Getting trashed by authors who wrote about Jesus

I run a blog, Artistic Bent, where I review books for both Christian and Secular Authors.

Most of the time  I like it because I get to discover all kinds of books and the people behind them. Admittedly I'm a little more biased towards those from the UK since my family is Irish but I make a real effort to read books from around the world because one of my favorite things is how different a mystery book for example can be when it's written by American author versus British or Australian and so forth. 

One of the HARDEST genres for me to read though is anything considered 'historical fiction' because although I understand thanks to my college education and world travels what 'fiction' means I still believe when writing about a real person or event the context of who/what was real must be maintained.

Recently I used the example, when describing my frustration with this concept, in that if I wrote a fictional novel that used Trump as a character but had my version of him pro-immigration and he traveled around the world giving away millions of dollars to bring people to America to create a better world, that MIGHT not be the best way to write a story.

If I'm writing satire that's one thing but if I'm writing a book, even a fictional one, that uses reality then I feel it takes away from the credibility of the story when you bend or break reality just to use the "celebrity" of a person or event to sell a story.

Case in point, I recently reviewed 2 books with a Christian bent. They were both marketed as being part of the Christian genre so I was curious to see how the characters of Jesus in one and Saint Patrick in the other would be treated. Honestly I couldn't stand either one by the end because in both they took who these men were and had them both doing things their reality based counterparts would never do which took me completely out of the story. 

In both cases after I posted my reviews publicly on my own site as well as various other social media sites and Amazon and Barnes & Noble I was lambasted by the authors and their fans for not giving a glowing review. I was accused of leaving a "vicious review" because I'm a "devout Catholic" even though I'm not or having a weak faith otherwise I would've been strong enough to handle anyone using altered depictions of real religious characters.

Now I'm really confused because I'm too religious but also not religious enough. This is why people give up and become Atheists.

From reading other reviews I know I'm alone in how I feel about the books. According to everyone else it doesn't matter if authors take extreme liberties with historical figures, especially religious ones, and it's okay to attack those who would disagree with that opinion. 

Sometimes the attacks get bad enough I'd rather stick to secular books because weirdly if I don't like a book in that genre - no attacks. I've even had authors, who I gave negative reviews on, contact me to say they appreciated my points because it helped them work on the holes for future work. 

But for Christian based books my one way ticket to Hell has already been purchased many times over by the general public.

To check out the reviews mentioned above, feel free to go to my blog:

If you read the books and want to contribute your own opinions don't forget to add to the fun on Amazon and Barnes & Noble but be forewarned if you don't agree with the general positive census that authors have carte blanche to use alternative facts in describing religious historical figures your reviews will not be posted on Barnes & Noble or you can and will be subject to tickets to Hell being sent to you.

Send them back until they agree to upgrade to First Class with a limo ride to and from the airport.

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Comment by Tara Sheehan on February 26, 2017 at 9:08pm

I post my reviews on my own website, amazon, barnes & noble, and goodreads then add links to my reviews on my personal Facebook page, a business Facebook page I set up for my website, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram.

So far in 2017 I've read and reviewed 145 books. Of those I rated:

5% as being poor quality where the flaws were so bad they needed sever rewrites and/or actual research

8% as being just okay because they had potential which was marred by otherwise easy to fix flaws 

The remaining 87% I found to have good plot lines, strong dialogue, intelligent sentence structure, well developed characters and so forth. I didn't necessarily 'like' all the stories and there were some I wouldn't read again but I never held that against the author because it's not their fault if the topic wasn't something that appealed to me. I wouldn't want to dissuade someone who is into whatever the book is about from reading it by giving it a bad review solely based on whether I 'liked' what the author wrote about. There's been plenty I've read which I truly loved but others talked about how much they hated so I try to focus on the mechanics of a book more.

Comment by D.M. Webb on February 25, 2017 at 1:50am

Goodness. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I've only left a few 1 star or 2 star reviews on books, usually because I want to warn others that even though it was marketed as a Christian book, it definitely was not a Christian book. So far I have not had any backlash on my reviews...or I just never saw any comments. :) But I have received backlash on my books. It's a funny world. But don't let the haters bother you. Just push them aside and know that you must have hit a nerve. Do you post your reviews on Goodreads?

Comment by Claire O'Sullivan on February 22, 2017 at 12:42am


boy do I understand. From the point of view as Christian writer, my work rarely seems to fit that of a publishing house. My current, finished MS is modern, a comedic but more realistic view of two Christians falling in love. There's no sex but there is the violence that comes with the territory of both fMC (thief on the run) and cop (self-explanatory).  I've received the not-Christian enough and the too-Christian comments, as well. I see where an editor or publishing house have requisites of the work being clean, or clean and Christian - not to mention accurate. I read Christian fiction/romance where the reality of life (or at least the reactions) in the face of Christianity seems to be lacking in well, er, reality. We backslide. We say things we shouldn't, we drink any alcohol (whatever should I do at communion?), we forget to pray or read Scripture.. etc. So from my end, I understand that frustration. My cookbook is published (why I am here) but my fiction, How to Steal a Romance, is yet unpublished. Thanks-I understand that aggravation.  --Cindy aka Claire


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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.


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