I just got this review from Julie Ann Dawson, and I'm pretty pleased with it. Over at Amazon, she gave the book three out of five stars which essentially means that the book worked for her even though there were things she didn't like. Honestly, I always find that when I'm buying a book, I'm more prone to reading the 1, 2, and 3 star reviews than the glowing ones (it's pretty rare these days I rate anything 5 stars).
Her summary of the book is spot on. She liked the fact that this was just a short, to the point, action adventure. Seriously, there are books out there that haven't even introduced all of the characters yet in the same page count that contains the entirety of "The Bone Sword." The point of this book isn't to have an absurd, convoluted plot. The point is to get to the action quickly, and keep the pedal to the metal until the story is done. I'm very happy that Julie Dawson recognized that and appreciated the book for what it was.
She was down on my adverb usage in a couple of places, and in reading this criticism I think there is a little bit of validity. I've been discussing the adverb question with some of my writer friends, and I think I'll experiment with seeing how future passages I write read with and without adverb constructions. It does seem to be true that an adverb takes you a little bit out of the scene and places the reader more in an "observer" rather than "participant" role...which is fascinating.
Dawson's comment wasn't that I overused adverbs, but that I used some strange ones, which is definitely true. You see, I really like to play with language, and there are more components to a good sentence than simply what it means. You also have to consider how it looks, and how it sounds. Sometimes the word that doesn't have the right meaning does have the right rhythm and sound, and if you read that sentence while considering other aesthetic considerations besides meaning, the craftsmanship is obvious. It's sort of like how the sun doesn't contain the color green, but an artist might use the color green to paint the sun in a way that helps tie it in with the rest of his/her painting.
Still, I can see Dawson's point that if the meaning consideration is too far displaced, it can have a jarring effect on the reader.
Essentially, this review has given me a couple good things to think about which I fully intend to incorporate into other works. Three star reviews are often the most valuable reviews because your happy to read them, yet they contain some valid criticisms (5 star reviews tend to be all praise, and 1 star reviews are all criticism...3 star reviews are the useful ones).
Anyway, read the review (and buy everyone in your family a copy of this book...you don't want to be left behind when the sequel comes out!).