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On the Importance of Reviews

When I was younger, I wouldn’t review things. Not that I wasn’t critical. In fact, I believe I was much more critical when in school than I am now. School taught me to judge things harshly. I have learnt since then that it really isn’t worth that much energy unless you truly want to or have an interest in learning something from it.

There were all of those assignments though. Review this book. Critically. And I hated most of those books too. I’m not sure whether I hated them because I was being forced to read them in this light or not. But it was beyond frustrating.

So flash forward. Time for the internet. It took me a long time to put myself forward on this platform, though I spent a good deal of time haunting certain grounds. And because I didn’t want to put myself out there, I didn’t review anything.

This is very important when it comes to books. Even more so when it comes to self-published authors. The reviews, or even just the rating, is the only thing that will draw people in. You can have the best selling point in the world, but when people come up and look and see that it looks like no one has picked it up at all, they hesitate.

This isn’t just books. This is all products. If there isn’t a rating, forget about the review, people are less inclined to pick things up.

A few years ago I realized this was the case. Because it took me that long to shop online, first thing. Harder to do that in a store (as most people forget to do the survey, and even that is about the store and staff – not about the products you buy). After that, it’s when I started thinking for the first time since childhood that I could become a writer. It’s what everyone was talking about.

I have nothing new to add on the subject. This isn’t just something I bring up for me. If you buy any book from anything online and you can rate and review it? Do it. Even if it’s just the rating. It can be hard sometimes to write out exactly what it was about the book that you liked, hated, or whatever. It takes time. Time you could be spending picking up another book.

Take it from me, someone who rates all my books now, for the sake of others. People need to hear whether you like things or not. Maybe you aren’t the audience, but other people deserve to know too.

And an author can’t get a bad critique. (I think I already espoused the difference of critiques and just shit-talking something, so I won’t get into that.)

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Champion of the Gods (pt9)

“Shu-fang!”

How War’s presence called for battle! And that was even before Shu-fang turned to look at her. She stood at seven feet, with blazing red hair falling down from her open faced helmet, contrasted against pale skin littered with scars. Mementos of her labours. Shu-fang knew that most of them War had seen coming and had allowed them anyway.

Shu-fang remained calm and let War advance upon her. War stopped many lengths in front of her, looking down upon the much shorter woman. “What is going on?”

Shu-fang sighed. “What do you mean? That is a very open question.”

War scowled. “With you! I might not have gone searching for you just yet except for your message.”

Of course War would not understand the concept of retirement. War was constant. There was no pause in her eyes. Even when one confrontation ended for mortals, she was already in another one. Even now, standing in front of Shu-fang without any show of violence toward the immortal, she was a part of something greater.

A Gift for Life and Death (pt23)

If the discussion hadn’t gotten the phoenix’s attention and the subject hadn’t garnered her curiosity, the mention of Life and Death settled the phoenix’s temper where nothing else had. The feathers which had ruffled and made the creature look so much larger had settled to give her the sleek profile that she had previously shown while sleeping upon the wizened tree.

“You wish to gift something to Death? And Life? Whatever for? Life has everything she would ever want in creation. Death receives the truth of everything at their end of this form of their existence. Why would you want to gift either with a mere object?”

Forgiveness shook their head. “It’s not just an object. It’s a symbol.”

Those eyes shone. “A symbol of what, little creature?”

The angel leaned back on their hands, a better angle to look up at the bird. “I wanted to give them something to show how close they are to each other. After all, someone like you exists. They aren’t as far away from each other as they think.”

A Gift for Life and Death (pt22)

Her wings extended and it was like flames shot out from the motion. But it was simply warm air, perhaps a circulation from the very volcano. Forgiveness thought otherwise. It wasn’t the same sort of heat from exertion or from the vents of the volcano. It caught Forgiveness’ breath and would have knocked them to the ground if they hadn’t already been sitting. It did make them close their eyes against the pressure and when they opened them again, the phoenix was there in front of them, beak opened and talons flashing.

The angel opened their mouth. “Can I have a symbol of your reincarnation?”

The phoenix stopped, neck bending down to drop her head down to Forgiveness’ level. “You wish for something of mine?”

Forgiveness nodded. “I need something. For a gift.”

Those blue eyes peered into Forgiveness, then around at the rest of their mortal body. “You have come a long way for a gift.”

“It can’t just be anything. It’s for Life and Death.”

Champion of the Gods (pt8)

Then she felt it.

It came slowly, but after a couple of days she could not deny the sense in the air. How it began to twist the people here. Spats over nothing, plain arguments nearing the heated peak. It was blood lust. It crept through the trees and down into the town, slipping into the houses and into their residents. They looked out, suspicious of strangers. Ready to bear arms.

War had come.

With a sigh, Shu-fang packed up her things and got out of town before War made herself known. Before War tore this peaceful town apart.

Shu-fang went by foot. She didn’t take the road, not yet, because she wasn’t risking travelling along with someone else when War showed up, because War would catch up. Shu-fang did not doubt War would catch up. She eventually heard the footsteps behind her, consistent and ever closer. Unlaboured.

A Gift for Life and Death (pt21)

The wizened tree stood on top of the volcano, a rather pathetic looking spindly piece of dried wood, that somehow was able to support the weight of the bird which slept on top of it.

Forgiveness rubbed at their arms, looking at the majestic beast. The feathers were of varied colour. The plumage of the body was golden where exposed with the occasional line of a deep red which showed between the line of each individual feather. The wings darkened, where those two different colours eventually blended together into a ruby tip for each primary feather. The scales of her feet were red as well, with white nails. The same colour as the beak, which stood in contrast to the carmine colouring of the head. No other winged creature would look like this, especially not at this size.

And at this stage of life, looking very healthy. Nowhere near the rebirth in her cycle.

Forgiveness sat down to take a moment – particularly to see what they could do about their own wings. Such a mess, after Pup had left them, and they hadn’t been fast enough to pass unscathed through the creatures of the world that tended to think an angel didn’t belong. Forgiveness was used to this behavior, though they usually did better at avoiding any marring caused by it. They didn’t want to return to Life like this, she would be saddened by their pain.

Then there was a sound. The angel looked up and saw what it was. Bright sapphire eyes glimmered with irritation. The phoenix had awakened. Apparently there was some sort of protocol that Forgiveness hadn’t observed by coming up here like this and the phoenix wasn’t happy.