I can't be the only one who's noticed it.. because I know I've read some other similar comments lately somewhere.. but does it seem like an awful lot of blogs all seem to review the same books.. and always seem to give them good reviews?
Do they never review a book, and then think.. my god that was horrible? the cynic in me thinks they review these "big release" books.. and then give them glowing reviews whether they really like them or not.. just to keep the gravy train of ARCs flowing. Many Many of these same blogs who are guilty of this dodgy reviewing scheme also seem to continually post pictures of "what came in the mail today".. which generally is all the books that aren't the ones the publisher really wants to push. Are the blogs simply being used as part of a marketing scheme?
I know I got taken by it once already, I bought in to the hype of the First Law trilogy entirely. So I'll admit that perhaps I'm just skeptical now about anything that reviewers like. Though it does seem to be an inordinate amount of stuff from PYR and ORBIT that gets the reviews these days.. and having read an author each from PYR, Joe Abercrombie and ORBIT, K.J.Parker.. I can't help but find the only similarity that these authors have.. with another pair of authors that are tremendously hyped on the blogs but I can't stand. China Meivelle and Richard K. Morgan.. they are all British.. so what happened in Britain? Is British fantasy going through a period like British Sci-Fi went through in the 60's and 70's? or British Comic Books went through in the 70's and 80's?
I feel it's important because, just like the Comic books.. it seems to be spreading to this side of the pond.. through the likes of Scott Lynch and Sam Sykes.. Authors I've never actually read but feel no desire to read simply because they have either been compared favourably to one of the British authors I mentioned.. or have been reviewed favourably by a blogger who gave high marks to one of the British authors I mentioned.
I find the grim and gritty, morally shady, cynical to a fault fantasy novels to be at complete loggerheads with anything remotely resembling what I would consider to be good. I like Anti-Heros as much as the next guy.. But I feel that a balance must be met some where. I personally see enough "bad" people exploiting "good" people in real life.. and part of the reason I like the Fantasy Genre is.. the bad people actually get punished.. instead of in real life where they just get elected to high Office or install themselves as president for life in a coup.
I know I've wandered a bit by this point.. But I just feel as if bloggers, in their efforts to score free swag are contributing to the destruction of something I really enjoy. It's really pretty bad.. I've actually found myself reading the blogs to find books that the reviewer dosen't like.. and then seeking them out just to be contrary.. and in some cases really enjoying the books.. but of course the criticisms leveled at these books tend to be things like "too traditional" or "Too black and white".. I think I'd happily read hundreds of Tol-clones rather than be subjected to one more K.J. Parker..
But if thats the case, and "traditional Fantasy" is a clear category.. what exactly does this new stuff get called? my own vote, of crap, is a bit too laced with hyperbole.. but I'm open to suggestions.