Is it me or do some of the 5 star reviews reek (no pun intended) of BS. They say they love it, but dont give any particular reason, some admit not having read it all, and some sound like a blurb on a back of a book.
Yeah. About 6 really pathetic 5-stars in the past half-day, 2 of them professing to be only on the first few pages. Joke's on them, ultimately, since it would take 42 consecutive 5-star reviews simply to bring this turd back to an ignoble 3.0 rating.
Wow. I was just going to create this thread. The latest batch of 5-stars just reek of sock-puppeting. This book's getting slammed, and then suddenly overnight like six 5-star reviews spring up, and as expected, none of them back up their rating with anything resembling solid reasons. The whole thing just reeks of damage control.
I could go ahead and say the same thing about the 1 star reviews, a lot of those are very poorly written reviews.
While Im sure some cheating goes on I think most reviews will be valid (especially those with real name), you'll just have to accept the fact that people can have an entirely different opinion than you. I still didnt finish the book (though Im getting close), but when I do Ill probably add a 5 star review.
1-star may be overly critical, but many of the negative reviews are well-written and demonstrate that they've actually read the book. You and everybody else praising this book need to stop telling us to "accept that people have a different opinion". We're okay with that. It's not the problem.
The problem is a large majority of these 5-star reviewers in no way indicate anywhere in their review that they've actually read the book. Look at the few 5-star reviews that have sprung up over the past day. They make no mention of plot, characters, nothing that shows they've actually READ the book they're giving a perfect score. I don't care if someone thinks this book is the best in the series, good for them, but I expect them to back it up. What about the book justified the 5-star rating? Why is it the best in the series? Very few, if any, 5-star reviewers are able to answer these questions and myself and many others have every reason to find them suspicious.
You didn't read what I wrote. I don't care if somebody likes reading about characters walking around for a thousand pages. I don't care if somebody likes reading about turtles. More power to them. I never said I expected this book to be on par with ASoS either, that's just unrealistic. What I DID say is none of these 5-star reviews back up their scores with anything that shows they've even read the book, and I don't think that's asking a lot.
And you're right, it's our fault we didn't like this book. All hundreds of us. It's not because Martin put out a mediocre book, it's because we, as readers, expected too much and we're being unfair. Yea, that's it. It's a conspiracy! Get a grip, man. NOBODY EXPECTED THIS BOOK TO BE ON PAR WITH A STORM OF SWORDS. Find where I said that and quote me, because I didn't. What we expected was some measure of plot progression and instead we got a bloated 1,000 tome that barely progressed anybody's story an inch.
As a reply to your previous post, I have to disagree. I do not find most of the 1-star reviews to be of better quality than the 5-star reviews. Both groups of reviews have well written reviews and poorly written reviews. The 1-star reviews get more helpful votes, but I dont think that does reflect their quality.
edit: Also, I dont "need to stop telling you" anything. The point is very valid.
Yea, I just reread his post and realized it was dripping with sarcasm. Well, you know what they say about sarcasm and text, it doesn't exactly translate well. ;)
And my issue is not with how many people liked or disliked this book. My issue is this sudden outpour of 5-star ratings that seemed to have happened overnight. And the reason I find it suspect is BECAUSE they're positive. Nobody would have anything to gain if they were negative reviews (Maybe some hardcore GRRM haters, but where would be the motive behind that?), but with positive reviews it just looks like somebody is trying to bloat the score because 3-stars isn't exactly a favorable score for a series that used to be rated so highly.
It sounds like a conspiracy theory, I realize that, but what other explanation is there? A half-dozen readers just realized what a gem this book was last night and rushed to Amazon to leave positive, and equally vague, reviews with none of them mentioning anything plot/character-related that indicated they read the book?
I agree that the publisher wont be happy to see the book get a low rating, they may even want to do something about it. However, until you can prove anything, what you say is still a theory, not a "reality".
Likewise, it is in your opinion that the book was a complete disaster. Some people share that opinion, some do not. Importantly, it is an opinion, again, not a fact. Not everyone will share your opinion, the widespread ratings reflect that clearly, and you cannot just discard that as being invalid.
We can agree that some of the 5-star reviews are bogus. My initial point was that some of the 1-star reviews are equally bogus. I have seen several of those that match exactly to the description you give of the 5-star bogus reviews. The difference is the number of stars and the "this review is helpful" votes. Bad reviews yield much more helpful votes in general, probably because most of the people casting the votes didnt like the book.
Some recent examples: " By THISBOOKSUCKED!!! - See all my reviews (1) Don't waste your money. Wait for someone to give you a brief summary of the book. It was so freaking boring, what happened to his imagination? I couldn't keep my eyes open. Next book I'm going to try to get off torrent just in case it sucks too. "
" By Marianne Temesy - See all my reviews (1) I have just completed reading the first 4 books of this series having gotten interested in it through the HBO Series, Game of Thrones. The first 3 books were terrific and I roamed about everywhere with my Kindle reading them. In book 4, A Feast for Crows, the story line fell apart. I agreed with everything the true readers wrote of that book and I scanned reviews of fans of the series for the 5th book, A Dance with Dragons, looking specifically for spoilers. Now I know how the story is progressing--it's not.
Once again, thank you all for sparing me the $14.99 Kindle price and a week of my life! "
We can disagree on how much of a disaster the book actually was. My opinion of this is not final, Im at page 836 so I didnt write a review yet (I agree with you that people who didnt finish the book shouldnt write reviews), but so far the book doesnt read as a disaster to me.
I dont actually know whether to laugh or be angry at the bogus reviews :) i wonder where they actually work. HBO or the Publishers? The reason I brought this topic up here was because I did at one of the fanboy sites and someone replied 'the haters be hating'. This really p'd me off because I loved the first 3 books and 4 was ok, and over the years when the 5th book kept getting delayed and some people went really crazy with their hate I didn't say anything negative. And now because i dont like this book you get called a 'hater' ???
I know it's conspiracy theory, but I could actually see a publisher getting concerned at loss of sales. A score of 3 out of 5 isn't too bad, but 2.5 looks bad, and you'd think that would hurt sales somewhat.
I agree that a lot of the 5 star reviews look like they have filler in the description, which is suspect because if you love something that much you like to discuss it in detail. In contrast, you can't blame the 1 star reviews for not going into great detail, because if they dislike it that much they probably just want to leave a score and a short message to warn others about how bad it is.
What seems clear beyond the shadow of a doubt is that the 1 and 2 star reviews are far, far outstripping the 4 and 5 star reviews. To me, the sheer weight of this is a strong indicator that the book has weaknesses whether or not the reviews themselves are well or porrly written individually. I still have some hope that Winds, if and when it ever arrives, might bring back the former greatness and that this is mid-series doldrums, but the public has voted and the doldrums are real.
You can bet Martin's publishers have a hand in this, or somebody with a vested interest in making sure sales don't drop off. Most people who leave legit 5-star reviews will go in-depth about what they liked because it's their way of reinforcing their recommendation. It's common sense. If you want somebody to buy a product you enjoyed, you tell them what you liked about it. Likewise, the negative reviewers will highlight the flaws to make the reader aware of the product's flaws. The negative reviews, for the most part, are doing that. The 5-star reviews? Not really. There have been tons of 5-star reviews in the past few days that read like a blurb from the back of the book. Nowhere in any of their posts is there anything about characters, plot or anything that indicates they've even read the book, and most people seem to be seeing through them by now. They also never respond to comments left on their reviews, but that's understandable. It's hard to take part in a discussion of a book you've never read.
And Michael brings up a good point too. The negative reviews are often shorter because why would somebody who hated a product spend an hour writing about it? They're just leaving a "warning" so other people won't buy it. It's the 5-star crowd who should be passionate about their writing since they're basically trying to convince you to buy the product, and we're not seeing that.
I did think that the maps were pretty good in this book. Too small, but much more informative than in the editions of the other volumes I've read. I would like to see a world map to see how things go together.
But the maps are certainly not something to base a 5-star review on.
A person leaving a short non-descriptive 5-star review could equally just be leaving a message that the book is not as bad as everyone else is indicating. Not everyone has the time/desire to write an overlong review.
This isn't what an author/publisher pumping up reviews looks like. If anything those are usually very long and completely gushing of the work, not drive-by. Look at The Unremembered: Book One of The Vault of Heaven as an example, there it was the author's friends at work.
This...just looks like fans that usually don't review posting a quick 5 star and running. They've been getting worked up about Amazon on Martin's blog for a few weeks now.