Before I started reviewing at Rabid Reads, I either liked a book or I didn’t. I didn’t analyze the whys or think critically about what specifically kept me turning the pages of one story and throwing my hands up in disgust with another.
Such a laissez-faire attitude does not make for book reviews worth reading, so I had to make adjustments. It took awhile to unravel all the things that make my nostrils flare, but I now have a concise list of rules that help me avoid and/or explain the scenarios that make me the most angsty.
I HAVE RULES:
1. Once you’re dead, YOU’RE DEAD.
The reason for this is simple: I’m escapist reader. My ability to escape is determined by my ability to trust the author. If someone dies, I mourn that death (or rejoice, depending), so if that character is miraculously returned to life, the next time someone dies . . . are they really dead? I don’t know. B/c trust has been broken.
And if I can’t trust an author, I don’t want to read their books.
2. No abuse of time travel to “fix” gratuitous problems.
This rule was originally an outgrowth of rule #1, but it’s evolved as I’ve experienced authors using time travel to reverse any number of horrible events they’ve inflicted on their characters.
It’s lazy. I don’t like it.
3. Once a supe, ALWAYS a supe.
There is no cure for vampirism. Cutting off the head of your sire with a silver blade on the full moon with daisies in your hair and the blood of seven criminals in your veins will not do one damn thing to turn you human again.
Same goes for every other supernatural type out there. Deal with it.
4. No cheating.
Just don’t. I see red when it happens.
5. No violence b/c YAY! Violence!
Violence is a necessary aspect of most SFF literature, and we all know that I’m one bloodthirsty gal, so it’s not violence itself that I find objectionable. It’s when authors pull the wings off flies b/c they can that irritates me.
There should always be a purpose to the violence.
6. Don’t be crass.
See #5. Substitute “crass” for “violence.”
7. Don’t abuse the shock factor.
See #5. Substitute “shock factor” for “violence.”
8. No mind control or other god-like abilities without restrictions.
It makes things too easy for the owner of the god-like ability, and where’s the fun in that?
9. If you give a human purple eyes, I will cut you.
Humans don’t have purple eyes. No, not even Elizabeth Taylor. Her eyes were very, very BLUE. Not purple.
10. Don’t reference real world things in fantasy worlds. Like Corinthian columns. Without Corinth, there can be no Corinthian columns.
This is another rule that goes back to my escapist reader roots. I’m basically against anything that’s going to jerk me out of the story, and wondering how a fantasy world, wholly unrelated to the real world, manages to have a copy of Sun Tzu’s ART OF WAR is at the top of that list.
What about you? Do my peeves also peeve you? What are some of your rules?