I woke up this morning to a cascade of 1-star reviews on Amazon. All three of the books in my Tormay trilogy had, overnight, received them. The Hawk and His Boy & The Wicked Day has both received six 1-star reviews, and The Shadow at the Gate had received seven 1-star reviews. All the reviews are done by the same seven people, so I guess they trooped from book to book last night. Their comments are short and somewhat vague and, in several instances, factually incorrect in relation to my plot. Interestingly enough, most of them have only reviewed my books and, strangely enough, two other authors: Jennifer Howe and Michael von Werner. Those that reviewed Howe and Werner gave them both 5-star reviews. I have never met Ms. Howe or Mr. Werner and I’ve never reviewed or mentioned their writing in any fashion, but I’m suspecting that I have somehow offended one or both of them. Also, oddly enough, they are both the only authors published by a company called Wodan Publishing.
I don’t mind receiving a well-earned 1-star review. This cascade, however, is blatantly malicious. After all, who in their right mind would read the first book of a series, hate it so much to give it a 1-star review, and then immediately read the second book and the third book as well? A sane person stops after the first book and moves on to spend their time more wisely. Anyway, I’ve written Amazon in the States and in the UK in order to figure out how to rectify the situation. This number of 1-star reviews has an effect.
Currently, my mood is a mixture of irritation, amusement, and bemusement. How odd to think that adults (I’m assuming the culprits are adults) would behave in such a petty fashion. I thought this sort of thing was left to wither on the playground.
From a writer’s perspective, it’s interesting to compare the various reviews left by my uninvited critics. If I was a suspicious person, I’d wager good money that they were all written by the same person. The phrasing and word choices sound remarkably similar.