The reviews are in

Gamers’ Rebellion was released last month and is about to have its public launch this Saturday (see: “Gamers’ Rebellion launch”). And it’s been getting a fair few reviews.

I was a little worried about the review situation. The first book in the series got lots of reviews. The second got less. I feared that the third would hardly get any. But no! Seven reviews so far… and most of them have been glowing. Here’s what they’ve been saying…

Francine Sculli at Buzz Words Books says:

Gamers’ Rebellion, is just as fast-paced and as meaning driven as its predecessors. Filled with strong insights into the human mind and touching on the essence of humanity and the values of trust, friendship, truth and identity that drove through the trilogy, this book is a gripping and touching futuristic look at what it means to be human.”
Read the full review.

Robyn L Donoghue at Pass It On says:

“This is a tense, action packed book; its subplot has a brilliance that sneaks up on you. While Tark and Zyra deal with space/time shifts; games within games; hidden doors; endless passageways; secret areas; battles and challenges, they are learning the meaning of true existence.”
Pass it On is a subscription only mag, but the author has also posted the review on The Book Depository website.

Jenny Mounfield at The Compulsive Reader says:

“It really does have everything: mind-bendingly awesome gadgets, characters you can’t help but care about and even a side-order of romance. But more than that this story, while deceptively simple on the surface, challenges readers to consider the big questions regarding our existence. What exactly is reality?  Are our gods merely game designers? Did the universe give rise to consciousness, or did consciousness create the universe? Allowed to have my way, I would put these books at the top of every school’s reading list.”
Read the full review.

Claire Saxby at Aussie Reviews says:

“The action zips between worlds with jet-propelled speed, tension rising with each world-crossing. … There are plenty of topics to generate classroom discussion eg ethics, moral responsibility, even the notion of what constitutes ‘life’ and ‘living’.”
Read the full review.

Georgie Donaghey at Creative Kids Tales says

“To place yourself, even for a minute, in the world George Ivanoff has created is mind blowing.”
Read the full review.

Narrelle M Harris, who launched the book for me at the Continuum 9 spec fic convention, also wrote about it on her blog, Mortal Words:

“…the Gamers books are fast-paced, character-driven adventures full of humour, excitement and unexpected resolutions to thorny problems. But they are also about breaking out of conformity and becoming yourself: engaging and important concepts for readers of any age, not simply the young readership at whom the books are aimed.”
Read the full review.

But no book is going to only get glowing reviews. There are bound to be at least one or two reviewers who don’t like it. And that’s fine. I don’t mind getting unfavorable reviews if the reviewer states his/her reasons, rather than just trashing it. And even a less than enthusiastic review can still provide some positive publicity for a book. There’s even the potential for an author to learn from a well-written negative review. Gamers’ Quest got one negative review in which the reviewer argued that the way Tark and Zyra spoke was unrealistic and difficult to read and thus hampered her enjoyment of the book. Although it was clear in my mind that their speech patterns were meant to be contrived and unrealistic, this reviewer’s comments made me realise that perhaps I had not made it obvious enough in the book. So this review was directly responsible for me introducing a story thread in the second book, which addressed the way Tark and Zyra spoke — a thread that continues into the third book. So negative reviews can indeed be useful to an author, if s/he chooses to learn from them.

My first not-so-great review for Gamers’ Rebellion at least states that the book would appeal to “people who hold an interest in video games”. And the reviewer does concede that he hasn’t read the first two books and that he’s not into novels about computer games. Fair enough! You can read the full review at Young Adult Reader Reviews – Australia.

Seven reviews in one month, with six of them positive — I’m VERY HAPPY with that. Hopefully there are more reviews to come. [Or am I just being greedy?]