My books have always received great reviews from both amateur and professional reviewers. Cool Creatures, Hot Planet has received 88% 4 to 5-star reviews, Endangered Edens has received 94% 4 or 5-star reviews, and my latest, Time Is Irreverent is currently at 79% 4 to 5-star reviews.

Because Time Is Irreverent is a controversial satire, I knew ahead of time that Republicans and religious conservatives would attack the book with vengeance. Still, no matter how much I prepared myself for the inevitable, I’m still human and can’t help be affected when people rip my novel. I put thousands of hours into the book and I believe it is far and away the best thing I’ve ever written. I also believe that as time goes by, Time Is Irreverent will be appreciated more and more for its prophetic content.

That being said, yesterday was depressing, as I read three scathing amateur reviews on Goodreads and Audible. Yes, I knew the reviewers weren’t from my intended audience. Still, they put me in a funk. Then, late in the day, I received an email from the Booklife Prize, which is owned by Publisher’s Weekly, and is one of the most prestigious writing awards for indie authors. The contest proceeds in multiple stages, with the winner getting $5,000.00 and a bunch of other goodies.

The first stage was a professional 1-10 Critics Report. I had seen such reports before and knew they didn’t hold back, with some books receiving overall numbers in the 3s or 4s. I cautiously opened the email, bracing myself for a continuation of my depressing day. Instead, I saw this:

  • Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
    Originality: 9 out of 10
    Prose: 8 out of 10
    Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
    Overall: 8.75 out of 10

The Critics Report also had a detailed written analysis, which I will share in a future post. The report doesn’t assure a win, but it does give me the highest overall score among the science fiction books entered so far that have visible Critics Reports.

So, yay! I think a great professional review from the Booklife Prize, owned by Publisher’s Weekly, far outweighs three scathing amateur reviews from people getting revenge because the political message in Time Is Irreverent hit a little too close to home.