very depressing. There seems to be no hope and no sign of good. When dealing with the concept of demons (normally thought of as an ultimate evil) a reader desires to see that there is some goodness left in the world. However, this whole book is void of goodness and faith in humanity. In fact, even the “nun” who “helps” Del along the way is a cussing, violent, angry, and an impure person. The one person who would be expected to be a form of hope and goodness is very twisted, just like the book.
It’s obvious Pandemonium wasn’t written to be the feel good novel of the year, but if a book is going to be that depressing and utterly serious, the author usually owes the reader some glimmer of hope or some gem of wisdom that can be taken away. Unfortunately this book is void of both.
The key word seems to be “void.”
However, you really need to read the entire review to understand that not only is the book bad, but that I am evil, too. “Pandemonium just gives excuses for people’s actions, adding to the ‘not my fault, not my problem’ society we are living in. Ultimately, I [sic] Gregory tore down the integrity of humanity, showing them as nothing more than empty boxes for demons to fill and take total control over at any time.”
I (Gregory) was really hoping that no one would notice the integrity-tearing thing, much less the void of hope glimmers and wisdom gems. But you can’t fool all the critics all the time.
17 thoughts on “Demonium Panned!”
Wow. I have to say I really, really, really disagree with that assessment. I’d say your protagonist faces up to responsibility in a big way.
Thanks, Alyx. Authors shouldn’t respond to negative reviews—or any reviews, probably—but this one was just so… weird.
For my next book, though, I’m definitely going to shoot for the feel good novel of the year. There will be puppies.
But of course, mon ami. Demonic, rabid puppies. But I thought that went without saying.
If I ever start a traveling mime troupe, it’s going to be called “Goes Without Saying.”
Sheesh, leave it to you to hunt around until you finally find a negative review! Of course, I do the same thing. Only it’s easier to find the negative ones in my case, ha. I’m too “depressing.” Well, shit, I know THAT. Tell me something new.
Jack, could you please try to make your comments here a little more upbeat?
Well for being a bad review, you still got 2 stars out of 4. Unless of course that was the reviewers way of showing you “some glimmer of hope or some gem of wisdom that can be taken away”?
Today saw a pwetty fower and it made me smile!
Man, even when you suck, you’re great! Most writers would have to be coherent in order to tear down the integrity of humanity.
Jack– that’s better.
Paul, I think the rating speaks to Aaron’s comment — the book may be awful, but it is also dangerous (one star) and powerful (deuce!). Humanity, beware.
So what you’re saying Daryl is that you have embedded some subliminal bible code type of mind control text into your book so that at some future date you will be powerfully dangerous. Though more likely instead of powerfully dangerous, your mind control effect resulted in me already buying 4 copies of the book.
I knew I should have skipped this book, if only I had waited for the “correct” review to come out first. I think for the rest of my life, I’m going to be “controlled” into buying all the copies of this book I see.
PS. If dangerous is one star and powerful is two stars, thank the Hellion you didn’t get more stars.
Don’t try to out-DaVinci me, Paul. Part of the Plan is that people will discover the Plan, or what they THINK is the Plan, but that only draws them further into the clutches of the True Plan. Even this discussion of the False True Plan is part of the True Plan. Or is it?
Regardless, if my calculations are correct, by the time 10,000 readers reach the triple-encrypted sex scene in Chapter 14, I will become not only powerfully dangerous, not only dangerously powerful, but I will enter that state of adverbial adjectiveness that L. Ron Hubbard and the Anti-Llamas of the Temple of Madness call Powerously Dangerful.
But really, FOUR copies? Thanks, man.
L. Ron Hubbard. Man you ARE aiming to be Powerously Dangerful. I can see it now, Tom Cruise will be running around saying he is possessed by the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
Yeah four, just doing my part. I gave 3 away as gifts and so far I haven’t gotten any back. Though maybe that was due to the lack of a return address on the package…
Well, now I know I’ll have to read it. Honestly, since sitting beside you at the World Fantasy banquet is suspected that you were evil. I mean that in the best since of the word, of course. I’ll look forward to reading the novel that proves it. 😉
ps- I did enjoy meeting you. Best of luck with your evil intentions.
David, it was a pleasure. You were very gracious when I accidentally got some of my evil on your shirtsleeve.
Everybody, David’s book Acacia got all kinds of mad press. If you like morally ambiguous epic fantasy — that is to say, epics for adults — then this sounds like the book for you. Not that I’ve read it yet. I just met David. And last week I had evil to do.
Anyway — see http://www.davidanthonydurham.com
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