Review Requests

I am now accepting review requests. To make a request, read the instructions below and fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page.

I will give preference to indie authors (self- or independently published). Being an indie author myself, I know the struggle to reach a larger audience.

The amount of reading time I can get in varies, so I may not accept all requests, or read your book immediately even if I do.

I will post my review on this blog as well as Amazon and Goodreads. If there is another site where you want the review posted, let me know in your query. The review will be publicized on my Facebook and Twitter (where I am listed as Kai Raine).

I will be honest, but respectful. Preferences vary, and no book can be liked by everyone. If I did not enjoy it, there may still be others who would, and I will do my best to make sure that any negative review reflects that. However, if I give it less than a 3/5, I will check with you before I cross post to any site other than this blog. This is how I handle a well-written book I didn’t like.

I will use the 5-star rating system of Amazon and Goodreads, by this scale:

  • 5/5: Wow! Excellent, I loved this book to madness.
  • 4/5: Very enjoyable!
  • 3/5: Enjoyable, but with some notable flaws.
  • 2/5: I disliked it. Usually the lowest rating I will give a book.
  • 1/5: This is awful. I couldn’t stand it. A rare rating.

My preferences are wide and varied. There are no restrictions by genre or any other label. Send your query my way and I’ll let you know if I’m interested. This does include non-fiction.

I especially like (not an exclusive list, just a few highlights):

  • Novel or short story retellings of fairy tales/legends/poems/things I didn’t even know could be retold. (Retell something I’ve never seen retold before, and I am almost guaranteed to accept it.)
  • Character-driven stories.
  • Clever stories.
  • Stories about conflicts inside a family that highlight the complexity and pain and love underlying it all. (Doesn’t matter if the ending is happy or tragic. I love these portrayals all the same.)
  • Fantasy that defies stereotypes.
  • Science fiction that makes me think about real life.
  • Anything that makes me question my own assumptions.

Things I don’t like as a general rule (but there are always exceptions):

  • Love triangles (this can be done well, but it so frequently isn’t).
  • Stereotypes (also can be done well, but frequently isn’t).
  • “Fairy tale” retellings that are actually Disney movie retellings. (But do it with a clever twist and I might be interested anyway.)
  • If you choose to send me any of the following, be aware that these are attributes of stories that I generally give negative reviews:
    • War stories that glorify war, or portray one side as “the good guys” and the other as “the bad guys” without ever questioning that. (Disregard this if your book is science fiction or fantasy.)
    • Rape stories that romanticize or gloss over the act of rape, or where the trauma is cured fairly easily, for instance by falling in love.
    • Stories in a setting with systemic racism that treat racism like a bad thing done by bad people, while good people are of course not racist. (This makes me cranky.)
  • Frequent typos, misuse of words and/or poor grammar. There are no exceptions to this one, I’m afraid.

If you submit a non-fiction book, bear in mind that I am a neurobiologist, cognitive scientist and novel author. If you send me a book about quantum physics, it should be intended for a general public rather than anyone who knows about the field.

Fill out the form below. In the query section, be sure to include:

  • Title of the book
  • Genre
  • Blurb or summary
  • Word count or page count
  • If your book is a retelling, what is it based on?
  • Formats available (at this moment I will only accept ebooks)
  • Amazon or Goodreads link, if available
  • Anything else that might be relevant, such as if you have a date by or on which you want the review published. (Any such date MUST be at least 1 month in the future)
  • If your book is a retelling, tell me what inspired you to retell this particular tale. (Not a requirement, but preferred.)

If I choose to review your book, I will respond with a request for an ebook. Unless you specify a date on which you want the review posted and I accept that date, the time at which I will read and post my review is up to my discretion.

If I read 15% and do not enjoy it, I will contact you and ask if you want me to stop (in which case I will not review the book) or keep going.

I will state in my blog post that I received a free copy of the book in exchange for a review.

You can find other reviewers who accept indie books on the Indie View.

**You may use the form below to contact me with a question or comment.