Review Policy

Please note: As of April 1, 2014, I AM NOT accepting review requests from authors I do not know. Apologies for the inconvenience. This will not be forever, but I can’t say how long it will be yet. I feel about two months behind on reviewing / reading, but I will post again when I am open. I am still considering requests that I received 3/31 or earlier. (See below for how far behind I am.)

I will continue to read and post reviews, but I need some time to get caught up. If we know one another (we talk on Twitter, we met on a Goodreads board, etc.) or I have given one of your books a 3.5 rating or higher in the past, please feel free to contact me about your book.

What I Review

While I’ve read books I loved and met great authors of all genres, I’m interested right now in adult speculative and dark fiction. This includes:

  • Fantasy,
  • Urban fantasy,
  • Science fiction,
  • Psychological horror,
  • Uptopian/dystopian/apocalyptic,
  • Etc., so forth, and so on.
  • New! I will also accept non-speculative dark fiction, in the vein of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or The Never List by Koethi Zan.

Right now, I’m not interested in:

  • Romance / erotic romance as the main plot (although romantic sub-plots and sex in general are fine),
  • Body/gory horror (if there’s only a little, I might be ok, but I’ll need more information before deciding).

I may change my mind about romance in the future, but I highly doubt I’ll change my mind about the horror. I love psychological horror, but body parts give me nightmares. It’s a fine line I walk, eh?

I love self-published and small press published books, but I’m tough. If you haven’t hired an editor, I will notice and comment in my review. If your synopsis or first chapter is riddled with errors, I will turn you down (but that’s not the only reason–I’m busy and I can’t read everything!).

Do You Write Negative Reviews?

Yep. I try to balance the good with the bad, which you can see in the reviews I’ve posted so far. Here is a blog article that did a much better job than I at explaining why I write negative reviews.

What do you mean by your star ratings?

It’s the same as Amazon’s or Goodreads’s ratings, with my own special twist. I always round up when posting my reviews on other sites.

  • 5 stars – This book changed my life in some way and, in a creepy cult-like fashion, I recommend everyone also read it to have their life thus transformed. For instance, I read 1984 at an impressionable young age, which allowed me to formulate all kinds of neat governmental conspiracy theories and was probably the driving force behind my crazy X-Files obsession in junior high and high school. Or We Need to Talk About Kevin put me in the mind of a spree killer’s mother and took me down thought-paths I never thought existed and also made me cry a lot.
  • 4 stars – I loved this book. It was well-written, and I’m probably in the target audience.
  • 3 stars – I liked this book. If I’m in the target audience, it didn’t hit the right note with me or grammatical errors took me out of the story. If I’m not in the targeted audience, someone who is will probably love it.
  • 2 stars – I didn’t like this book. I don’t post self-pub or small press author reviews less than 2.5 stars without author permission.
  • 1 star – I hated this book. I can find very little redeeming about it. I’m looking at you, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Book Format

I would prefer .epub or .pdf format. If that’s not available, I will take .mobi. However, if I have a lot of requests, I will likely favor .epub or .pdf unless your synopsis completely wows me.

How Long Will It Take?

I make no guarantees. It depends on how much is going on in my life, how many other books are ahead in the queue, how much I like/devour your book, the retrograde position of Mars… I will let you know a rough time frame when you contact me, but it will vary. If this is an ARC and your publishing date is impending, let me know. I might bump you ahead in the queue.

As of 3/30/14, I’ve responded to all review requests up through 3/18/14. I’m behind right now, so I apologize, but I will get to you! If you sent me one before that and didn’t hear from me, send it again from another email address because it may have been sent to spam.

Contact Me

Email me at samantha.saboviec (at) gmail (dot) com with:

  • Your genre (Note: I review adult speculative and dark fiction),
  • Your 2-3 paragraph book blurb,
  • A link to or attachment of your first chapter,
  • Your approximate word count, and
  • Links to where readers can buy your book, which I will use in my blog entry should I choose to review your book.

The more information you can give me about your book, the better. If you do not include your first chapter or a link to it, I will turn you down.

Have you added my forthcoming release, Guarding Angel, to your Goodreads to-be-read list? You can also find me on Twitter and Pinterest.

4 thoughts on “Review Policy

  1. Pingback: Twitter, Pinterest, and How I Decide to Review a Book | Magic and Mayhem

  2. I am from Zimbabwe. I have some books of fiction on CreateSpace for print and Amazon for kindle.

    I am currently looking for free book reviews. I am most at liberty to send you kindle or pdf versions alongside images of the books.

    My books are love/general which the west may categorise as romance. There are on explicit sex scenes neither are there swear language or foul language. My free reading are on or

    Free and fair reviews can be posted on any of the media goodreads, amazon, createspace, booklikes, barnesandnoble, shelfari etc.

    Your co-operation in this regard will be greatly appreciated. I am available to contact on linked in, Facebook or on writa1966 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

    I look forward to your response in good time. Stay blessed.

    Temba Magorimbo (Mr.)

    • Hello, Temba –

      Please read the Review Policy page to submit your book for review to my blog. Also note that at this time, I am not accepting the work of authors I am not familiar with. Check back to the Review Policy to see when I am open to submissions again.

      Thanks for your interest,

  3. Pingback: Review: Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing by Catherine Ryan Howard | Magic and Mayhem

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