Tonight I put out the call: “Have you read Planetfall? What did you think?”
Two readers came back with comments, one on Twitter and one on the book’s Facebook page. Here’s what they had to say:
The first review was on Twitter, and straight to the point!
Phew! It’s always good to know that a reader likes your book. But what about the other readers? Here’s some more feedback, this one from one of the lucky competition winners:
As you can read, they “loved it” and thought it was “great writing”. This is the point where my head starts to explode. But fear not dear reader – hopefully soon there’ll be a magazine review which totally demolishes it to bring balance back!
I probed a little with this competition winner, to find our what they specifically liked. They mentioned the main character and the pacing of the book:
I’m relieved that the main character, Kate, has come across so well. I put a lot of effort into writing Kate, and it was very important to me to have a strong female protagonist; science fiction is often lacking in these.
One of the early criticisms of initial drafts of the book was its slow start: the opening chapter was slow and cinematic and atmospheric. But of course readers need a hook and action. I’m really happy that the reader has said that they “loved right from the first page there was action”.
The comments about Kate are reflected by another reader who compared the book to Iain M. Banks’ work. The first comment comes from their experience part way through the book:
Then a little further in in which they compare it to Iain M. Banks (nice! thanks):
And finally after finishing the book:
That final comment is great, “More please” and chimes with the reader further above who asked for more.
After five years of writing the book – and indeed, as the first book I ever wrote – this is a huge relief. I remember when I finished the first draft, and somewhere on Twitter is a tweet proclaiming it. And now I’ve had my first reader reviews I feel like I’ve finally completed a journey with it from decision to write, developing as a writer, finishing the book, having initial drafts proof read, making amendments, beefing up certain characters, re-writing the opening chapters endlessly… The end of a journey, and a happy one at that.
If you’ve read Planetfall: All Fall Down and have a review, I’d love to hear it – good, bad, indifferent, I don’t mind. Please let me know what you thought of it.